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If you’ve ever had a personal trainer, it’s easy to hate them…especially if they’re barking orders at you to do burpees at 6 am on a Tuesday.
But what if your personal trainer gained 70 pounds just to understand your struggle with weight loss?
Tramell Smith, one of the stars of A&E’s hit show “Fit To Fat To Fit,” pushed his body to the limit to put himself in the shoes of his clients.
The show pairs exceptionally fit trainers and bodybuilders with contestants who are overweight. And to truly understand what their clients are going through, they pack on the pounds themselves.
Smith launched his athletic career in 2007 as an Assistant Coach for track and field at Texas Tech University. An unexpected injury halted his career as a professional runner, but he continued to pursue athletic training as a personal trainer in Atlanta.
In the show, Tramell was paired with an engaged couple, Jason and Johnny, who were nicknamed “Salty and Sweet” for their go-to guilty pleasure foods. Trammel underwent a 70-pound transformation to empathize with his trainees.
“I know what they go through because I have lived it,” Smith said. “Before the weight gain project I never knew what it was like to be obese, to be pre-diabetic, to be 70 pounds overweight. Now that I have, I can better relate to that client because of my experience.”
Tramell also understood something deeper about himself: his confidence relied heavily on his appearance and fitness abilities. He realized his identity was built on fitness–without it, he was lost.
“I didn’t know it beforehand, but my high levels of self-confidence were directly correlated to my high level of physical fitness,” Tramell said. “ The bigger I got, the less I wanted to be seen.”
After his bit of fame, the show inspired Tramell to pursue personal training full time. But now, he has more empathy for his clients. He enjoys helping them understand the combined benefits of diet and exercise, and he even helped his mother-in-law overcome diabetes, a disease she struggled with for years.
“I focus on helping my clients get the most out of their bodies to help them not only look good, but also maintain health and wellness, the cornerstone of any physically fit body. Since the show, the training may be the same, [but] the trainer is different.”
Tramell owns Total Nutrition and Training, which provides virtual and customized personal training for people across the country. Some of his past clients include NFL players and Olympic-caliber athletes. And he’s currently working on a book deal while training to appear on a bodybuilding show.
A busy man indeed.
“I hope to help as many people as possible reach their fitness goals and improve their quality of life,” he said.
Trammel Smith is certainly one to watch out for — Young, Empowered, and On The RYSE.