The drive behind this year's Fittest Loser Challenge contestants can be found in the seven personal trainers from Push Fitness in Schaumburg. Each of the competitors will be fueled with nutrition advice, guided through rigorous workouts and encouraged over the next 12 weeks by these highly skilled fitness experts.
Michelle Amsden is a certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor with nine years experience in weight loss. Amsden, a marathon runner, has competed in three marathons and three half marathons.
She specializes in a variety of training styles for weight loss and muscle toning. She is passionate about health, running and training hard. According to Amsden, the best part of her job is encouraging, teaching and pushing her clients to work hard within their capabilities.
Amsden is teamed up with competitor John Bohanek.
A NASM-certified personal trainer, Steve Amsden is in his sixth year participating in the Fittest Loser Challenge. He trained the winner of the first competition, Lisa Notarnicola, in 2009.
Amsden has more than a decade of training experience in all facets of fitness and nutrition. He specializes in cardio strength training, which entails high-intensity circuits utilizing free weights, kettlebells, medicine balls, etc. His style is ideal for fat loss, muscle gain, body shaping and overall toning.
"I have little tolerance for excuses and complaining," he says. "Everyone wants results, but that only comes with discipline, hard work and dedication."
This year Amsden is training contestant Tim Lange.
M. Brodie Medlock
M. Brodie Medlock is a licensed chiropractor and NASM-certified trainer with a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon and a doctor of chiropractic degree from Parker College of Chiropractic.
Medlock, a lifelong athlete, has competed in soccer, basketball, football and track. He currently enjoys participating in CrossFit competitions, sprint triathlons and myriad adventure races to stoke his competitive fire.
Medlock implements the latest exercise and nutritional research into his clients' programs to enable them to realize their greatest potential for living. He utilizes a wide variety of fitness modal to build fitness levels while maintaining peak client focus on constant goal-setting and achievement.
Medlock is paired with contestant Chris Kalamatas.
Wade Merrill, who trained the winner of the 2012 Fittest Loser Challenge, Michael White, is a certified personal trainer and boot camp instructor with eight years experience. He and his wife, Joanna, enjoy running, biking and training together.
ACSM-certified, Merrill specializes in weight-loss training, high-intensity boot camp training as well as stabilization training. Seeing the evidence of a changed lifestyle is Merrill's favorite part of personal training.
Merrill is working with contestant Allie Monroe.
Personal trainer and owner of Push Fitness in Schaumburg, Joshua Steckler received a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Indiana University. He is ACSM certified with 16 years experience.
Steckler, who trained the winner of the 2011 Fittest Loser Challenge, Bob Pearson, specializes in high-intensity, total-body and functional training styles to enhance fat loss and muscle density and enjoys combining ballistic movements with functional exercises to improve body composition, strength, power and stability.
He enjoys training in the gym, but really loves getting outside and staying active through running, hiking and mountain biking.
Steckler is training Lisa Jones Townsel.
A former softball and volleyball athlete, Lindsay Vigna is a CrossFit certified trainer with six years experience. She specializes in varied functional movements designed to improve strength, stability and flexibility. A cross-fit competitor herself, she understands how competition can bring out the best in people.
Vigna is training Cheryl Seibert.
Brad Parotto will teach the weekly boot camps and organize a run club to help prepare the contestants for a 5K run. He has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Western Illinois University.
Parotto is a NSCA certified trainer with nine years experience. He specializes in sport-specific training designed to prepare an athlete for events such as triathlons or marathons using functional circuit training and high intensity interval training. He's a lifelong track and field athlete and has completed several marathons.