The Australian public are falling in love with the new fit chick on the block. Libby Babet has joined Channel Ten’s The Biggest Loser Transformed as trainer, motivator and mentor for the Orange Team and she’s killing it.
Of course she is. Libby is actually a health and fitness veteran (in the ‘expert’ sense!). Libby started The BUF Girls, Australia’s first ‘entertrainment’ group and co-founded the athletic performance studio Agoga in Bondi. She also co-founded Chief Bar. She’s a journalist, blogger and all round total fitspo.
So it makes sense that she’s the person The Biggest Loser chose to help their contestants make sustainable changes to their lifestyles in order to get fitter and healthier. She’s holistic and realistic, she’s not about restrictive diets or tough love.
As one journo said “Sure, she’s way too perky, chipper and nice, helpful and sincere, but dammit while I didn’t want to love her, I think I just might.”
And it’s no surprise. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of being trained by Libby both in a small group at her Agoga studio, and as part of a mass of lycra-clad women at The BUF Girls’ first live event last year.
She has unrivalled passion, energy and enthusiasm for fitness and fun. I love how she focusses on health, technique and having a good time with it rather than numbers on a scale. For Libby, it’s about how you feel, not how you look. It’s so refreshing!
And how fantastic that she now gets to share her positive vibe with the whole of Australia! I’m thrilled for Libby, she deserves every ounce of success for all the great messages she puts out in this world.
The Biggest Loser Transformed
I caught up with the new queen of the small screen to to find out what it’s like being part of such a massive TV phenomenon.
What was the biggest challenge for YOU joining the Biggest Loser team?
Learning how to do what I do within the parameters of a TV environment. It’s a lot harder to get people to open up when they have 5 cameras in their face and you have time constraints, so there was definitely a learning curve there.
Also the long hours of TV were tough to get used to for someone who’s usually in bed before the clock hits double digits 😉
Is the rivalry between you and Shannon fierce or friendly?
Both fierce AND friendly… we are both crazy competitive and wanted our team members to be in the competition for as long as possible, so we could create the most change possible in their lives. That brought out a serious amount of fierce vibes on set as the series heated up, but as soon as we walked off screen, we’d be laughing and joking like brother and sister!
Proudest Biggest Loser moment?
It’s happening right now, watching the contestants take all the nutrition, mindset and workout knowledge they gathered in the competition and apply it to their home environments.
This is where all the hard work and long hours is worth it, to see them succeed without us in their own worlds, with the challenges of work, kids and social lives threatening to throw them off course! They’re nailing it.
And biggest frustration?
It’s always hard pioneering new territory – in this case a show that straddles the worlds of entertainment and education, rather than just going for the easy win and creating more tabloid tv. Although it’s called The Biggest Loser, this series is really different to others in that we’ve transformed the format and included nutrition, cooking, psychology, and the gamification of fitness.
It’s really cool and I hope more and more of Australia will tune in as the series goes on, cheer on our champions and transform their own lives a little in the process. I like to think of this series as a hybrid of TBL, Survivor, Masterchef and Big Brother!
Your top 3 tips for people wanting to overhaul their lives to get healthy and fit?
- Focus on more movement, not just smashing yourself with exercise. It’s more effective to walk for 60 minutes cumulatively each day than to sit in a chair all week and then smash yourself with a two-hour workout on the weekend that leaves you too sore to train for another week. Be smart about it, look for little opportunities to sneak in 10 minutes of interval work at home before hitting the shower, take a walk or jog at lunch time, stretch while you watch television at night, or knock out some squat reps in the ad breaks. It all adds up!
- Don’t fall for “diets” with sensationalist/catchy names. Just focus on simple and sustainable nutrition by cutting out as many processed/packaged foods, fried foods, added sugars and refined grains as you can, opting for fresh vegetables, salad, fruit, meats, seafood, nuts, seeds and wholegrains instead. The odd treat or convenience food is totally cool and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it, but they shouldn’t make up more than 10-20% of your diet.
- Find a community to belong to. I am a BIG advocate for group fitness because it adds a lifestyle element to your workouts that creates accountability, introduces you to epic workout buddies and events, and sprinkles what you’re doing with fun.
Most common mistake you see?
Focusing too much just on weight loss. Get fit to find a sense of community, boost your energy, become more capable, create laser-sharp focus, build strength, achieve a goal, set a great example for your family.
You don’t have to have a certain body shape to be healthy and fit, it’s all about how it makes you feel and what it helps you do more of.
Most motivating track to work out to?
Hmm… I don’t know about a specific track but there’s a DJ on SoundCloud I love called DJ Benzi, from the States. His mix tapes are ACE.
Fave meal ever?
Roast veggies drizzled with tahini… SO GOOD!
Can you pick a favourite baby – BUF Girls, Agoga, Chief Bar or Biggest Loser?!
Ohhh that’s hard! I love them all in different ways, as they all help me reach different communities in unique ways.
I will say at the moment, it’s really beautiful watching the BUF Girls movement spread Australia-wide. With group class locations popping up everywhere, and amazing women coming together to do something so unique in the fitness world. So maybe the Beautiful, Unstoppable, Fearless girls win for now 😉
If you could train anyone in the world, who would it be?
That’s a hard question! I’m not fazed by celebrities. I’d rather be working with the young woman nobody knows, who doesn’t feel good about herself, and doesn’t see her worth. I’d rather work with her and help her find a whole new lease on life.
Love your answers, thank you lovely Libby.