Strong-army tac­tics

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page - STEPHEN DOWNIE

IT WAS a grand en­try. Steve Wil­lis— aka The Com­mando — ap­peared, seem­ingly from nowhere, in the first episode of this year’s The Big­gest Loser, bark­ing the words ‘‘Where do you think you’re go­ing?’’ to the mys­ti­fied con­tes­tants who would be­come known as the Black Team.

While it was sent over­seas to train with Amer­i­can train­ers Bob and Jil­lian, the Black Team is now back un­der his con­trol.

The for­mer SAS sol­dier’s tough tech­niques are cer­tainly dif­fer­ent to those em­ployed by the other train­ers seen on the show. And that’s partly be­cause of his mil­i­tary train­ing.

‘‘If you’re ex­pected or told to do some­thing and you don’t do it, there will be con­se­quences,’’ Wil­lis says.

But he main­tains his meth­ods get re­sults.

‘‘They (Black Team) have in­creased their level of fit­ness and they’ve been ex­posed to ex­er­cise they may not have ex­pe­ri­enced at all in their lives,’’ Wil­lis says.

Of course, it’s not about driv­ing the con­tes­tants into the ground.

Wil­lis says a trainer has ‘‘got to be a chameleon’’.

‘‘You have to know what but­tons to push,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s mak­ing them be­lieve and hav­ing con­fi­dence in them­selves. A lot of peo­ple just dis­count them­selves and lack the faith to un­der­take the task, whether that’s ex­er­cise or any­thing else in life.’’

One point Wil­lis is ea­ger to make is that while The Big­gest Loser is ul­ti­mately a re­al­ity show with prize­money at stake, this doesn’t mean a lot if peo­ple haven’t changed inside.

‘‘Who cares who wins the money at the end of the day. If they have changed their out­look on life then we’ve done our job,’’ he says.

Tough trainer:

for­mer SAS sol­dier Steve Wil­lis.

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