By Jasmine Franklin
Inspired by the popular weight loss show “The Biggest Loser,” Rip’N Ronnie’s Fitness Centre held its own competition creating ‘losers’ in only 10 weeks time.
Beginning in January and wrapping up April 2, 65 contestants put their muscles and bodies to the test in an extensive workout program and competition.
“Our winners of this program were very committed,” said gym owner Sheldon Ronnie. “We are definitely looking to make this an annual thing.”
Contestants were set up with a workout program customized to their needs by personal trainers Ronnie and Brett McCaughey. It was up to the contestants how often they would visit the gym throughout their 10 weeks.
For $100 per person plus the cost of a membership, participants received a five-week program from each trainer, two one-hour training sessions with McCaughey and Ronnie, weigh-ins including body fat, measurements and fit tests, nutritional advice and weigh-ins every second Friday.
Before a photo was taken of select contestants’ successes, they all spoke about how the program has changed their lifestyle.
“You don’t work this hard and then just quit,” said Jacqueline Dracass who lost 15¼ inches. “It has absolutely changed my life.”
Ronnie said the program was a complete success and the gym may run another fitness competition during the fall or New Year season.
Out of the 65 contestants, a handful of groups and individuals made the most progress.
Phil DeAtley took the first place prize for losing the most body fat percentage. DeAtley lost 14 per cent of his body fat in 10 weeks and received a free flight to anywhere in North America donated by Julie Evans with Julie’s Travel.
“I learned more about eating properly,” DeAtley said. “I now eat between six and seven times a day, and anything that grows,” he chuckled.
Second place prize went to Greg Wiancko who lost 35 pounds. It wasn’t easy, Wiancko explained, to lose that much weight in a short time.
“(I worked out) about four times a week for two hours,” he said. “We did a lot of weights and cardio and both trainers helped to work us out differently. It was great”
Wiancko will continue working out to keep his fitness up. “I learned a lot about muscles I didn’t even know I had.”
Wiancko won a package from Abbie’s Nails, as well as a package from Cutting Edge and tanning minutes from Tangles. Because Winacko’s package was geared more toward women, Ronnie he threw in some supplements to help even the deal.
Dracass came in third place for most inches lost and received a $100 gift certificate from Steel Magnolias to help bring in a new wardrobe for her new look.
“These three worked their (butts) off,” Ronnie said.
Honourable mention goes to Cindy Baird who lost 30 pounds making her the second biggest loser and Cindy Buss who lost 28 pounds coming in as third biggest loser.
The first-place team won four rounds of golf and a half price golf cart from Ponoka Community Golf for achieving the most weight lost as a team average. Averaging at 11.71 pounds, were Christine Swift, Krista McKnight, Julie Feragen and Ashley Bragg received first place.
In second place winning free fitness classes from McCaughey, Ronnie or his wife Jenny was Genny Rose, Lori Cook, Corrine Shalafoux and Cathy Shewchuk.
Ronnie said the sponsors for the contest played a key role. Sponsors were Julie’s Travel, Ponoka Golf Club, Steel Magnolias, Debbie’s Nails, Tangles Hair Design, Cutting Edge and Pure Strength Fitness.
New to Rip’N Ronnies
A new online program has been launched through the gym that allows individuals to receive their workout plans through emails that include a video of how to perform the workout.
“The programs are all customized online,” Ronnie said. “It’s a kind of middle ground between someone walking in off the street wanting to work out and having a trainer.”
The University of Alberta has taken interest in the program, Ronnie said.
For more information on the online program, the contest or classes offered at the gym visit www.ripnronnies.ca