New 'Biggest Loser' Trainers: Cara Castronova and Brett Hoebel

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Lisa Johnson of That's Fit

"The Biggest Loser" wasted no time introducing the new trainers, unveiling their identities before the opening credits. As we suspected, Cara Castronova and Brett Hoebel are "the unknowns," and the trainers spoke about the experiences that led them to the show.

Brett Hoebel has been in the fitness industry for almost 20 years and working in several forms of martial arts. "I've studied, I was a pre-med, there's a science to training," he said. "There's no guesswork on anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology." He also talked about being overweight as a teen. "It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears," he said. "That's what I want to show the contestants."

Cara Castronova, who was ranked number two in the country in her weight class as a boxer and won two Golden Gloves in New York, has overcome her own life hardships. Her father, who taught her how to box, died when she was 14 and her mother passed away a few years ago after a car accident. "Having a hard life has made me stronger," she said. "I'm here to bring back the fighter in each and every one of them."

Read the rest of the story at That's Fit!

Photo credit: Trae Patton, NBC via That's Fit

Do you think the new trainers are as good as Bob and Jillian? Do you think they'll be as effective? What do you think about their qualifications?

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I'm just glad that they are both off the show now. The new trainer, Dolvett, is awesome, and since Jillian is back, the show is awesome again. Report
I didn't like the new trainers at all or their limited training skills of boxing, boxing and more boxing. I'm also not at all thrilled with Anna Kournikova taking Jillian's place. What qualifies her as a trainer? I don't think I'll watch next season, plus everyone is getting more and more catty and conniving. I remember on past shows when people asked to go home to save another heavier contestant. There was also none of that I have immunity so let me gain weight this week crap. Unless Jillian comes back to join Bob (if Bob is staying) or someone of her caliber - I'm done. Report
I didn't love Cara to begin with, but when her big 'test' for the contestants was to have them stare her down, she lost me completely. Jillian would never have gone for such stupidity. In fact Jillian's test really helped the contestants verbalize how they would deal with their own problems.

I like Brett's personality in general, but I don't think he comes across strongly enough for such a big TV role. I hope Bob stays at least.

Too much boxing/martial arts. I think it is fine to work it in, but the majority of people looking to lose weight aren't going to go this route, so it is a mistake to focus on this training style so extensively.
I don't care for Cara at all -- her voice drives me crazy - and I've ready many blogs/chat discussions that feel the same way. She seems to be always looking at a cue card when she is on camera. Which I am sure is because she is new.

Brett is way too soft spoken and passive - he won't last long in this show - he doesn't have the moxie to motivate the players as they need to be motivated! I sure do hope BOB at least is back and they only have 1 new trainer - hopefully not Brett or Cara - surely they can come up with someone better! I love Jillian and she would be my perfect choice of trainer if I could choose! Report
I didn't really like the idea of new trainers. Thought it was a gimmick to pump ratings. It took me time to warm up to them. I eventually realized though that they brought some new ideas to the table. Everyone finds there own path when it comes to workout and fitness. Cara and Brett brought new ideas and concepts. The participants that enjoyed working with them found workouts they personally enjoyed that Jillian & Bob didn't offer. Jillian and Bob are awesome. So were Cara and Brett. I say do whatever works for you. Try all kinds of techniques. Whatever makes fitness a lifestyle for you...go for it! Report
Bottom line: Jillian rocks. That is why she has been so successful. It's not just about her training methods, it's about her personality. I think if I had Jillian yelling in my ear, I'd definitely lose weight. I might not enjoy it, but I'd drop the lbs. mighty fast! Report
Brett & Cara are effective. My hubby says their teams don't lose as much weight. Jillian gets into the contestants heads the best. Bob has gotten a lot better at it and Brett & Cara will too. Boxing moves can be done anywhere with or without equipment but it sure feels good to hit something. Sometimes Brett & Cara work with one contestant while the others watch. Bob & Jillian have everyone working most of the time.

