By Lynn Machon
Following an extensive application and evaluation process, local personal trainer Sharon Thompson, CPT, founder of Thompson Training, has been selected by NBC/Biggest Loser executives to function as an official Biggest Loser Pro.
Thompson, who lives in El Dorado Hills, will serve as the Northern California expert for the “The Biggest Loser Live Training” outreach program that utilizes selected Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified trainers throughout the country to “bring the show into communities.” The new program combines access to online live workouts and resources with the motivation of a personal trainer to promote weight loss through exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes.
The Biggest Loser Live Training program will launch live at biggestloserlivetraining.com at 2 p.m. on Feb 20. Interested participants may sign up through the website or directly through Thompson at local Full Throttle Fitness locations.
“For many people, simply logging onto a computer does not work in their fight to lose weight because it allows them to hide behind the screen,” explained Thompson. “That’s why NBC/Biggest Loser developed this program, to supplement the online program with live, hands on support and accountability surrounding official Biggest Loser group weight loss challenges and workouts inspired by the show.”
Thompson said she was selected as a one of the first Biggest Loser Pros in the country after completing a lengthy series of interviews, evaluations and fitness tests sponsored by NBC regarding physiology, anatomy, and obesity along with its effects on the body in the form of disease risk, premature death and metabolic syndrome.
According to Thompson, aside from her impressive credentials, a main factor that appealed to show representatives was her ability to personally connect with average participants. “I have personal experience with weight management as well as recovery and rehabilitation following a severe injury,” explained Thompson. “The Biggest Loser producers felt my own journey toward wellness gave me unique perspective that, combined with my passion for fitness and my personal training style, would increase the success achieved by program participants.”
Local clients who have trained with Thompson over the years weren’t surprised to hear she had been selected as a NBC/Biggest Loser Pro.
Kristi Rogney started working with Thompson in 2006 following a serious knee injury and subsequent surgery. “Sharon developed a program to strengthen my knee that suited my physical abilities and allowed me to fully recover,” said Rogney, a Shingle Springs resident. “Then in 2011, I told Sharon I wanted to lose 40 pounds by my 40th birthday. She helped change my diet habits and workout habits in a simple way that worked. I surpassed my goal in just six months. She was incredibly supportive and I couldn’t have done it without her. She treats each client as an individual and works to their goals.”
Another local client offered similar praise for Thompson, although he affectionately referred to her as “the dominatrix.”
“I started going to Sharon last year when my health was bad, and eating habits even worse,” said Sacramento resident Dan Merino. “Today, with Sharon’s guidance, I have more confidence and physical stamina than I’ve ever had. Sharon’s sessions are still always a surprise both during the workout and about a day later when some part of my anatomy aches. She knows her stuff inside and out.”
“My workouts are intense,” admitted Thompson. “But they are customized to each client’s abilities and personal goals and incorporate the best of weight training, kickboxing, plyometrics and yoga to achieve optimal results.”
Thompson says her first local Biggest Loser Live Training challenge will kick off the first week in March and run for 12 weeks. Participants will have access to all three Full Throttle gym locations in Folsom, El Dorado Hills and Shingle Springs throughout the challenge. The program cost will be $299 for Full Throttle Fitness members and $399 for nonmembers.
“I’m thrilled to be able to provide participants with the Biggest Loser program that’s been proven to work,” said Thompson. “Just like on the NBC show, we’ll do extensive fitness testing at the beginning and finish in order to demonstrate progress — including v02max, resting heart rates, blood pressure and body composition and have weekly weighs-ins. We’ll also have live online team meetings and peer support to keep each one motivated.”
In addition to weekly cardio plans and “last chance” workouts in the gym, Thompson will provide participants the tools to make it as easy as possible to stay on track long term.
“Nutrition and behavioral change have to be integrated into any weight loss plan,” she said. “Each participant will get my personal meal plan and daily journal that will tell them exactly what to eat and when, complete with recipes and nutrition and cooking demonstrations.”
According to Thompson, all participants will receive an official Biggest Loser T-shirt and other promotional items along with the chance to win a “huge prize” at the end of the 12-week program. “The overall challenge winner will be determined by percentage of body weight reduced to make it fair for all,” she explained. “So someone with 20 pounds to lose can participate against someone with 65 pounds to lose. But really, all participants will be winners.”