, best known as the gregarious, never-give-up fitness trainer co-host of the television show "The Biggest Loser," gets a little crabby when he can't work out. He thinks people, in general, are lazy. And he misses his longtime former co-host, trainer Jillian Michaels, something fierce.
Harper recently told us this — and more — just before embarking on his latest endeavor: riding shotgun in the Quaker Oats-Mobile food truck, dishing out free instant oatmeal to the masses.
Q: You're promoting oatmeal these days, so let's just get that out of the way. What's so exciting about oatmeal?
A: I partnered with Quaker Oats (as a lifestyle coach) over a year ago. I work with
Americans, and one thing they don't do as a whole is eat breakfast. It's a staple in my diet and a staple in my contestants' diets. I'm old-school; I like regular oatmeal, berries and almonds. I get enough sweet from berries, but if I need it sweeter, I add agave.
Q: Why is it so hard for some people to start exercising?
A: People have gotten lazier and lazier. Those are the cold hard facts. You have to realize it's not going to come easy. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you have to make that big leap off the sofa and get moving. People are very comfortable; they don't like change. It takes something, like a diagnosis of Type 2
, to get them to wake up in their lives.
Q: What was your workout today?
A: I traveled. I worked all day yesterday and did
(a core strengthening and conditioning program) before work. Then I was on the plane — a red-eye — and up this morning to be at Quaker. I have not had a workout today.
Q: Are you going crazy?
A: Going a little crazy, yes. I have to find some time to do it. Today might be my day off. Six days a week is good, especially if you've had a hard workout. Recovery, rest and sleep time is when you get stronger. Working out actually makes you weaker. It's the recovery that builds you up. I always feel so much better after I work out. Nothing makes me happier.
Q: You've trained celebrities and seriously overweight reality television show contestants. Do you ever work with real people, the kind who want to drop 10 pounds?
A: I still teach spin class in Los Angeles. Those are the fit, crazy athletes. I taught Jillian how to spin. It's definitely my forte. At the end of the day, a good spin class needs good direction from the trainer. Also, loud music and not so much talking. I yell at people all the time and love it.
Q: Can anyone replace Jillian?
A: Nobody in the world can replace Jillian Michaels. They broke the mold when they made her. She texted me this morning. We're always in cahoots. I miss her passion and dedication. She and I, we got on to the (
) experience with these contestants, and it was going to be the death of them; we were going to change them if we had to kill them. We are exactly the same, only different. I love the yin and yang we have. We're like the Sonny and