PLATTSBURGH - After the success from the first North Country's Biggest Loser, applications are now being accepted for a second season, which promises to be bigger and better.
Last year, 10 people were selected to take part in the first ever North Country's Biggest Loser. In all, the participants collectively lost more than 300 pounds in just four months.
Although there were only 10 who were chosen, more than 40 applications were sent in, leading organizers to consider adding more for this season.
"All 43 [applicants] deserved to be in the program," said organizer Steve Peters, superintendent of recreation for the city of Plattsburgh. "That really led me to wonder, well what would it take to do all 40 people?"
Finally the decision was made to go ahead with 40 participants, with four teams of 10 people being created, instead of one large group. However, there will be some more familiar faces within the groups.
"One of the cool parts is that we are including last year's Biggest Losers as coaches," Peters explained. "Two per group."
Peters said last year's team had a "cohesiveness" that he's hoping they bring to the groups this year.
"They need to kind of ... gel a little bit and be their own support network," he explained. "That's what happened last year with the group and it really was amazing."
Applications for this season will be due by Sunday, Sept. 12, with the first gathering of the chosen participants being at this year's Heart Walk, Sept. 25.
"That'll be the first time they'll meet as a group," said Peters. "They're going to walk as a part of the Heart Walk group. They will choose whether they want to do the 5K or just the mile."
The first official weigh in will follow the walk. Then the next meeting will be Oct. 4, when the weight training, circuit training and cardio workouts will begin, with classes being held every Tuesday and Thursday, through April 1.
However, those who are selected for this season should next expect to see the same kind of results as contestants on NBC's The Biggest Loser.
"No one should expect to see that kind of weight loss," Peters said. "That's not the program. We're looking for safe weight loss."
Another difference in this year's program is participants are expected to be a $100 fee to cover the expense of the personal trainers. The membership to the city gym will remain free of charge.
"We want everyone to have a little skin in the game. And the pocketbook is probably one of the better places to put that," explained Peters. "We want to make sure that people, when they make that commitment, they're making that commitment, not just mentally, but financially as well; so they're hopefully compelled to show up and be a part of it."
Last year's personal trainer Mary Duprey will continue this season, but three more people are still needed, and Peters is currently accepting applications for that as well.
The addition of the personal trainers is something Peters sees as a huge benefit, not only for the program, but for the city gym as well.
"It will get three more people into the facility as personal trainers," he said. "It will probably open doors to provide personal training here, which we don't provide. To have that kind of insight that we don't have yet, that will get us to another level. I think it will benefit all of the members in the long run."
Applications for the North Country's Biggest Loser can be picked up at the city gym, 52 U.S. Oval, or can be found on-line at www.plattsburghrecreation.com. For more information, contact Peters at 324-7709.