JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - In a small workout room on the upper level of the Baptist Healthplex in Clinton, 16 competitors moved to Latin rhythms for "Zumba," the latest fitness craze. It's how contestants of Clinton's version of the "Biggest Loser" weight loss competition, coined the "Arrow Meltdown," kicked off their fifth weekly boot camp.
"In the fitness world, we're cross training, doing different activities to keep the body off-guard. And that's what we're trying to teach them, is the cross-training effect," said Patrick Conn, fitness director at the Baptist Healthplex.
On the scales, Eric Jonkman was still in the lead, dropping five pounds after a discouraging weigh-in the week before.
"Last week, I actually gained two pounds and was still barely in the lead, so I really pushed it this week, and I think I'm going to stay in the lead the whole time if I can," said Jonkman.
Jonkman's competing with 15 others to lose the highest percentage of body weight at the end of 12 weeks. The winner gets a $3,500 prize package.
The contest is sponsored by the Clinton Public School District, in hopes that parents and teachers will model good healthy behavior for students.
And according to teachers, it's working.
"You can see it, all through the halls, it's 'Arrow Meltdown,' and, 'Think about what you're eating.' I think it's truly making a difference," said Mary Ann Stotts, a competitor and 10th grade English teacher at Clinton High School.
It's even inspired teachers throughout the district to compete with each other to lose weight.
Meanwhile, Stotts said she faces her biggest competitor every day.
"It's hard, it's hard to make yourself get up and do this, and for me, it's more of a competition for myself. I ask myself, 'are you giving 100 percent?'" said Stotts.
WLBT will continue to follow the contestants' progress every Thursday. The winner will be announced April 24th.
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