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Meet the Biggest Loser 15 Contestants, Including American Idol Ruben Studdard and Olympian Holley Mangold

“I deserve to live a happy and healthy life,” said The Biggest Loser season 15 contestant Tanya Winfield. Achieving a happy and healthy life is a big part of the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser. This year, it’s all about second chances. From a former American Idol to an Olympic athlete, season 15 of The Biggest Loser is providing its contestants with a second chance at the kind of life they want to live.

For these men and women, it’s going to be quite a change from what they are used to. “I came in thinking I was an athlete and realized that didn’t mean anything,” said contestant and Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold.

biggest loser 15 contestants

Most contestants agreed that the most challenging part of being on The Biggest Loser is the workouts with the trainers. “The trainers are what they are. They are here to do a job. They are personable and want you to get in shape, but their main goal is to change our lives,” contestant and American Idol Ruben Studdard said. All three trainers, Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, and Dolvett Quince, return this season to help the 15 men and women on their weight loss journeys.

“We have a really good group of people. We’ve got people that are really willing to see themselves for what they are at the very beginning, which is they don’t have the ability, but they have that drive, that want,” trainer Bob Harper said.

biggest loser trainers and alison sweeney

For the first time ever, the trainers helped select the contestants, but they will also get to save them. Each trainer has one “save” this season, where they can reverse an elimination and keep a contestant on the ranch who they think deserves it. It’s an exciting first for the show.

Trainer Jillian Michaels added that the contestants change more than their physical appearances. “You don’t just see a physical transformation; you see the emotional transformation; a completely different self-image, self-worth. That to me makes all the hardship worth it.” Season 15 of The Biggest Loser premieres on Tuesday, October 8 at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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MEET THE BIGGEST LOSER 15 CONTESTANTS

Craig Arrington
Age: 30
Occupation: Warehouse Supervisor for Pharmaceutical Company
Hometown: Wilson, North Carolina
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Bob Harper Prioritizes Diet Over Exercise

Celebrity trainer and Biggest Loser coach Bob Harper recently told The TODAY Show that his philosophy on weight loss has evolved since the start of his career 20 years ago. The 48-year-old Harper is no stranger to working with the morbidly obese, and puts Biggest Loser contestants through strenuous workouts to help shed the pounds. Though exercise is still an integral part of his personal and professional life, he now believes that a balanced diet is more crucial to losing weight than exercise.

Bob and Jillian

In 2012, Harper penned a book called “The Skinny Rules,” and recently told TODAY, “It’s [weight loss] all about your diet. I used to think a long time ago that you can beat everything you eat out of you and it’s just absolutely not the case.” As a trainer, he’s helped hundreds of overweight individuals drastically improve their look and health with his insight, expertise, and Southern charm.

It’s a widely debated topic. Another famous Bob, Greene to be exact, has said the opposite, and his credentials are equally or more so impressive than Harper’s. Oprah’s best friend and trainer, and author of The Best Life, has written, “As a fitness trainer, I’d recommend that you start off by increasing your activity before you even think about what you are or aren’t putting in your mouth.”
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11 Celebrities Who CrossFit to Stay in Shape

Well folks, it’s becoming official. It seems as if strong is finally the new skinny in Hollywood. CrossFit training has continued its success and becomes more popular every day with more than 7,000 CrossFit niche, or affiliate, gyms popping up around the U.S. and 30 in New York City alone.

The CrossFit workouts usually only last between 20-35 minutes, which may seem short, but the high levels of intensity will make it seem like a lifetime. Try flipping 200 pound tractor tires for 20 minutes straight and see if you feel like doing anything afterward.

It seems with CrossFit there’s been a bit of a role reversal – where everyone else found CrossFit first and the Hollywood set dove in, too. It’s usually us chasing their methods! One of the biggest star faces the sport has is Bob Harper. The Biggest Loser trainer even built his own CrossFit gym on the ranch for his contestants this season.

“I’m drawn to CrossFit because it is so well rounded and constantly different. I have found that CF has made me more fit than I have ever been,” Bob told us. “I believe in this style of working out so much that I incorporated it onto my show and have seen tremendous results. [It's] definitely the way to go for me.”

Here’s a list of other stars who’ve been spotted getting in their quick and dirty WODs, too.
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Bob Harper’s Role on Biggest Loser Makes Him a Household Name in Fitness

Bob Harper is a personal trainer, born on August 18, 1965 in Nashville, Tennessee, most famously recognized for his appearance on the Biggest Loser. Before Bob made it big on reality television he was just a small-town farm boy trying to find his passion in life. Unlike his career path today, Bob did not participate in sports very much. After he graduated high school he attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN and then found that there wasn’t much in the Southern state for him, so he packed his bags and moved to Los Angeles, CA. There, Harper found his passion for fitness and received his fitness instructor certification from American Fitness Training of Athletics Association and the Aerobic and Fitness Associations of America.

As a personal trainer, Bob uses the “Functional Training Method.” He uses balls, free weights, and bands to train his clients. Harper’s first celebrity client was Jennifer Jason Leigh, and then his star roster grew to include such names as Ben Stiller, Ellen DeGeneres and Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2004, Harper signed on for his biggest break yet, the first season of the Biggest Loser. Bob just wrapped the show’s 13th season, which makes him the longest standing trainer with the show, and the only one there since the beginning.
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Bob Harper Launches Smart Success Dietary Supplements

Bob Harper, who has been inspiring America as a TV trainer and author from NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser since 2004, recently announced the launch of his newest endeavor, Bob Harper’s Smart Success. This line of weight loss products includes Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss Dietary Supplement, Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss Starter Kit and Bob Harper’s Smart 7-Day Cleanse.

The Smart Weight Loss Starter Kit includes a daytime formula, which contains naturally sourced caffeine to provide increased energy during the day, and an evening formula, which is caffeine-free.  The kit also includes a DVD of Harper offering diet and motivational tips and a 30-minute smart workout.  Additional products include Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss, a weight loss formula, and Bob Harper’s Smart 7-Day Cleanse,  a dietary formula made with Senna and meant to “gently flush the system of digestive waste.”

“I have helped motivate people for over 20 years by showing them how to enhance their lives by providing the tools and knowledge to make it happen through healthy diet and an active lifestyle,” said Harper in an email. “I wanted to give people another way to succeed at achieving their goal weight.”


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