The Biggest Loser was first introduced on NBC back in 2004.
The series quickly gained a huge audience with outspoken trainers like Jillian Michaels creating a competition where the winner was the person who shed the most weight.
Not just Michaels, but she and Bob Harper worked in tandem as they used various motivation techniques for morbidly obese contestants to stick to the rigorous exercise and dieting that would ensure their weight-loss goals.
Eventually, the show ended in 2016, only to be resurrected by USA Network with a whole new crew and ethos on the format of the competition.
Newly revamped, The Biggest Loser premiered on USA Network on Jan. 28. Bob Harper is the main star, and the new trainers are Steve Cook and Erica Lugo, who joined Harper for the 10-episode weight-loss competition series.
Who is Steve Cook?
Endemol Shine North America is producing the new Biggest Loser, in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio. Along with Harper, they enlisted Steve Cook and Erica Lugo as the new trainers.
In an interview with Men’s Health, Cook shared he grew up in a “fitness-minded family” and had to do push-ups during commercial breaks if he wanted to watch TV.
According to his official biography, Cook is a native of Idaho from a large family, and who is also a bodybuilder that uses social media not just to show off his physique.
He describes himself as an “influencer” too, citing brands and shout outs to designers in many of his Instagram posts with his 2.6 million followers.
USA Network described the series as a “360-degree view of what it takes to make a serious lifestyle change, rather than focus solely on weight loss,” in an updated approach to the series premise for a modern audience more in tune with body positivity.
What did Cook say during the Television Critics’ Association?
Monsters & Critics’ was present and participated in the Television Critics’ Association winter tour panel.
USA Network introduced Bob Harper, Erica Lugo, and Steve Cook, along with Heather Olander, Senior Vice President of USA’s Alternative Series Development & Production.
When one TV critic asked if the series would jettison the previous gimmicks of garbage bags to sweat it out, Cook said: “Hydration was key. So everyone had to, they were checked for hydration, and we were very big on this really being about self-love.
“And at the end of the day, if you don’t have that, you might lose weight on the show, but what’s going to happen when you go home when you haven’t dealt with those issues.”
Clarifying his answer, he added: “So it wasn’t about cheating the system, about staying there. They knew it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint.
“And when we were training people, it was really hammering that home to them, like, ‘Hey. This here, yes, there’s a prize money at the end, but the real victory is that lifelong being here for your kids in 20 plus years.’”
A follow-up question asked if the trainers required contestants to be kept from doing things that might endanger their health so they can lose weight to stay on the show, Cook replied.
He said that they all needed to hit a certain amount of calories, and worked with the dietician each week. They would go over blood work as well as each person’s specific diet for their week.
This is the healthiest way to lose weight, the way we go about it with the doctors, with the dieticians. They are drinking lots of water, staying hydrated, and it shows in their blood work.
The Biggest Loser airs Tuesday at 9/8c on USA Network.