'Biggest Loser' Trainer Bob Harper on His New Online Fitness Club, Jessica Simpson's Body and Missing Jillian Michaels (EXCLUSIVE)
Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper has teamed with Watch It Now Entertainment to launch a new online fitness club that allows fans to receive the 48-year-old Nashville native's healthy tips from the comfort of their own homes.
Harper was kind enough to chat with Celebuzz this week about his new business venture, available on his website, BobHarper.com, during which we got the scoop on what inspired the great idea to begin with and what results he's already seen from his clients.
We also spoke about his 13 seasons with The Biggest Loser, his plans for the summer and what changes, if any, he'd like to see on the hit NBC series. (Hint: It involves bringing Jillian Michaels back!)
Below, check out the full interview with Harper, then be sure to check out his online fitness club by clicking here.
CELEBUZZ: So, tell us more about the Online Fitness Club. How is it going? BOB HARPER: It's going really well. I'm really excited about it ... People would come up and talk to me and say, "If I had you as a trainer, I would be able achieve these results." And so I thought, "Okay, well, how can I get to be everyone's trainer without having to go to everyone's house?" So, I decided to put together to online club. It's recipes; it's workouts; it's motivational stuff. I've really tied to create all of the stuff that I do on the show.
CB: Is this something that I or anyone can take part in? BH: Oh, absolutely. I try to make it scalable. I get people who have never worked out before. I give different scalabilities to people who have been working out for awhile and can take the workouts up to another level. I pretty much have a consistent way of talking about nutrition with people. The nutrition is pretty much the same, of course, with people who are more active as they would be bringing their calories up more.
CB: Have you received a lot of positive feedback form those who have signed up? BH: Absolutely. The people who help me with my social networking have been keeping track and following these people who have been with me only for a few weeks on BobHaprer.com. They've lost 10, 20 -- I have one girl who lost almost 30 pounds already. It seems like it's really working.
CB: I would imagine the Online Fitness Club is a lot less stressful than, say, The Biggest Loser. BH: [Laughs] I think pretty much anything I do is less stressful than The Biggest Loser. That is a juggernaut of a job. That's why it's been a lot of fun going in and shooting these workouts with these people. Also, because I've been working with morbidly obese people for so long, with my online club, I've been just kind of working with the average person, for lack of a better phrase, and it's been great. It's been a lot of fun to work with a different body types.
CB: What has been your biggest struggle with getting new clients to start working out? BH: It's that initial period. I think that people who haven't worked out in a long time put so much pressure on themselves. I remind people that I have worked with [others] who have weighed over 500 lbs, and who have lost half their body weight. It just takes making changes in that first day. I really try to get people not to stress too much about it, and not put too much pressure on themselves. For some people who hasn't worked out before, maybe the first thing I say is, "You know what? Here's the first thing I want you to do: Go to lunch today, and order a healthier choice. That's gonna be your workout for the day." It gets people's minds in the arena that I want them to be in.
CB: You also have a Smart Success line. Tell us more about that. BH: I've realized there are times when you're being really active that you need some sort of supplements. One of the things that I have people take all the time is just a multivitamin. One thing that's part of my Smart Success program is having something as simple as that. Also, when it comes to a "fat-burner," I know that it's just that boost that can actually work for some people.
CB: I love my job very much, but I get sick of it sometimes; do you ever get sick of exercising? BH: [Laughs] Yeah, of course. Are you kidding me? But I will say this: Exercise is a real stress-reliever for me; it's therapy for me. Working out, for me, is not what it can be for some people. It's not like some sort of albatross that's around my neck. It's something that I really do look forward to, because I know that it makes me feel better. That's what I try to get people to do. People are always like, "Oh, I know I need to work out, but I hate running!" And I'm like, "Well, don't ever run, because why would you do something that you hate to do?" You have to find something that you like to do that you're basically gonna get a sweat for at least 30 minutes a day. Whatever that is, and if it's legal, then I'm all for it.
CB: When was the last time you splurged on a big meal? BH: In my book that I just wrote that's a number-one New York Times bestseller, The Skinny Rules, my rule 20 is, have a splurge meal once a week. I just had it on Sunday. I had pizza with some friends of mine. One time a week, I'm gonna have whatever it is that I've been craving, or just wanting. I think when you do that, it takes the mystery and the romance out of that food that people have built such a relationship with. It's like, "Oh, Bob's telling me that I can have this; I just can't have it every day."
CB: You've been on The Biggest Loser from the beginning; how long do you see it continuing, and is there anything about it you would change? BH: I just wrapped up season 13. I think that it definitely still has legs; I think it's going to be around for awhile ... I would love to have Jillian [Michaels] back on the show, and it would just be the two of us really going back to what the show was built on. I really loved that feeling that she and I really created. If that could ever happen, that would be great. I don't know if it ever could, but I think that she and I working together was pretty magical.
CB: Have you met her new kid yet? BH: Oh yeah! I've met both of them.
CB: So, obviously, you still keep in touch with her, then. BH: She's a really good friend. I'm trying to get her into CrossFit. I'm really obsessed with CrossFit. She's really scared of it. She's like, "Oh, I don't want to get big and muscular! It's gonna be too hard!" It's like, "Oh, Jillian. Shut up. Let's just go work out."
CB: Do you have any advice for Jessica Simpson as she gears up to join Weight Watchers? BH: I think it's all going to come down to what Jessica is eating. I think it seems like she definitely likes her food. [Laughs] So I think that Weight Watchers is going to be really great for her, because it's going to be basically portion control, and I think that's what she's really going to have to learn.
CB: Do you think that there is too much emphasis on losing the pounds right after celebrities give birth? BH: I think so, but I think a lot of times they bring it on themselves. I think that they're just kind of like, "Oh, I've got to get back to the way that I used to be; everyone's got their eyes [on me]." I don't know how that's become such a snowball effect. When a woman goes through that major transformation with having a baby, it's like, "You know what? As long as you're a.) taking care of your baby and yourself, It's all going to work out." ... You see these freaks of nature, like Heidi Klum, who can have a baby and then, like, a week later she's back on the runway. I don't get how that's even possible.
CB: You've done a lot in your career already; is there anything you haven't done that you'd like to? BH: I want to do a LIVE! With Kelly [episode]. I want to help [Kelly Ripa] host that show. I think I’d be a great addition with her. I love her. She’s hilarious, and I think we’d have the best time. So can you make that happen, please?
CB: Lastly, as a lighter question: Any big plans for the summer? BH: Well, I'm going to Mexico with two of my best friends tomorrow; we're going to Cabo. And then I'm gonna try to get to Paris. I do photography. I want to try to get to Europe for a couple of weeks and just do a little photography while I'm over there.