Participants commit to better physical fitness

Participants stretch before starting a high intensity workout as part of the Biggest Loser Program.

Participants stretch before starting a high intensity workout as part of the Biggest Loser Program.

“It’s a support system that I need — and the competition is pretty good.”

That’s how Khrysta Kluttz described the Biggest Loser program. Kluttz and 16 other community members are nearing the halfway point of the 10-week Wiesbaden Sports and Fitness activity aimed at helping participants enhance their overall fitness while losing weight in the process.

“I’ve needed to get back in shape, and I thought this would be a good stepping stone — keeping me accountable,” she said. “It’s been difficult and challenging — in a good way. It’s making us push harder than we would by ourselves.”

Kluttz added that understanding how far she can push herself while staying healthy has been an added benefit of the program. “We know we have that safety net, that we won’t get hurt.”
Rey Drummond, a fitness specialist and the Biggest Loser programmer, said there was such a high demand for the program that a second group was added when the program began in mid-June. While Drummond leads Team One — Team Two is led by Rachael Pecoraro, facility manager and a personal trainer.

“We’ve got individuals who are post recovering from an injury and those who just want to learn more about cardio workouts,” Drummond said.

The program includes seminars, regular workouts, discounted opportunities to work with personal trainers and get massages, weigh-ins and free attendance at Wiesbaden Fitness Center classes during the program — all featuring both a fitness and a holistic approach to encouraging a healthy routine and lifestyle.

“Everyone completes a medical assessment before they come on board,” he added, saying that trainers work closely to ensure participants don’t over train and hurt themselves. “It’s high intensity training — interval training — where participants can pace themselves.”

Program participants also have the opportunity to take part in structured bike rides, visit fresh fruit markets (and learn which fruits and vegetables to choose) and “a chance to tour Wiesbaden and Mainz if they haven’t already done so,” Drummond said, adding that Family and MWR resources have pulled together to support the Biggest Loser program.

“They also receive a fitness binder with a cookbook, descriptions of various cardio exercises, a journal to record their feelings while taking part in the program and a calorie tracker. If they have any questions they can contact us by email 24/7,” he said.

“All of the trainers have been chipping in to help with the program,” Drummond said, likewise praising the participants for their focus and dedication. “They may have a lot of different things going on in their lives — jobs, children — but every time they get together they’re 100 percent. They come with a different mindset. They really want to make a change.

“It’s a 10-week foundation program that’s hard and challenging, but not to the point where they want to give up,” he added.

“It’s been great,” said Kassandra Gonzalez. “I do really well with competition, and I’m excited to win. The hardest thing has been the burpees, and the easiest is finding motivation because everyone is very supportive.”

Miranda Wright said she wanted to take part “to be more fit. I like doing the Tough Mudders, but I’m not good at working out. This gets me out and has introduced me to functional fitness. … I’ve learned a lot.”
“They have homework assignments and learn that fitness isn’t just challenging your body but changing your mind as well. … We empower them to be fit on their own,” said Drummond.

The winner of the Biggest Loser competition will be recognized during an awards ceremony Aug. 15.