We've all seen the weight loss shows. The Biggest Loser went on for years as they churned out hundreds of contestants who'd transformed their lives – at least for the duration of the programme. But in 2016, a new concept hit the American airwaves – Strong. Going along with the competitive reality theme, the difference here is that the aim is to become stronger – mentally and physically, with far less emphasis on weight loss.
10 normal, but slightly overweight women are paired with 10 top male trainers. The contestants are easy to identify with. They are largely working mums with busy lives who have struggled to cope with the life that has been thrown at them.
They are paired up with the trainers to create 10 teams. Each team must then train and prepare for a series of challenges. The team that finishes last in the challenge will go to the tower and the winning team gets the advantage of picking the second team to go to the tower. The tower is a mammoth series of physically grueling challenges that are designed to test the mental and physical fortitude of the contestants.
The team that makes it to the top of the tower first stays in the competition. The team that loses goes home. Well actually, they don't go home, they stay on to finish out the 10 weeks but they are eliminated from the show. As each team wins various challenges they are award medals which are worth $25,000 each. The more you collect, the more you can potentially win if you are the last woman standing and the Strong winner.
As a concept, the show is great. There is virtually no mention of weight loss. Instead, stats are provided on muscle mass, body fat percentage, and resting heart rate. However, rather than just sticking with the premise of the show, and maybe showing us mere mortals some of the workouts or handy tips, they focus too much on the drama between trainers. I guess the producers think we need ten grown men bitching at each other to keep us entertained. We don't. So in that respect, they missed a trick.
Also, only one season of Strong was ever made which is a shame. But if you want a show with a bit of twist, Strong is very positive and motivating and might just give you a push to do a little bit more.