Are you man enough to take on the challenge?

Gary Lockwood, Jess Eacott and Sarah Chivers from 24/7 Fitness are looking for people who want to lose three stone or more
Gary Lockwood, Jess Eacott and Sarah Chivers from 24/7 Fitness are looking for people who want to lose three stone or more
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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If you think weight loss challenges are only for women, Gary Lockwood has got news for you.

The fitness trainer is getting ready to put eight News readers through their paces for Portsmouth’s Biggest Loser – an eight-week diet and exercise overhaul that promises to get them into shape in no time.

But while plenty of women have already been in touch to tell us why they want to take part, we’re now looking for more men to put their names forward.

And Gary says any blokes who might be holding back because they think that exercise programmes and diet plans aren’t manly enough should have a re-think and give it a go.

‘There’s nothing girly about Biggest Loser,’ he laughs.

‘It’s going to be really tough so the guys need to realise that.’

Following on from the success of last year’s challenge, Gary and his team from 24/7 Fitness will pick eight readers who have been struggling to lose weight on their own.

They will help them work out every day at their gym, in Fareham or Gunwharf Quays, provide them with a strict eating plan to follow and put them through a gruelling fitness challenge every Sunday.

And the person who loses the most weight during the duration of the challenge will win some great prizes, including a year’s gym membership to 24/7 Fitness,

Gary believes that men taking part could actually see more dramatic results than women, as their bodies tend to carry more muscle than fat.

Those chosen to take part will be expected to work out every day and last year’s contestants managed to shed an incredible 19 stone between them in just three months.

Two of last year’s ‘losers’ – eventual winner Emma Hine and Gary Watson – even took part in last weekend’s Great South Run.

And with some great challenges lined up already for this year, he promises that those taking part will overhaul their body and find themselves fighting fit in no time.

‘We’ll be doing lots of circuit training, street running, weight training and things like that,’ adds Gary.

‘We’ll be going to Fratton Park for one of the Sunday challenges so I would definitely like more guys to get involved.

‘There was a little bit of rivalry last year between the men and the women.

‘I think the guys felt under pressure because they could see how hard the girls were working.

‘We’ve got two gyms now so that will give people more flexibility about where they want to work out so there really is no excuse for not taking part.’

Here’s how to enter

With free nutrition advice, personal training, health shakes and round-the-clock support, this could be the kick-start you’ve been looking for.

Putting your name forward to take part in the next Biggest Loser challenge couldn’t be simpler.

We’re looking for eight readers who have at least three stone to lose. Men should weigh no more than 25 stone and women no more than 20 stone.

You must be over the age of 18 and be available to dedicate eight weeks at the start of 2012 to the programme.

In no more than 250 words, write to us explaining why you want the chance to take part.

Include an up-to-date photograph, your current weight and how much you want to lose.

You can e-mail sarah.foster@thenews.co.uk or write to Sarah Foster, The News, The News Centre, Hilsea, Portsmouth, PO2 9SX. Please include your age, address and a daytime phone number.

You’ve got until midnight on Monday November 28 to get your entries in.

We’ll be picking the final eight before the beginning of December and the Biggest Loser challenge will get underway in the first week of January.