“The Biggest Loser’s” New Trainers: An Educated Guess

"Biggest Loser's" newest trainer? Season 8 winner Danny Cahill

So it’s confirmed that there will be two new trainers unveiled during Season 11 of “The Biggest Loser.”  We will get a teaser this Tuesday at the season finale and producers say they will be revealed only “in silhouette.”  I don’t know who the two new trainers will be, but I have a guess.  I think it’s a good guess … two former contestants.

New Female Trainer

We know from Jillian’s Twitter feed that one of the new trainers is a woman.  There are a few contenders for this role: the always active Ali Vincent, the first female winner, who has maintained a healthy lifestyle and very close ties to the show.  She has also recently published her own book, “Believe It, Be It.”

There’s also Helen Phillips, the second pink team winner from season 7, who is starting up a health and fitness business and was talking about it on the Thanksgiving Eve “Where Are They Now?” episode.

New Male Trainer

As for a possible male trainer joining the show, I’m going with season 8 winner Danny Cahill.  He’s passionate about fitness, he’s been working in the industry since he left the show, and he appeared several times this season as a motivator for Lisa, one of the contestants.  I also noticed he’s gone a bit Hollywood with a very sharp haircut and a rail-thin physique.  He also had 15 to 20 pounds of skin removed from his abdomen earlier this year as a result of the weight loss.  (Rapid weight loss will often leave skin folds behind; if you look at the stomachs of even the thinnest contestants a lot of them have bulges there, which is literally just loose skin.)

Even more intriguing is the events calendar on his personal website, notably absent of a heavy personal appearances schedule from November on, when season 11 began filming.  My money’s on him.

It could also be one of the Morelli’s, the father/son team who have started a fitness venture, or Michael Ventrella, last season’s winner who is also doing some sort of lifestyle coaching.   O’Neal Hampton, Jr. is also a possibility; he has coaching experience and sunk his life savings into a health club after he left the show.

Why NBC Would Make This Choice

I’ve noticed this trend throughout the season of former contestants coming back and talking about their new “lifestyle businesses.” Let’s be clear here; “The Biggest Loser” makes a lot of money off of advertisers, but I’m willing to bet it makes more money by selling books, meal plans, workout DVDs, and Nintendo Wii games.

The show is a huge cash cow for the network but has received numerous complaints the past couple of seasons.  Some have questioned their training methods as being unsafe (yup, I’m one of ‘em).  Bringing back popular contestants is actually a brilliant marketing strategy, someone with their own fan base to breathe new life into the show.  And there will be a whole new set of exercise DVDs and products rolling out, you can be sure of that.

I can just see the “close, intimate moment” now as contestant A is having a nervous breakdown, sweaty and in tears, crouched miserably at the end of a treadmill.  Former contestant / new trainer walks over, puts his or her arm around contestant A’s shoulder and says calmly, while oozing empathy, “It’s okay; I’ve been here.  You’ll get through this …”

Please, Please, Please Be Properly Certified!

My only problem … what are the former contestants’ credentials?  Being trained by Bob and Jillian doesn’t mean you’ve learned proper form and cueing techniques.  I want certifications!  Real certifications, not some low-level online piece of paper.  Experience does count, but it’s not everything … I want to know that these new trainers, whoever they may be, know the difference between a vastus medialis and a teres minor.  If they don’t, they’ve got plenty of time to learn it before they start doing the interview circuit.

I will not be happy if the show hires folks who don’t have a proper certification, and I recap “The Biggest Loser” for AOL with 7 million page views per month.  So take the few weeks of studying necessary to learn what you need to learn.  Got it?   Since you’ll be working with the morbidly obese population may I suggest the ACSM certification?  It’s really geared to a medical setting which is what “The Biggest Loser” really is.

Would you be excited to see a former contestant come back as a trainer?  Do you think credentials matter or is gym time all you really need to be a good trainer?  Do you think my guess is right?  If you like this post, please consider signing up for my email list for a peak behind the blog for lots more fitness tips and insider news.  Just go to the top of the right hand column.  Thanks!