The show is constantly changing. I started watching the first season of couples. Each season now 1 to 3 people are heavier than any previous contestants. Why not change up the workouts and trainers too. Report
I like the new trainers just fine and in time they will be just as good as Bob and Jillian. Report
I am still very fond of Bob and Jillian....and the new trainers have certainly shown the difference between them. I don't feel they relate to the contestants like Bob and Jillian do. I just don't warm up to them at all. MANY here have said they do NOT like all the boxing either. I agree, TOO much of that going on. This is not something those players will continue to do when they are home. Think the emphasis needs to be more on training them to know what they will do at home to keep to their goals. Report
What I don't like about the show is that they allow these people to workout until they throw up and then laugh. I did not think that was a healthy thing to do. I also don't like all the shouting at everyone. I wonder if Cara only yells because she thinks she has too? Do all trainers yell? Is that what motivates us? I fast-forward threw the yelling. I like Bret more than the rest. Report
I like Bret and Cara. I love martial arts. I think boxing would be fun to try. I don't think that Cara teaching people to get back up is a bad thing. HAS ANYONE ELSE TRIED CONTINUAL BREAK FALLS FOR 30 MINUTES? Getting back up is hard work. As far as Bob and Jillian go, I like them too. I read somewhere that Jillian wants to start a family and do other things and BL is SO HUGE in her life that she doesn't have the opportunity to do anything else. I think Bob is still sticking around-- but don't quote me. I like that Cara and Bret tell people you can work out without a fancy gym. Frankly, I think Bob and Jillian rely on the ranch a bit too much. Either way I like that show and I love the message. It's about the contestants-- not the trainers. I want to see myself change like I see them change. Report
YES.. they get it in!.. if i was on biggest loser i would wanna be on their team i love to box!.. that works a GREAT deal on your body!..and the feeling of it is amazing! not saying i like them better!.. becuase honestly they cant compare to bob and jillian!.. Report
remember the little blond bodybuilder?( kim) she was in season 3 or 4.. wish they could get her back.. I know Jillian is quitting.. but the newbies suck. Report
I dont like all the boxing, but who knows how much they are really showing us. Brett and Cara both bore me since they are always so monotone, and dont show that much emotion. Maybe if it was just one of them with someone else, but not together. I like it when Jillian and Bob yell at people,it makes them seem more involved with their contestants. Report
After last night, I'm so done with Cara. I can't stand her another minute. I started fast forwarding through every scene she was in. If she's still on next season I won't be watching anymore, even though I've watched every episode of every season so far. That girl has some real issues she needs to work out. Since when are trainers allowed to physically shove and hit contestants? Boxing is no excuse for physical abuse. I have been upset with the constant boxing anyway, but now that she's hitting people and screaming in faces, I'm done with her and her pouty face and whining voice. Report
Cara & Brett? Hope they don't last long. Who wants to do nothing but box to lose weight? Don't they know how to do anything else? They're boring & don't have much personality. I'm sorry to hear Jillian's leaving & hope Bob stays. PLEASE TBL, get someone who can train to replace Jillian! Report
No, you can't replace Bob and Jillian... but man, Brett sure is H-O-T!!!! :-D

Sometimes, change is a good thing. As long as everyone is still losing weight and getting healthy, I don't see a problem with introducing new trainers! Report
I do not care for the trainers they don't have the zip and go Bob and Jillian has I guess I would like Bob and Jillian to stay. and the contests need to have a better personality they are sort of boring...More up beat jolly. For me the show is getting some what boring don't get me wrong I still like it but I think the producers to find something new and interesting. Report
I doubt it. I'm used to Bob and Jillian and don't like changes. It is a "twist" for the show though, and I'm guessing the change is for the ratings. I'll be open-minded and give them a chance. Report
It's good to try something new, give it a chance I say! Report
First of all,,,we have to take into consideration that this is a TV show and we are allowed to see what the producers and directors want us to see, not necessarily everything that truly happens. I agree with many of the other posts that I've read, that the new trainers need to incorporate some variety into their workouts and they need to work with their team on nutrition. It is obvious from several of the challenges that their team is lacking in nutrition knowledge. The scale doesn't lie and the Red Team needs something.

