After reading an article from the consumer edition of American Fitness called “Intrisically Powered” I was intrigued by the program AFAA, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. The article highlighted the disturbing statistics of childhood obesity and how children diagnosed as obese are given shorter life sentences than their own parents. Childhood obesity has climbed 300% since 1980. This rapidly growing nutrition related problem is one of many problems which the AFAA is trying to work against. The AFAA has tackled not only the challenge of youth fitness, but the fitness of these kids’ parents, and for the whole population.
The AFAA currently has a website which provides a wide variety of tools for those who want to become certified trainers, complete with proper licensing and mandatory training updates. The new program which the AFAA is now offering is called Biggest Loser Live Training. The participants of this program are eligable to work with clients in online and onsite settings. The perameters for the clients who want to participate are simple. You can simply just sign up online, and pay the monthly fee of $19.99 which is much less than a gym membership. Data is collected about the individual at the beginning, including weight, height, gender and age. By following the guidelines of how to eat, how to exercise, what to do and how often, the clients record what they do and eat onto their profile. The data is analyzed and interpreted by producing graphs and charts showing the clients changing weight, body composition, clothing size, cholesterol levels, etc. The population targeted is those who are overweight and want to take steps to change. Certain priorities are set for each client, according to their body composition and ability level. Criteria that the clients share individualizes their goals even more, such as their occupation, their own weight loss goals and their personal motivation. The plan of action is to not only utilize the expert advice of the licensed trainers, but to customize each plan of action. The system is designed to have goals that are approachable, not unreachable. The workout/eating plan for each client is very flexible. If the client doesn’t like the particular menu for that day, they can choose a different one. If the client is having a hard to getting motivated, the buddy challenge is suggested – grab a friend and do it together, motivate each other. I like how innovative this approach is not only because the client can do it in the privacy of their own home, but they can get online and be interactive with others using message boards to talk with other participants and trainers about fitness and weight loss topics, for support and for encouragement.