So the call went out recently for a new female trainer for “The Biggest Loser.” In case you don’t know, Cara Castronuova and Brett Hoebel joined the cast at the start of the most recent season. Current trainer Bob Harper will be staying while Jillian Michaels is leaving at the end of this season.
A casting call for a new trainer doesn’t mean they’re getting rid of Cara. In fact they hold casting calls regularly, I think just to see what kind of talent is out there.
The following types of trainers are encouraged to apply:
- Ex-professional athletes / ex-Olympians with training certifications
- Trainers with well-known clientele
- Trainers who have been featured on local news affiliates
- Trainers featured in fitness magazines
- Trainers sponsored by athletic companies (Nike, Addidas, lululemon, etc.)
- Trainers who are local celebrities
For the record, I would qualify on four of the bullet points, and no, I have zero intention of sending in a video. Nor do I think they’d look twice at me. Plus if I stepped on set, I’m pretty sure Cara would deck me. (I’m not really kidding …) :-)
What I am dismayed about is the qualifications have a LOT more to do with being famous than with being highly skilled. If I were casting for the show, here’s what I’d write for qualifications:
- Must have a high-level personal training certification or college degree in an area such as kinesiology, physiology, athletic training, or physical therapy
- Must have five years minimum experience training clients
- Must have experience working with the morbidly obese, particularly the ability to adapt exercise to work with joint issues
- Must be photogenic, good on camera, and articulate
- Must be able to break down complex fitness theory into something the average Joe or Jane can understand
- Experience speaking in front of an audience and experience with community outreach a major plus
- If you’ve struggled with a weight problem yourself, that’s also a plus
Wouldn’t that be nice? I realize I’m just a blogger and I get that my voice doesn’t reach as far and wide as NBC’s (not even close!). But after lots and lots of people have questioned the credentials of various trainers on the show, wouldn’t it be nice to see the producers up the qualifications just a little bit?
They didn’t even try.
In other posts I’ve done on “The Biggest Loser,” people have commented that I’m naive. That it’s not about quality training, it’s about addictive, popcorn TV. The delivery vehicle is a bunch of people on a fat farm, but the real end goal isn’t pounds lost, but ratings gained. JUST ratings.
So what do you think of my list of qualifications versus theirs? Do you think NBC could find someone with my wish list or am I being completely unrealistic? I would love to know your thoughts on this.