One- On -One With Bob Harper

Craig Ballantyne shares with us an exclusive interview with fitness expert, television star and author Bob Harper. Bob is one of the most successful health and lifestyle experts in the world. The success of the show “The Biggest Loser” and Harper’s brand has led to the creation of his own DVDs, supplements, books, motivational speaking engagements and personal appearances.


Q: Bob, you have an incredible amount of experience in helping men and women make dramatic transformations. What do you see as the three easiest diet fixes that the average American can make to jumpstart their results?

A: One thing that I see all the time is people consuming so many calories from the drink choices they make on a daily basis.  If people just cut out their drinking calories, i.e. juices, special coffee drinks & smoothies, to name a few, they will jumpstart their weight loss.

The second thing I see is people in the gym that continue to do the same thing every day. They walk into the gym and jump on the eliptical, for instance, put their headsets on, watch TV and ride that contraption for 45 minutes and then they ask me why they have hit a plateau.  You need to mix things up in your workouts and challenge yourself.

Get you of your comfort zone if you are not seeing the results that you are looking for.  It works!!  Finally, the third thing that people can do to jumpstart their results is to make sure they are getting a proper combo of their macro-nutrients.  When you sit down do a meal, or a snack look for 3 things, a portion (3-5 oz) of protein, a portion (approx 27 grams) of carbohydrates, mainly in the form of fruits and veggies, except for breakfast when you can get complex carbs (oatmeal is a great example) & a portion (9-15 grams) of fat.  Your body needs to be balanced every time you eat and when you makes sure to combine your 3 macro-nutrients, you will feel fuller, longer.

Q: What’s your workout progression for someone just getting off the couch, or someone that is doing a lot of cardio (no weighs) but is not
getting great results?

A: After consulting your doctor about starting a workout routine, I’m a big fan of CrossFit.  It challenges your metabolic conditioning and also incorporates weight training, which is very important to strengthening the body.  The best part about doing CrossFit is that it can be scaled to no matter your fitness level.  I have seen supreme athletes do it and I do it on my show with morbidly obese people looking to lose weight.

Q: Let’s move on to some advanced tips…what are your favorite fat burning and “polishing up” techniques for the last few weeks of a
transformation or before a big event?

A: Never underestimate the power of weight training.  The more lean muscle the body has, the more fat burning you will be.  Incorporate weights like kettlebells, dumbells or barbells into your routine and you will turn your body into a fat burning machine.

Q: I read a profile on you in Men’s Fitness a few months ago. Looks like you are training pretty hard. What do Bob’s workouts look like on a day when he’s off from Biggest Loser filming?

A: I train very hard 5-6 days a week.  My passion, if you haven’t already guessed is CrossFit.  One aspect of CrossFit is Olympic lifting, Snatches, Clean & Jerks along with power lifting, back squats, front squats & overhead squats.  I love training like this because it challenges me more than I have ever been challenged before.  I have an Oly Coach, Michael Casey that has completely transformed my body.  I feel like at this point in my life, I am in the best shape of my life.  My workouts are hard, sweaty and above all else, EXTREMELY CHALLENGING!  You will find me on the floor of Brick CrossFit in Los Angeles, on any given day in a pool of sweat gasping for air.

Q: Last question, and quick funny story…while I was on holidays in London earlier this year, I believe I saw you in the lobby bar at
Claridges Hotel…but I didn’t want to disturb your conversation with friends. Since you probably travel so much and maintain an incredibly
busy schedule, could you share your top diet and exercise tips for staying lean and fit while doing so?

A: That is hilarious because I was there and that was definitely me!!  You should have said hello.  I do travel a lot and what I do to stay lean & fit is I always find time to workout while I’m on the road.  I love checking out different CrossFit gyms around the world and also, and this is very important, I really try to limit my complex carbs to only the morning.  Finally, I try to walk A LOT when traveling because Im a street photographer so pounding the pavement to capture moments is not only a passion of mine but it keeps me fit.

You can read more about Bob Harper, including information on his brand new “Skinny Rules” Workout Series DVDs at

Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer