Personal trainers intentionally destroy their perfect bodies

A group of personal trainers is purposely destroying their perfectly toned physiques in an effort to gain empathy for their obese clients.

From Fit to Fat to Fit, a new reality series from A&E, follows ten svelte fitness experts as they increase their weight by up to 40 per cent, and then work to shed the pounds together with the show's overweight contestants.

Over the course of four months, the trainers eat junk food and refrain from exercising to put them on the same level as their clients, before spending the next four months trying to lose the weight together.

At the end of each episode, both client and trainer will be assessed to determine whether they have met their weight loss goals for that week.

In a preview for the show, which premieres on January 19, one trainer breaks down as he tries to pile on the pounds by drinking soda and eating fast food.

'I don't know why this is so hard', he says as he puts his head down while eating a cheeseburger. 

The idea for the series stems from an experiment by fitness coach Drew Manning, who in 2012 intentionally gained 75 pounds after his clients claimed he couldn't relate to their experience of trying to get in shape.

One contestant expresses this same sentiment in the promo, sharing: 'The trainers that I've had don't understand what a fat person goes through.'

Another obese man starts crying as he learns that his trainer is going to gain weight - under medical supervision - in order to lose it with him.

'It breaks my heart that you're doing that to yourself. Because I know what it's like, it's sucks,' he says through tears.

Personal trailer Adonis Hill, 35, of Brooklyn, explains his bond with his female client in the preview, sharing: 'Now, there's somebody with her that can feel her pain.'

Meanwhile, health guru JJ Peterson reveals that his client Ray has helped him get back in shape and also changed his perspective on fitness. 

'Before this journey, I was judgmental. Now Ray is my inspiration,' he says. 

In an interview with the New York Post, Adonis and fellow trainer Katie Mack, 29, of New York, revealed how taxing the experiment was on them, both mentally and physically.

Katie, who gained 34 pounds for the series, says she set alarms on her phone to remind her to eat every two hours. 

She increased her calorie intake to as much as 5,000 calories per day, regularly consuming bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, beer, and ice cream. 

After only two weeks of following this unhealthy diet and not working out, Katie began experiencing gastrointestinal issues, stomach pains, acid reflux, and knee and hip pain.

She became so emotional and stressed out that she and her boyfriend broke up, although they have since reconciled. 

'It was perpetually uncomfortable. I felt like I had some version of a terminal or chronic illness,' she said of the experience. 

Adonis also suffered emotional stress due to his weight gain. Before he became a personal trainer, he weighed 310 pounds, and being overweight again brought back some painful memories. 

'When I was overweight, there were a lot of things I was fighting, like depression. Another big fear was getting my man-boobs back,' he revealed.

Adonis consumed up to 8,000 calories a day by eating pizza, soda, and bagels with cream cheese. 

He eventually gained 69 pounds, but was hospitalized for high blood pressure with three weeks left to go of the four-month weight gain period.

When it was time for him to start shedding the pounds, he switched to a low carb/high fat diet in order to burn the fat he was putting into his body, and began doing cardio on exercise machines since he was too heavy to run. 

'Even though I was overweight before, you block that stuff out without even realizing. It was a quick reminder of what it’s like,' he shared of the difficulties of being overweight.