By Darline Goyea (USAG Wiesbaden)January 22, 2010
WIESBADEN, Germany - On your mark, get set, go. Now, up the stairs, around the track, down the stairs again and wall squat.
This is just one of the many challenges that faced contestants of the Wiesbaden Biggest Loser competition.
While some competitors joined the program to lose weight, others of the nearly 30 participants, joined simply to tone and build muscles.
"It's just the beginning," said Angel Dore, age 43. The mother of four explained that the 10-week program offers just the right combination she needs to reach her definitive objective.
"Joining the Biggest Loser is just a more fun extension of an already healthy standard of living," said Willie Jr. Graham, 56, who learned of a heart condition a couple of years ago. Graham frequented the gym at least three times a week before taking part in the competition.
As one of the oldest teams (in combined ages) competing in the contest, Dore and Graham motivated each other, they said, resulting in a victory for the pair in the competition's first-week challenge. To boost endurance, the two had to shoot basketball hoops for a maximum of five minutes nonstop. Pushing through the constant body movement, the Dore-Graham team earned a free half-hour training session with a trainer.
As part of the Biggest Loser competition, a new challenge is featured every Wednesday at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center. Winners are eligible for prizes ranging from training sessions to gift certificates including days at the spa or even trips.
"I wanted to bring something fun to Wiesbaden," said Maria Diaz, a longtime fitness specialist, who introduced the competition locally.
Making the competition economical was also a goal of Diaz's. "I didn't want to overwhelm the contestants financially, with it being the holidays and all."
Fitness center instructors said they are motivated by the drive and perseverance demonstrated by the competitors. "Young to old give me more motivation to keep active," said Air Force Tech Sgt. Adele Wright, who teaches aerobics and body toning. "They come faithfully and will continue to come back once the competition is over."
Bianca Reagin, 28, was pounding the wax off the track while walking around the gym's track with her 10-month-old son. "I've lost 11 pounds so far; I really enjoy it," said Reagin of the competition.
The mother of three said she learned about the competition through one of the many exercise classes offered at the fitness center. Although not much of a "gym" person in the past, preferring the classes over individual workouts, Reagin said she now works out frequently with the fitness center equipment, thanks to the program.
Reagin added that with her husband currently deployed to Afghanistan on a 12-month tour, losing weight will be an added treat for both of them when he returns home.
The competition is geared to providing a valuable life lesson, Diaz added, explaining that learning to maintain a fitness regimen is vital. Maintaining can be as simple as walking, riding a bike or just playing with your children.
"Don't wait until tomorrow, even if you ate that piece of cake, get started today," encouraged Diaz.
The Biggest Loser competition wrapped up Jan. 16 and the winner was to be announced that day at the Fitness Fair). For advice, assistance and a wealth of fitness opportunities call or stop by the Wiesbaden Fitness Center.