A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Strong highlights building physical and emotional strength as a way of being healthy but also celebrates weight loss. There's some occasional strong language (with curses bleeped) and some competitive behavior. Exercises are often physically aggressive, and trainers motivate by being positive, yelling, and, on occasion, teasing.
What's the story?
Executive-produced by Sylvester Stallone, STRONG is a reality competition designed to highlight getting stronger rather than just getting thinner. Hosted by Olympic volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, the reality series features 10 top male trainers with different fitness backgrounds and approaches teaming up with physically unfit women to help them build their physical and mental strength. Each episode features the teams competing side by side in a power challenge, the loser of which must head to the obstacle course in the Elimination Tower. The winning team chooses the pair that will battle against them to stay in the game. The team remaining at the end of the competition wins $500,000. At the end of each show, the eliminated contestant's weight loss transformation, with the continued help of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, is revealed.
Is it any good?
This unoriginal competition attempts to underscore that getting healthy and building strength shouldn't be the only goal when working out. As such, most of the conversations throughout the workouts and challenges are about being physically and emotionally strong enough to get through it. Nonetheless, weight loss is happily revealed as part of the women's success stories.
Despite the lack of weigh-ins, there's enough competitive -- and sometimes unpleasant -- behavior, especially among the trainers, to stir things up. The ongoing training sessions in between challenges also get a little tedious. Folks may be inspired by the whole thing, but despite the claims it makes, it really doesn't offer anything new.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to be fit vs. being thin. What is the difference? Can you be thin and still be unhealthy? Do TV shows such as this one clearly send this message to viewers? Why, or why not? How can these messages affect the way people understand how their bodies look and work?
What does your family do to stay healthy? Is it fun? What are the benefits?
For kids who love reality TV
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