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The Biggest Loser on NBC: Risky Business

The Biggest Loser on NBC is a long running weight loss show. It's a very successful show (which I enjoy), helping a lot of people lose weight, while motivating millions of others to do the same.

Having said that, it's inexplicable to me that they start every season the way they do: by risking the lives of the horribly out of shape, high risk contestants. On the very first day they put them through intense workouts that are completely inappropriate and way beyond their capacities.

There is no way you should take someone as poorly conditioned, with as many risk factors as the show's contestants have, and start them out with high intensity workouts. Yet they do it each and every season. The fact that the show has a doctor, Dr. Rob Huizenga, overseeing everything makes it even more inexplicable. 

It is foolish. It is reckless. It is negligent.

It violates one the basic principles of exercise prescription, which is Progression. But I guess a gradual progression of training that is required here doesn't make good TV. You've got to show how tough you are by working them to the edge of collapse from the beginning.

One of the contestants from Season 6, Jerry Skeabeck, was a 51 year old, 380 lb. man who the show's doctor described as the sickest person ever on the show, with every risk factor known in medicine. On Day 1, tough gal trainer Jillian Michaels had him on the treadmill until he fell off from exhaustion.

She literally screamed at him, "the only way you're going to come off this treadmill is if you die." This is INSANE. No responsible trainer would do this. Similar scenes have gone on in almost every season.

After the 1st day, the doctor wisely restricted Jerry to 30 minutes a day of exercise. Why did it take a day to do that?? They knew what kind of shape he and all the contestants were in.

Why would Huizenga allow the initial workout to be conducted like that and why don't the trainers know any better. Their first concern should be the safety of the contestants, not good TV.

Thankfully, Jillian Michaels is leaving the Biggest Loser on NBC. She's getting out now before her negligence leads to an actual death of a participant.

She's moving on to an empire of exercise products and endorsements that were created from the popularity of the show. That's her reward for setting a terrible example of what a trainer should be for all these years.

Every season The Biggest Loser on NBC risks the lives of it's high risk contestants by pushing them too hard, too fast. If someone ever dies during this process, the show will be completely liable.

I hope they have good liability insurance because it would only require about a 5 minute trial to demonstrate their complete negligence.

They are grossly violating proven medical and exercise prescription guidelines and should know better. It's a disgrace. It's too bad too, because the show otherwise does some good with the large number of people it inspires. 

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