Dolvett Quince: “Biggest Loser’s” Newest Trainer

Dolvett Quince owns Body Sculptor in Atlanta and is the newest "Biggest Loser" trainer

Bob Harper and Anna Kournikova will not be the only trainers next season on "The Biggest Loser."  NBC announced that they will be joined by Dolvett Quince, a trainer with a star following based in Atlanta. Quince boasts celebrity clients such as Janet Jackson, Justin Bieber, and "Soul Food" actress Nicole Ari Parker.  He also considers himself a Master Trainer with two certifications, one from ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association, an online only cert), and one from IFFA. ISSA is a decent body of material to learn, but you don't need to step foot in a gym to study the material, and you take the exam online so there's no guy with a clipboard making sure you can actually train someone. IFFA was interesting; it rang a bell when I saw it and I went online but I couldn't find information anywhere. I did find other trainers listing IFFA as their cert and I saw one reference saying it was just a weekend, basic training class, but I have no way to confirm that.  I'm guessing IFFA went out of business. The Pros He's very easy on the eyeballs! He's had prior experience working with at least one morbidly obese person (he helped a client lose over 325 pounds) and he's been training clients for years so he has real-life experience working with real people.  He has already put out a fitness DVD so he should be fairly good on camera. The Cons I know, I know, I always get hung up on the certs, and having basic certifications doesn't mean a person can't educate themselves to a much higher level. I started out with a basic AFFA cert and worked my way up from there, but I did it by collecting more certs.  Someone can certainly do it by reading a lot, learning at conferences, and working with clients. So we'll see. My biggest concern is the people he has brought on board as staff.  Each of his trainers is drop dead gorgeous and have backgrounds focused more in fitness modeling and high-level athletics (either college or pro). This makes me worry that he's a little more concerned with looks than form. One of them has an ASFA certification which is an online cert (I use the term loosely) where you take the test first and then decide if you want to pay $129 to get the piece of paper that says you're "qualified."   Go ahead, click the link and look; you'll be appalled. So that doesn't bode well. I found this video about Quince on YouTube; he's very articulate and talks about training a wide variety of people (good!).  He also talks a lot about his regimen without getting into the details (mostly marketing here -- bad!).  He has developed his own nutritional plan for his clients but didn't go into details about it (no reference to him being a dietician or nutritionist -- bad!).  He is an advocate of eliminating sugar from the diet which lots of people agree with (good!). After watching the above video, Quince uses basic moves and basic cues.  I didn't see anything stellar, a couple of things I'd do differently, but it was an interview situation and he might have been nice about not busting the interviewer on camera. Overall I'm skeptical, but Quince does seem to be an improvement.  The biggest plus for me is that he's well established as a trainer in Atlanta and has been doing it for years.  You have to be a good trainer with a good personality to stay in business for that long. We'll see come the fall TV season.  What do you think? Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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19 Responses to Dolvett Quince: “Biggest Loser’s” Newest Trainer

  1. Dean Ouellette June 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    Just to try something different I would love for them to get some competing approaches in there, maybe a crossfit/paleo trainer. Something different than the standard type trainers they have had. They did that a little this past season, but i dont think there was enough of a differentiator to what Bob and Jillian do.

    And btw watching Bob’s people do kettelbell swings makes me want to grab my own back their form is so bad.

  2. Amy June 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    This will be very interesting. i wonder who the next trainer is going to be- They wouldn’t have an odd number of trainers, right?

    I like the fact that he’s worked with overweight people and actually has had clients, unlike Anna.

  3. Lisa Johnson June 3, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    oh, the kettlebell people are always railing against the Biggest Loser … the show drives them nuts. I actually thought the kettlebell form was a little better this season. I like the idea of diversity but the show itself is such a “machine” that I’m not sure they could deviate much without throwing off the formula. L–

  4. veedubz508 September 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    He is hot! I was like damnnnn…

  5. Lisa Johnson September 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    OMG I totally agree! I really hope he can train well so I don’t have to bash him. He’s got that great voice too … sigh.

  6. Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana September 21, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Well… ALL the major certs are courses you take online without stepping foot in a gym. It’s the experience you get afterward that matters. At any rate, I don’t watch this ridiculous show… It’s way too exploitive for me with all the on-camera crying and drama. Sorry… I do tend to be opinioned lol.

