By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
A challenge to change
Health is prize of contest
Personal training director Tiffani Hartley helps a client work out with with a band at Gold's Gym. - photo by Jennifer Sami
In this contest, about 100 people are trying to lose.

But in the end, just 25 will be selected to compete in the Gold’s Gym Lose Big with Gold’s weight-loss challenge.

“It’s really about changing your lifestyle,” said Tiffani Hartley, personal training director. “It’s not about coming in and losing a bunch of weight. We want these people to change their lives.”

The 25 people chosen to participate will begin the six-week program Feb. 15 at the Gold’s Gym in Cumming.

The gym has extended the offer to target teachers, public safety workers and other community role models, as well as its members.

Contestants will be chosen based on need, health, personal stories and other factors. Those selected will be announced next week.

They will be given free access to the gym, nutrition counseling, coaching and three personal training sessions a week.

What contestants choose to do with the remaining time is up to them, Hartley said.

“When you have a 400-pound guy or a 200-pound woman, if they work just as hard, you’re probably going to see the biggest weight loss with the person who is heavier,” she said. “But if the 200-pound person works harder ... they’re probably going to lose more weight.

“If people work hard, they could drop a good 25 to 30 pounds during that six-week time.”

Gym manager Tina Thatcher said contestants won’t reach their goal in the first six weeks, but “we’re going to give people that boost start for something that they have wanted to do for a while.”

“I think that it will help them not only feel better about themselves, but I think it will be a positive thing on their whole lives,” she said.

The 25 competitors will be divided into groups of five. Hartley said the goal is to make sure teams are evenly matched, while trying to group by available schedules.

Teams will work out together with the personal trainer three times a week, and are encouraged to pair up for additional workouts.  

While there will be only one biggest loser, the team with the greatest overall loss will also win a prize.

“That way, people focus on working with teams, plus they’re working with other people in the community, which I think is really cool,” Hartley said.  “We just wanted to do something to branch out in the community ... to help give back.”

Thatcher said the contest could become an annual, semiannual or quarterly event.

“We’re hoping to do more,” she said. “If we can help people, we’re going to continue to try to help people.”

Several companies have stepped up as sponsors for prizes, which include gift certificates, massages, a bicycle and anything related to helping winners reach their fitness goals.

Gold’s will also be giving gym membership prizes.

“The ultimate prize here is their health,” Hartley said.