Lean, Mean Campus Machine: Biggest Loser Delivers Winners

The campus body at Globe University-Madison West became leaner thanks to students in the health fitness specialist program. For their applied learning project, the Exercise Prescription for Special Populations class developed a biggest loser competition for the campus. Twenty-seven people competed in the weight loss challenge in hopes to be one of the top three biggest losers on campus.

The Results: “We lost a whole person.”

Considering the competition only lasted for 10-weeks, the results were remarkable.

health fitness specialist

Lean Mean Campus Machines – Participants in the Biggest Loser competition strike a pose.

  • The total number change overall: 170.91 pounds.
  • The total number of fat lost: 113.44 pounds.
  • The total number of muscle gained: 57.47 pounds.

“If you look at these numbers, it’s an average of almost nine pounds of change per participant,” stated David Walker, health fitness specialist program chair. “In the amount of time we did this, those numbers are something to be proud of. We lost a whole person.”

health fitness

The Biggest Losers (from left) 1st place winner, Sheila Robson, 2nd place winner, Kim Sprecker and 3rd place winner, Amanda Cross

Sheila Robson, veterinary technology student, reflected on being crowned the biggest loser. “I came into it with the attitude of regardless of if I won anything, I did it for me,” Sheila shared. “My whole goal was to lose what I set out to lose. It was well worth the efforts.”

Let’s Get It Started

To get the competition running, the class had plenty of work to do. It involved research, outreach, communication and client management. Students designed the competition to help people lose body fat, gain muscle and change their body composition.

health fitness

Work it! The Exercise Prescription for Special Populations class. Health Fitness Specialist Program Chair, David Walker (top). (From bottom left) Health Fitness Specialist students Adam Yager, Samantha Young, Lisa Ketelboeter and Johnathon Michler.

Because they had previous training in fitness testing, students provided participants with weekly weigh-ins and measurements. This data provided the official record to determine the top three winners.

Another core aspect became the fitness classes. Developed and analyzed by the students, they included “The J-Rock Experience,” “Enough is Enough” and “TRX Full Body.” These provided an outlet for participants to exercise throughout the quarter.

Students assembled and provided educational material on how exercise affects other special populations as well. Information for diabetics, pregnant women and those who struggle with mental illness were available.

“There was a multi component in using skills they already learned, using the class as a research base for topics and also being able to do classes on an ongoing basis,” David explained. “So they gained many skills which are very relevant for their career.”

Weighty Experience

Health fitness specialist students reflected on project.

“This project was definitely valuable,” shared Johnathon Michler, health fitness specialist student. “I think before, just learning from a textbook, it was just memorization. Now, here we applied it and we needed to know what we were doing. People asked questions and I needed to answer, and if I didn’t know, I needed to find out. It got my gears going.”

Samantha Young is working toward her associate degree in health fitness. She said, “It made me feel good knowing that I made them feel good. When people returned after they took my class and commented on how happy they were because they were sore because it was a good workout or they noticed how their clothes were looser was great to witness.”

Because there was such a success with this applied learning project, plans are in place to expand the students’ work into the next quarter when they will focus on the nutrition part in gaining a healthier lifestyle.