  7. Lisa Johnson September 21, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Suzanne, happy to have your opinions! :-) and yes you’re right, at this point all the major certs are online exams. That is not the way I was trained back in the day and that’s definitely not how they train Pilates instructors now. My opinion (clearly in the minority) is that this is horribly wrong and should be changed immediately. I think national certification guidelines should be put in place and that face to face testing including a practical should be required. It drives me nuts that a position as important as a trainer has so little industry supervision. We have our hands on peoples bodies and can do serious harm if we don’t know what we’re doing, don’t you think you should test someone for that BEFORE they start working with people. On the job training seems like a bad idea no?

  8. Allison October 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    I was curious about the IFFA thing and dug a little until I found out that it is the International Federal Fitness Association. I didn’t find anything recent about it, but it appears they used to have competitions as well as giving certifications.

  9. Lisa Johnson October 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Allison, I did a little digging too and there’s just not much out there … but what little I found didn’t indicate it was anything high level. Thanks for poking around too. Appreciate it. L–

  10. Mike December 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Im sorry but none of the certs you all mention are anything close to being high level. None of them require a bachelors degree in sports medicine. Anyone can read a fitness magazine and think they are capable of training people. ACSM and NSCA are the only legit certifications out there

  11. Lisa Johnson December 18, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    Mike, I completely agree with you … but people don’t know what they don’t know …

  12. Tom S January 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    I too have tried to debate or explain to many top level fitness professionals over the internet or in person, we our industry to be REGULATED…it’s that simple.

    Here is what I have gathered since the late 80’s and having spent 20yrs in the military and running my own fitness bootcamp business. We all need to strive to get better and change with the times and if that means taking our ass back to college to get our degree in Exercise Science, earn a reputable CPT from NASM, NSCA, or ACSM, all which are Gold Standard, and for new folks do an internship like LMP, LPN, Doctors, etc that deal folks body, then so be it.

    If the government stepped in and made it mandatory the following:

    All CPT need to be:

    1. 4yr degree or higher in the health or exercise sciences

    2. Certified by ONLY NASM, ACSM, or NSCA no others

    3. Have an intership with say 300-500yrs with a qualified trainer

    4. Take a National Exam, which has a “Hands On” component, just like we do with CPR

    5. Have a legitimate State and City license to practice, as well as, liability insurance

    6. CPR / AED certified every 1-2yrs or per State requirements

    7. Take CEU’s from college or approved sources per #2 above

    8. Get Recertified on the #4 say every 4-5yrs if you don’t get your CEU’s done on time.

    These are just some of the ways we can hold CPT and fitness professionals accountable like Doctors or Lawyers are required to be Board Certified or Pass the Bar Exam.

    In the end, it’s about dealing with the human body and the public, so as fitness professionals we should be held to a high standard, not some rinky dink online cert and working with any license or insurance like many of these folks that call themselves fitness trainers are doing these days.

    In the end, the buyer or consumer has to “Caveat Emptor” when looking for or hiring a trainer.

  13. Lisa Johnson January 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Tom I agree with almost everything you say accept the college degree. While I do think a college degree is a major plus it would leave most of the fitness industry out in the cold as most of us can’t afford a $100,000+ degree, especially if we have already started families, etc. THAT said I think testing for a higher bar of requirements, perhaps equivalent to a college degree but something that people can study up to would be great.

    I spent about $5,000 on my training and it’s probably closer to $7,000 now to become a Pilates Instructor. A 500 hour certification, btw, I would add some Pilates certs on your list, they are actually *more* complete than ACSM, etc. Even though I respect them, you’d be surprised … also some of the 500 hour Yoga certs are great too. That is a sizeable investment but I have instructors who regularly work about 25 hours per week and make over $50,000 a year, not bad for NOT a full-time job. If you run an independent business you can make more (although I have to say in this economy that hasn’t been true for me … sigh).

    At any rate, yes, test to a higher bar, require internships and make sure people keep doing CECs so that they continue to stay on top of new information coming into the industry.



  14. Janos January 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    Unless someone is a RD (registered dietician) take whatever they say with a grain of salt. There is no regulations when it comes to being a nutritionist, anyone can say they are a nutritionist. It means nothing…

    I find it sad after viewing the people from the biggest loser, to see that none of their star trainers have ever taken a real nationwide certification course. All of these courses were taken on-line.

    ACSM, NASM, NSCA or ACE all require that you know what you are doing and the test has to be taken at their center. Not online and a trainer must be CPR/AED/First Aid certified every 2 years and to stay certified, they must take CE classes.

