33 – Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser, and prioritizing health


Bob Harper has an extensive background as a personal trainer and is perhaps best known for his role on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. He has been a part of the show since its first season in 2004 as a trainer and has recently transitioned into the role of host. He found CrossFit in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since – he incorporates CrossFit workouts on the show and has been intimately involved in the CrossFit community. You can find him working out and coaching at Brick CrossFit, taking black and white photos, or hanging out with his dog, Karl. We sat down at the 2016 CrossFit Games to record my first ever LIVE episode of Pursuing Health.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How he got started as a personal trainer
  • His introduction to CrossFit
  • How he brought CrossFit to The Biggest Loser
  • His response to a recent study showing long term results of Biggest Loser contestants
  • The most important ingredients for long-lasting lifestyle change
  • Why he is no longer a vegan
  • His current personal approach to nutrition including intermittent fasting
  • What he likes most about helping individuals achieve extreme weight loss
  • Why he loves being a trainer
  • What he wants to do when the The Biggest Loser is done
  • How he connects with clients to motivate them and build trusting relationships
  • What he does to recharge and prioritize his own fitness
  • Qualities of people he spends most of his time with
  • The impact of the introduction of new skills to CrossFit Games competition
  • How Bob programs for his clients
  • What we do for self care
  • Ways to improve mobility and flexibility
  • Recommendations for teaching children about fitness
  • What keeps me motivated now that my competitive career is over

Links mentioned on the show:

You can learn more about Bob on his website, FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

5 Responses to “33 – Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser, and prioritizing health”

  1. Fabian Mejia

    Hey Julie, great episode!

    In your first Q&A you mentioned that you may one day do an episode on goal setting and planning . Just bringing it up because I think this would be a very interesting video. Sort of how you asked Dave Castro about his daily routine, and you were able to get inside his head a bit.

    • Julie Foucher

      Thanks for the feedback, Fabian! Will look to incorporate this in an upcoming episode. -Julie

  2. ldfs

    I was a bit disappointed in Bob’s response to your question about the research that has been in the news lately talking about how the body metabolism tends to slow down and fight back against weight loss. He made it sound like the weight regain can be explained primarily by people thinking they can revert to their old ways rather than making permanent changes to the way they eat. But my understanding is that the research shows that even when people do maintain strict control of their diet, the metabolism fights back — sometimes to a pretty extreme level, if the weight loss was significant, burning hundreds of calories less per day than a person of the same weight who hadn’t dieted to get there. Would love to hear more about how people have successfully managed this challenge.

  3. Jamie Tidmore Burns

    I loved this episode. I’m a PGY2 in family medicine, mom of 2, former US team athlete and new-ish Crossfitter between my 80h work weeks at the hospital. Crossfit has become so important for me in my crazy life right now for so many reasons. Being In family medicine sometimes is a struggle because you want people to own their own health. I’m enjoying following your posts and share your hopes to make positive impacts in people’s lives through primary care. Strong work.

  4. Sarah Wheal

    Can you please re-visit with Bob now as he recovers from his MI? It would be really great to hear from him once he’s ready to talk through the process. It would be interesting to get Coach Glassman on the conversation as well as he said he’d never seen anyone have a heart attack in a gym. I am really interested in this from a clinical point of view as an ER/CCU nurse, a lover of science and Bob, and because I am just plain curious! (not trying to be inflammatory – but I was literally listening to your podcast with Coach Glassman the day Bob announced on social media what had happened to him….)


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