I know that this is a competition and a game, however I was extremely disappointed in the Red Team when they sent Arthur home. He definitely needed to be there and quite honestly they could have used the help with the team weight-ins. Report
I find it difficult to watch Brett and Cara; especially Cara. I think the producers need to interview more candidates for the trainers. Hope Bob staying is true. Report
Like many posters here, I'm not too sure of Brett and Cara. Let's give them a couple of more seasons with TBL before deciding which 'team' is better. I've always liked Bob for a reason that no one has mentioned: He seems to me to have a good head on his shoulders, he is stable-minded. He pushes his team when they need it, but doesn't lose his temper unless it's necessary. He has the empathy that is needed and doesn't go overboard with the fake 'shrink' stuff that Jillian seems to love so much. I didn't like Jillian when I first saw her on TBL and I still don't after all these years. She is not a certified therapist, so to me, her advice borders on dangerous, as she doesn't know any of the 'backstories' of the members of her team, she has no idea of the members' past from childhood to present-day. The psychoanalysis should be left to a professional. I also feel that Jillian has major ANGER issues and needs to take care of those issues..she loses her temper way too easily. I doubt very much that professional trainers who act like Jillian and working in a regular gym (such as Bally's, Anytime Fitness, etc) would be able to keep their job, if they lost their temper like she does, they'd be fired. I know TBL keeps Jillian there for the drama. I'm glad to see her go after this season, but I'm not thrilled so far with Cara and Brett. Report
These two have "interesting" credentials, but their scope of knowledge on adapting exercises is lacking. Not everybody wants to get fit through boxing/kickboxing and a "real" trainer knows how to adapt to the individual they are helping, not make that person fit into their little fitness box. I also like that Bob includes yoga in his training. Who do you think will REMAIN successful after taking the weight off? The people who have been supplied with the greatest number of tools and made to feel they have found something they love (instead of dread) to do for FUN! Report
I have to agree with the posters who think that the two new trainers put way too much emphasis on kickboxing. That's why week after week Bob & Jillian's team wins the weigh-ins. Cara and Brett are one-trick-ponies. The contestants that are in the gym on the treadmills, elipticals, etc. are consistantly losing more weight than those who spend their days in the ring. Report
Blech!!!! They seem to be trying but come on, I think their cheesy commercial bits with the new trainers are the worst. Go Bob and Jillian! I know this is her last season. I don't see BL surviving it. Report
They have a lot of experience in the industry and they seem to know their stuff. However, this is their first season and they will need to figure out what works for the contestants - that will come over time. They need to mix up the workouts more for greater success. Report
I like Bob & Jillian because they seem to be truly invested in the success of their trainees. Cara and Brett don't seem to have that same investment in their trainees. Their investment seems to be in their own success or fame. Report
I like Cara,she is an inspiration. Would like to see more cross training for the red team, though -- too much boxing -- and, I don't like to see the contestants standing around waiting their turns to box --set up stations! Jillian's pseudo-psychoanalysis has always turned me off--focus on the fitness and food--leave the psychology to a trained professional! The show is better than every, though! Report
Ive always liked Bob, he reminds me of an all knowing father or big brother. encouraging as well as honest. Now I like Jillian, she took a while for me to get used to. her quick temper is very much like my own, so I never liked her much. but once they showed her softer side, it was easier.

brett and cara are another story. boxing, boxing boxing, blah I know a lot of people have lost weight doing cardio kick boxing. but it just doesn't seem like do much else on the show. and they hardly ever try to get inside the contestants heads, at least not as much as bob & Jillian. nor do they seem as qualified to do so. maybe the producers need to show their softer side as well. It has made the show interesting, but i am not sure if they are good replacement for Jillian or not. Report
Brett & Cara are entirely one dimensional, and are completely in over their heads! Proof was in the pudding this week..... Bob & Jill's team knocked their weigh-in out of the park! But when the Red Team went home, other than the Olympian and Arthur --who was with Bob & Jill until he came back to the Ranch-- the rest of the Red Team was pathetic. Why? Because they haven't been given any skills on how to deal in the real world.

BL would've been better served with a tried and true trainer to replace Jillian, someone who is ready for 'prime-time.' (Someone like Jeanette Jenkins comes to mind.) This isn't season 3, it's Biggest Loser 11. There is too much at stake for this franchise to risk it all on a set of trainers who are not qualified for the job. Report
You can't replace Bob and Jillian and certainly not with the new trainers. Brett doesn't excite me, nor does he bug me like Cara. Her voice is too much for me! And what's up with them boxing the entire time? It seems like they spend more time watching the rest of the team working out than doing it themselves. Report
I am a huge biggest loser fan!! I love every trainer that has ever tried to help anyone improve their lives.. I know they shouldnt yell and scream and curse but you know if I was giving up on myself too i would want someone to scream at me.!! I have watched it since the first season and Bob and Jillian are my favorites!! The new trainers you have to get used to. I am still gonna watch the biggest loser if she decides to leave but it will never be the same..This show has made me cry so many times cause it makes me think of myself and my family. And how i need to get my butt in gear on losing this weight but the bad thing about it is, is when i watch this show i eat while i am watching it. Does anyone else do that? But I think that losing that much weight that fast is dangerous but it has helped so many people with so many health problems. But whatever trainer that they choose when jillian leaves bob will whip them into shape.. lol Everyone have a great day!
I think Brett is definitely qualified. He has many degrees that have to do with biology, nutrition, and kinesiology. Not to mention that he has a partnership with Beachbody, the world's fastest growing fitness company. He is the creator of the workout series RevAbs. He is actually a bit more diverse than Cara. It would be interesting to see how these 2 would work alone, as Bob and Jillian usually do.
As far as Cara's qualifications, I am impressed with what she has done with her boxing career. That being said, she is certiified with ISSA..sure it is legit, but ANYONE can become certified through them taking online courses. She seems like a good person but could use a little more diversity. Report
I love Jillian as she is so sincere. BOB was someone I just never related to at all. Report
No one will ever replace Bob and Jillian. Yeah sometimes they yell a lot, but honestly they care about these people and are amazing trainers. It is a show people, stop being so offended by the methods they use to get the job done. These people got HUGE, because no one spoke up.