    People can say what they want it seems when they are not held by the standards. I am pretty certain that if these people held the right certs, they would lose them because of what they say. According to ACSM, one must refer someone to a registered dietician when it comes to a clients diet program, unless the CPT is also a RD.

  15. Bryan March 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Cscs is actually the gold standard of training certs. And yes, with the all the new science, and how competitive the fitness industry is, a 4yr degree is required. You can and will never be a CScs or strength coach for Amy major university or pro sports team without it. Also, not to offend anyone, but true strength coaches do not take those with online certs serious.

  16. Lisa Johnson March 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    Yep Bryan … I agree. L–

  17. Tom S February 1, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    It’s been a while, actually over 1yr Lisa since I commented on this post and with Dolvett being on Arsenio Hall tonight and pushing his new book that came out in Nov 2013, I am seeing a trend in our fitness industry.

    1. It’s not WHAT YOU KNOW, but, can you relate to people, are well liked by the consumer, do you boost ratings and have a following, and in the end, can you MAKE MONEY for those big wig TV stations, publishing companies, etc….

    2. Folks are becoming slaves to Social Media, so if you can become a king/queen on FB, Twitter, Instagram, and have a good blog or write, people will flock to you.

    Lastly, I stick to my original comment above back in Jan 2013…..we need ALL and I mean ALL of us fitness professionals to be BOARD CERTIFIED……I know the folks over at the National Board of FItness Examiners (NBFE) or at have been discussing and lobbying to get our industry REGULATED where we all would have to take a BOARD EXAM on a national level.

    I equate this in the same manner as say a doctor, lawyer, dentist, etc….. they cannot practice in their State or the United States without being board certified or passed a bar exam.

    Yes Lisa, if we force folks to go back to college, it could WEED out the REAL dedicated fitness professionals with that of the part-time actor, bartnder, model fitness professional and get our industry taken seriously, so one day, when someone goes to the doctor and PCM recommends a fitness regimen, we can bill insurance companies just like the aforementioned and we fitness professionals will be taken seriously not only as a REAL CAREER, but eventually, it could be required that ALL trainers of any kind would need a 4yr or Graduate degree to practice their craft, be it strength training like with NSCA folks or at the collegiate and pros or opening a gym, a pilates studio, etc….

    The folks that are currently certified say by end of 2014, would be grandfathered and only have to get a set amount of CEC’s say over a 2 to 3yr period and renew accordingly.

    The new fitness professionals coming in say in January 2015, would have to have a minimum 4yr degree to work in a fitness profession, have a Graduate degree in the health sciences to open their own fitness gym, studio, warehouse, or training facility, and of course, have a PhD to teach at the college level or Master’s degree and so forth.

    Beside the degree, they would have to have say 300-500 documented internship hours as part of the their degree or capstone.

    Then they would have to sit for the National Test that NBFE alludes to at their aforemetioned site or one of the gold standard, NSCA, ACSM, NASM, or ACE, which have all been around the longest, but that all would be debateable and could be worked out with NBFE.

    Anyway, just wanted to give my update after this past year and what I hope to see in the future.



  18. Lisa Johnson February 6, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

    Tom, Thanks so much for stopping back in … I do agree with you as long as there’s a grandfather clause in there with a period of time to pass the test. I’m actually fine with taking a test, we all have to take CECs anyway to keep our certs up so switching gears towards a federally sanctioned national cert isn’t really a big deal. The cream will rise to the top, the others will find other careers. And yes, trainers can do so much damage when they have so little knowledge … (I’m looking at you CrossFit). Doctors and PTs shake their heads at what comes in through their doors … and as a society we seem to be choosing ever more aggressive forms of exercise. I think it’s time to strike a balance.

  19. Doug Collins May 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    As soon as you get any kind of regulating agency involved it will be very bad. Just think of our government now. Just because you have a cert from NASM, ACSM, or NSCA, doesn’t mean you have a clue how to train. I have an ISSA cert and have seen some really, really bad trainers who have a NASM cert. I have also worked with trainers with degrees in exercise science and kinesiology, some were good, others were bad. I have been In business for myself for the past 4 years and do quite well. It is the results we are able to achieve with our clients, and how we treat them that will keep us in business. NOT THE CERT or degree. I don’t disagree with some type of exam. But the only one which will truly determine if a trainer is any good is a practical exam, not written or multiple choice. The trainers that think it is easy to earn a living, or are just out to make a quick buck go out of business very quickly. Our industry regulates it self.

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