Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom on The Biggest Loser
09/11/2014 AT 06:30 PM EDT
Joining returning trainer Dolvett Quince are Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom, whom PEOPLE chatted with exclusively about their first season. Before tuning in to the Season 16 premiere of The Biggest Loser (Thursday at 8 p.m./7c on NBC), here are five things to know about Pavelka and Widerstrom.
1. Every successful team has a strong motto.
Finding motivation is a huge issue in itself, so Pavelka and Widerstrom have taken it under their belt to create a slogan with their teams to stay dedicated.
“I tell my team to ‘Take the body and the mind will follow,’ says Pavelka. “I tell them to commit to five minutes – that’s it – and then the mind will catch up with that.”
When we spoke to Widerstrom early on in the season, she already had several mottos. “I say, ‘Get uncomfortable,’ a lot,” says Widerstrom. “What I use the workouts to do and hard conversations to do is to ‘get uncomfortable,’ shaking things out and find out that as uncomfortable as that may feel, you’re actually okay.”
2. Dig deep to get healthy.
Pavelka likes to think of himself as “hard with heart,” and focuses more on the feeling of the body than on the scale’s numbers.
“I think weight loss is a side effect of doing it right, feeling good, and falling in love with the feeling of exercise,” says Pavelka. The contestants aren’t the only ones helping each other compete to success. “I have to give Jessie credit for this quote, but ‘weight loss is not the answer to obesity,'” Widerstrom quotes of fellow trainer Pavelka. “It basically says we can treat all the symptoms – we can work out, we can eat better – but unless we find out what’s going on with you, then we’re not really going to go very far.”
3. Health is more important than competition.
After last season’s controversy with taking the weight loss competition a little too far, the trainers are making sure that health comes first and competition comes next.
“I think the competition needs to come secondary,” says Pavelka. “The weight loss is a side effect of living life right. We want them to kind of be ready for life, not just be ready for a scale.”
4. Even trainers have to get a workout in.
Growing up, whether it was gymnastics, diving, or track, Widerstrom always made sure that she was participating in sports.
“I got out of college and was eating the same amount and training almost none, and I got this huge jump in my weight. I think I went like 20 pounds,” Widerstrom told PEOPLE. Now, she maintains her fit body by working out with her team. “As much as I’m focused on trying to help them, I’m focused on trying to keep myself off the ground,” she says.
5. Being a Biggest Loser trainer is a dream job.
The contestants aren’t the only ones living out their dreams on this season of The Biggest Loser. “I’ve done weight loss shows in the past, but as a trainer, you look at The Biggest Loser as you kind of made it,” Pavelka says.