Oh and I do not really care for the two new trainers Bob is my fav, love that boy. Report
We really have not had the chance to get to know Brett & Cara yet. Brett is highly qualified and has been a trainer for many years. I need more time to to really form an opinion.

I do love the show and find it very inspirational. Report
I found the show to be quite discusting with absolutely no regard for people's feelings. I realise they got themselves in to the show but I think it has to damage their self image taking so much verbal,abuse and screaming. Watched it for a very short time NEVER again. Report
I stopped watching the program 3 seasons ago. There was so much yelling and swearing going on, I wouldn't turn it on. I don't think you have to do that to people to get results. I may tune into the new one with this couple to see how it unfolds. Report
Just can't get into it....sorry! Report
I like Bob and Jillian. Each trainer has a different personality and training style. Therefore, I am holding judgement and giving the new trainers a chance. In regards, to the fast weight loss on the show I totally agree. However, we have to remember it's television and the "reality" shows are not necessarily realistic. I don't know about you folks, but I can't leave my job to go to controlled environment like the ranch and workout 6 hours day with personal trainers. Thank goodness for Sparkpeople. Report
I've heard that this is Jillian's last season. I've always identified with Bob. Brett and Cara I don't have a feel for yet. Any competent trainer should be able to get results. Different clients need different approaches, depending on their nature. The trainer has to be savvy enough to read the client and motivate him, whether through warm fuzzy handling or tough love. There was a seminar at the gym and we got a free session with a trainer for attending. Afterward I asked some questions and it became clear that I had fallen in with the trainer I would be working with- he was somewhere between a mentor and a drill seargent! Report
I never liked Julian's potty mouth...and last season Bob did the same thing..that being said, they both are diverse in all they employ to get this weight off all the contestants..... The new girl still seems like a one trick poney to me.....standing around cheering while the other teammate is boxing is not a last time work out!!!!... just sayin' Report
I agree with what a lot of others have said about unrealistic weight loss expectations. I like the fact that Biggest Loser brings light to a big issue in the United States and gets people motivated (it is what made me realize my weight issue and get started several years ago and it is what has inspired my parents and little sister, who are all obese, to get off the couch and start to get healthy. But a single digit weightloss shouldn't ever make someone feel bad.. Report
Although I still watch Biggest Loser, I have found a show that I like even better. Heavy on AE. The show follows 2 people for 6 months on their weight loss journey. No game play. This is more of a documentary. Report
I watched the show for years but quit. I don't think it's a healthy way to lose weight. Certainly not the Spark way that I swear by.
I like Jillian's book but don't like the way she sold out to sell products and became annoyed with her constant psycho babble as well.
Entirely too much crying and whining for my tastes.
I feel that the results they achieve are mostly temporary.
Oh yeah, the question. Don't know the new trainers ;)

I have not decided yet if I like them or not. I think it is something new for the show. They have a different training style and they are completely different personalities than Bob and Jillian. There are a lot of pros and cons that go with my thoughts. However, I think if they all combined their efforts and the contestants switched between all of them, I feel a lot could be accomplished. Right now it seems to be all about whose contestants do better, I think it should be more about all four of them working together to get the contestants to the places they need to be. Report
I like Brett but not Cara....she is shrill. And I don't like their training methods, altho seem effective. All that boxing..ick! I think Jillian will be back in 2012, she said it somewhere. I didn't like her at first, either. So who will take her place in the next season? One of the new trainers? Report
When I first heard Jillian was leaving BL, I thought it might make the show bearable but my doubts were confirmed. These ppl seem just as clueless. Report
I don't mind Brett but Cara bugs me not sure why. I think it's because right away we saw her yelling at people and it seemed like she was trying to hard to be the next Jillian.

I love Bob and Jillian too and I agree with what a lot have said that their focus on both strength training & cardio seems to be more realistic for the real world transition everyone will have. Not every gym has huge ropes to swing around and boxing rings to spar with your teammates. I don't like how when you see Brett & Cara's team train too many people are standing off to the side waiting. I do like to see them right their working with the people instead of just standing and yelling at them though.

I'll watch a little bit next year (it'll be Bob that brings me back) but not sure how long I'll stay with the show with the Bob/Jillian dynamic gone. Report
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