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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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13 Responses to “The Biggest Loser’s” New Trainers: An Educated Guess

  1. Tricia December 13, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    I’d rather see college degrees than certifications, but even better, college degrees, PLUS certifications! No surgeon just gets CEUs, the walks into an operating room! I mean really! The core education comes from college courses in Physical Fitness, Kineisiology, Exercise Physiology, Sports Nutrition, etc.

    Of course, if only Jillian is leaving, they’ll also need a BIG personality! Those are some huge shoes to fill, because, after all, it must also be entertaining!

  2. Colleen December 13, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    I would be very excited to see former contestants helping train the contestants but I will miss Bob & Jillian! I love watching them.

    I second your request to make sure they are certified! Also that other professional trainers help out maybe especially in the beginning to get the contestants going..

  3. Lisa Johnson December 13, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks Colleen! Bob is staying on the show, so I’m thinking he becomes the major domo dude and the other trainers work under him.

    Tricia, considering that the show is really a medical setting I agree and would rather see people with college degrees and certifications. When I first started hatching my theory I was really bummed, because these contestants have extraordinary weight loss stories but don’t necessarily know how to translate that to others. Giving a motivational speech like many of them do is not the same as exercise programming, proper form and cueing, they are different skill sets. They need to be learned!

    We’ll see what happens as the months unfold. I’m pretty sure I’m right about Danny … not sure about the girl though.

    Lisa

  4. Kris @Krazy_kris December 13, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Hmmmmm – Based on your predictions, I’m not hopeful for more qualifications.

    Sigh….

  5. Kerri O December 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I think some former contestants have become trainers, at least that’s what I’ve heard. I think the show isn’t going to be the same…we’ll see. I haven’t been watching all of this season anyway.

  6. Jennifer Sage December 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I’m with you – worthwhile certifications are a MUST! You and I have both railed on JM and TBL in our blogs for their lack of training and qualified exercise programming. I’m inclined to think it was the producers who pushed the trainers to do things that have been unsafe for the excitement of it (as in the super high-cadence Spinning that is more “fun” to watch than the safer pedaling they should be doing). I would PREFER a college degree in Exercise Science plus a worthy certification, but fat chance that will happen. The experience of being on the show and being successful with their weight loss has a huge potential impact, so I think you are probably correct. However, it will take more than just a few weeks to get the knowledge they need! They better start studying now.

    Don’t they need a degree for ACSM? If not, then I agree that’s probably the best given the morbidly obese population. As long as it’s not a ’1-day workshop and here’s your piece of paper stating you’re a trainer’ kind of certification.

    Oh, and if they’re going to use Spinning, they need Spinning cert or another indoor cycling cert too. And Kettlebells too!

  7. Lisa Johnson December 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    LOL, Jennifer I’m totally with you … :-)

  8. Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader December 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    My personal view is that even the ACSM certification isn’t high enough – perhaps a certified kinesiologist?

  9. Lisa Johnson December 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    baby steps Janice, I don’t think we could get the producers all the way up to a bonafide kinesiologist or really a physical therapist because of all their joint issues … that would be so cool though wouldn’t it?

    L–

  10. SUper December 30, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    Haha, i actually know who it is. He is a start trainer who is intense and maticulus. Has trained models and has a great video out already. I dont know what to say other than giving you initials to prove im right. None of the trainers you mentioned and def not a former. BH is the initials.

  11. SUper December 30, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Best cert out there is ECA. Acsm is like going through a year one college course, Eca is twice that.

  12. Kristina January 6, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    The show gave a clue about the woman trainer having won 2 champion boxing matches. Obviously your guesses weren’t THAT educated. Cara Castronova. That’s MY educated guess!

  13. Kim January 11, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    I believe the new trainer is Kim Lyons- she was a trainer from previous seasons

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