6-pack abs might be quite common among elite sportspersons today, but Shaquille O’Neal is getting them around 10 years after retirement.
Sports science has overhauled the way that athletes and sportspeople look at their bodies today. Athletes of the past did not finetune their bodies anywhere close to the shape that modern athletes do. A glance across today’s NBA talent and that of the past underlines this.
While there are definitely exceptions like Wilt Chamberlain, David Robinson and Karl Malone, the vast majority of the NBA was simply 100% focused on getting their skill level up to scratch and not on their bodies. But that has definitively changed in the modern NBA.
It’s pretty clear that to make it in the league today, you have to have your body fat % down to a certain level. You have to take good care of your shoulders. You need to be weight training while you’re in the league. You’ll also have access to hyperbaric chambers and the like.
This is a far cry from the 70s and 80s, when much of the NBA fell victim to the crack epidemic. Cocaine and other recreational drugs seem to be far away from the professional athletes’ life for the most part.
Shaquille O’Neal says he’s building 6-pack abs this summer
Shaq is one of those athletes who signified just how broken some NBA players are, physically. The Most Dominant Ever is a moniker that Shaq richly deserves.
But now that Shaquille O’Neal is retired, the former Lakers and Heat big man has gone to seed. He’s no longer in the peak condition that he used to be in Orlando or Miami. Some days back, Shaq had revealed that he’s been working on it since resolving to make pro wrestling appearances:
“I just started to eat better and to make better decisions. My problem is, I’ve always been a sandwich guy. Sandwich for lunch, sandwich for dinner, sandwich for snack. And when all of that was going on last year, I couldn’t sleep. So, I’d wake up at three in the morning and make a sandwich, five in the morning and make a sandwich.”
“But I was starting to look old and I didn’t want to. So I said to myself, I want to take my shirt off on Instagram one last time. I saw this 70-year-old guy on there, and he had muscles everywhere. So I just decided to switch it up.”
“No more bread, no more late-night lemon Oreos, no more Entenmann’s cakes, none of that. I’ve been doing this for six months and just eating fruit, protein shakes, salads, fish, chicken and asparagus or other vegetables.”
“Very small portions and eating that everyday has helped me lose 25-30 pounds. I started to see stuff that I haven’t seen in 20 to 30 years—like a six pack. And I haven’t had one of those since I was on the 2006 Miami Heat.”
“Now I’ve been more active, I sleep through the night, I have more energy and I just want to work out all the time. And because I’m doing something big in March (TBA), I’ve got so much energy that I’m working out in the morning and at night.”