The Biggest Loser

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So for those of you who don't know much about the show, the Biggest Loser is a weight loss competition reality show on NBC. The new season started last night.

If you haven't seen the show, I really recommend it. I always feel like there's a million things I want to talk about, both praise and critique. I barely even know where to start (I feel like I could blog every day for the next week about the first show alone).

I guess I'll play glass is half empty this morning and go with critique. Many people who watch this show desire to emulate what the contestants are doing, so this show has a huge influence over the exercise habits of many Americans.

Last night, they debuted their new gym. It's twice as large as any of the gyms they've had in the past. They dubbed it "state of the art."

That's something that I always have a problem with. The fitness industry, especially health clubs, spend a lot of time and money trying to convince us that they're state of the art - that better equipment is the answer to better fitness. But you don't need fancy machines to be fit. In fact, the simple concept that technology is a viable means of achieving fitness is absurd.

Think about it - technology has allowed us as a society to become lazy. It makes our day to day lives easy, and it gives us the option of being sedentary. And we're supposed to believe that more technology is the solution?

You shouldn't be using the same tool that created a problem to solve it. What's the saying again about insanity? Doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results?

Fellow fitness pro Juan Carlos Santana says it very well in the September issue of Men's Health magazine:

"Don’t use a hammer for everything. Instead, use the right tool for the right job. Nothing is ever the next big thing; someone’s just found another screwdriver."

For our purposes: don't pretend that a thousand plus dollar health club treadmill is somehow better than a track and your Nikes.

I'm not totally adverse to running on a treadmill now and again, but if you think technology (by definition, something that exists to make things easier for you) is the best tool to get you in shape (by definition, something that requires you make things hard on yourself) then you're bordering on an Eskimo buying ice.

We all have plenty of technology in our lives. We don't need to make it a part of our exercise.

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