Time and time again, studies have found that money is the ultimate workout motivator. But paying yourself for dropping the last 10lbs or seeing newfound muscle gains isn’t always enough.

A more effective method: The opportunity to make money by hitting the gym—and the threat of losing it all if you fail.

A new transformation story proves just that.

In December 2016, professional poker player Walter Fisher found himself in difficult financial straits, the New York Post reports. Fisher had been riding a high after turning $2,000 into $97,000 in blackjack—but he then fell hard, accruing $100,000 in debt and gaining close to 50lbs in just one month.

The 38-year-old was 6’1″, 245lbs, and teetering around 33% body fat when a gambling buddy presented him with a bet: He’d give Fisher $100,000 if he could slash his body fat to less than 10% in six months, the New York Post reports.

Fisher pounced on the opportunity, enlisting two friends for financial backing: Bill Perkins (a hedge fund manager) and Dan Bilzerian (professional poker player, and, yes, famed Instagram socialite). In less than a month, Fisher had compounded that initial bet with over $1 million in wagers. And by the looks of it, betting against Fisher probably made sense to his backers:

Walter Fisher
Courtesy of Walterscoobs

But while Fisher knew how to earn the dollars, he quickly learned that he needed help losing the pounds. A friend reached out to Chris DiVecchio, P.T., owner of Premier Mind & Body. What followed was a grueling, borderline insane training regimen.

The program started with 30 minutes of HIIT and an hour of weight training seven days per week, then escalated to 45 minutes of cardio and two hours of HIIT plus weights, ultimately culminating in 10 hours of training, half of which he spent doing cardio, Fisher told the New York Post. (Note: We don’t recommend you try this excessive amount of training to drop weight this fast.)

Walter Fisher
Courtesy of Walterscoobs

For a while, Fisher was only consuming a little over 1,000 calories a day—not nearly enough for such an intensive program. With so little fuel, his body started burning muscle, rather than fat, said Phil Goglia, a sports medicine nutritionist DiVecchio brought on to help Fisher. Goglia ramped up his intake to 3,000-6,000 calories a day, Fisher told the New York Post.

In the end, Fisher won the bet, whittling down his body fat to 8.8% and clocking in at 175lbs. It may have been extreme, but going all-in was exactly what he needed to overhaul his life. Read more about how Fisher pulled off this extreme weight loss transformation at the New York Post.

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