Health & Fitness

Trainers face off at fitness showcase

Weight-loss hopefuls work out with Release Candidate, the host of the Battle of the Trainers at the Crest Theatre this weekend. Contestants will walk the stage in swimwear.
Weight-loss hopefuls work out with Release Candidate, the host of the Battle of the Trainers at the Crest Theatre this weekend. Contestants will walk the stage in swimwear.

Dozens of Sacramento-area residents will strut onto the Crest Theatre stage in their skivvies Sunday night, eager to show off their new bods and win their trainers a bit of dough.

During the first Battle of the Trainers, local fitness professionals will face off to see whose trainees lost the most weight and built the most muscle. Each participating trainer developed a 90-day fitness program and enrolled eight to 10 clients.

Those contestants will don bathing suits at the showcase and walk across the stage while their “before and after” photos flash across a screen overhead. It will be up to the judges to decide which of the training groups best achieved their fitness goals.

Making the challenge a public competition amps up long-term training programs, said Elsie Bobo of Release Candidate, the fitness company that launched the competition. “The stage is a very good way to get people to stay on track,” Bobo said. “If they know they have to step up at the Crest in a bikini, they’re not going to cheat as much.”

Release Candidate held its own showcases at the Crest twice before, but this will be the first time it has gotten other trainers involved. Its training groups will go up against competitors from S& B Elite Fitness and Pulse Fitness, both in Roseville. The groups will compete for trophies, but no cash prizes.

People join the Release Candidate program to lose weight, start a bodybuilding career or just live a healthier life, Bobo said. For many, Sunday will be the first time they’ve ever felt confident enough to get up on a stage in a bathing suit. She expects the crowd to be full of family, friends and co-workers of contestants.

“Basically on Sunday, bring a tissue box,” she said. “When you see these people step on stage and their before and after (picture) comes up on the screen and they have so much pride in all their hard work, it’s really hard not to want to start your journey, or support the journeys of others.”

Janeane Britt, 58, said Release Candidate helped her turn her life around after her husband’s death.

Living in Humboldt County, she was stuck in a rut of depression and binge smoking until she moved to Sacramento for a fresh start. She started cycling 20 miles a day but it wasn’t enough, so she joined the program.

“Physical health is your infrastructure to your best well-being,” she said. “For me, it was about fixing my infrastructure. I wanted to dig deep, to be accountable to myself, for it to be so hard that I could hardly do it anymore.”

No longer a smoker, Britt gets up at 3 a.m. and does 200 repetitions of five different exercises. Then she goes to the gym, works and takes two fitness classes afterward. She tops it all off with an evening jog.

She has lost 35 pounds in the past few months and now wears a size 6 instead of 14, she said. She called her transformation “crazy mind-blowing” and said that having others to lean on was a big part of getting through it.

“You see these people change and you see them lose an inch and they’re just so excited,” she said. “How can you help but be excited by that? I just admire the hell out of these people.”

Britt said she wasn’t nervous about getting up on stage Sunday. She sees it as a way to “pay it forward” by motivating someone else.

“If you’re an artist and you just learned how to do art and you paint something incredibly beautiful, you wouldn’t hide it in the closet,” she said. “You’d want somebody to see it. Then they see it and it inspires somebody else and then somebody else. … It’s celebrating that, and it’s proving to other people that you can do this. If I did this, you can do this.”

Tickets to Battle of the Trainers cost $20 and can be purchased at The show begins at 5 p.m.

Sammy Caiola: 916-321-1636, @SammyCaiola

Battle of the Trainers

Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K St. Sacramento

When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28

Tickets: $20, buy them at