Updated 24 December 2013

'Biggest Loser' trainer says fitness a mental and physical process

Biggest Loser trainer Dolvett Quince uses the survivor skills he learnt during his traumatic childhood to help unfit contestants to slim down and shape up.

As celebrity trainer Dolvett Quince challenges and prods obese, unfit contestants to slim down and shape up on the weight-loss TV show "The Biggest Loser" he also uses survivor skills acquired during his childhood to boost their self esteem.

The Los Angeles-based trainer said getting fit is a mental as well as a physical challenge. He can identify with the struggles of his outsized team because as an adopted child he was mentally and physically abused and has experienced his share of self doubt.

"I walked into an environment where education was low and discipline was high," said Quince, 40, who was born in Stamford, Connecticut, in the USA.

Read more:

Four-point component

"I understand what it's like to feel defeated and because I faced my own demons I can empower others."

Quince said fitness for people who are 45kg or more overweight, involves a lot more than push-ups.

"Health is a four-point component: emotional, physical spiritual and mental," said Quince, whose best-selling book, "The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss - Up to 4.5kg in 21 Days," was published in November 2013.

The fitness coach, who began his career at the YMCA where his clients included the elderly, mothers, teenagers and children, tries to chip away at people's personal doubts and past disappointments.

"People become extremely vulnerable as their bodies fatigue and they're going through transformations.

It's in that vulnerability that the concrete cracks and some light pushes in," he said.

Importance of fitness

Karate, yoga, hiking and basketball are included in his fitness regime. At the gym he suggests combining cardio training, usually running on a treadmill, with strength training to systematically target different muscle groups."Doing intervals keeps your body guessing," he explained.

: the complete guide to interval training

Wellness coach Lauve Metcalfe believes shows like "The Biggest Loser" can raise public awareness about the importance of fitness.

But she has concerns about the rapid weight loss, often 4.5kg a week or more, expected of contestants."A kg and a half per week is a healthier goal," said Metcalfe, who is based in Tucson, Arizona. "And the aspect of every week getting on that scale, and the shame if you haven't met (the goal), is a negative.

"Quince attributes his success in helping people get in shape to his refusal to take no for an answer."I think people don't necessarily truly love working out," he said. "I think it's more like, 'Man, must we work out? Can't we just have a drink?

"His job, he added, is to instil belief as well as to motivate people to move.

More information

How to cultivate a fit body and translate that into a fit mind

Being fit means being sexy - and who doesn't want that!

A no-excuses excercise: jump to fitness

(Picture: Dolvett Quince from Shutterstock)





Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.