The Craziest Weight Transformations in Sports
You'd think being a professional athlete or a head coaching gig would require some level of physical fitness, but that's not always the case. Sure, it probably helps performance levels, but there are plenty of guys who have gotten by with playing a shade over their target weight.
And then there are a few guys who have managed to get by playing nearly 100 pounds over their target weight. (Though there are a far less that manage to get by in that excessively large range.)
In recent years, we've seen plenty of athletes and coaches yo-yoing in the weight department. Some have gone straight up, while others have gone down. Let's take a look at some of the craziest weight transformations in sports over the years.
15. Ray Lewis
Image via BaltimoreSun
Since playing at the University of Miami in the mid-'90s, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has played most of his pro career between the 250- and 260-pound range.
All that changed in 2012, when the veteran showed up to training camp much lighter than the listed 240 pounds.
Lewis wouldn't get into specifics, but he attributed the weight loss, which looks to be at least 30 pounds, to the "changing" game (i.e. the pass-happy nature of the league today).
14. Miguel Cabrera
Images via TribeWithTed, Vinylisheavy
In early 2011, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera tipped the scales at over 270 pounds. But at least it was all muscle, at least according to him.
At his heaviest, estimates are that he weighed somewhere between 285-290 pounds.
Cabrera lost a lot of that excess weight over the offseason, and in early 2012, he claimed he was in the best shape of is life—reportedly dropping as much as 50 pounds.
13. JaMarcus Russell
Images via Getty, SI
Coming out of LSU, former Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell's weight was listed at 265 pounds.
After being drafted first overall by the Raiders in the 2007 NFL draft, Russell's weight started its steady march north.
12. Marc Gasol
Images via Cbssports, OpposingViews
No word on what Grizzlies forward Marc Gasol actually weighed in high school, but they called him "Big Burrito" for a reason...dude was large.
At 7'1" and 265 pounds currently, it looks as though Gasol has lost at least 40 pounds since his second-round selection in the 2007 NBA draft.
11. Pablo Sandoval
Images via SFAppeal
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has been yo-yoing up and down for years. Sandoval's weight ballooned after his great '09 season, putting on as much as 40 pounds in the offseason.
In 2011, he managed to drop 38 pounds and came back looking as good as ever.
Within a year, he gained most of that weight back, but vowed to drop it again upon being awarded with a new deal by the team worth upwards of $20 million.
10. Chipper Jones
Images via Yahoo, FanaticVice
9. Oliver Miller
Retired NBA center Oliver Miller was drafted by the Suns in the first round of the '92 draft. Within three years, Miller's weight began to noticeably climb and eventually began to impact his on-court performance.
His "official" weight only climbed from 280 to 315 pounds, but the legitimacy of those figures are very suspect on both ends.
8. John Daly
Images via FanShot, ThisIs50
In 2009, PGA golfer John Daly debuted a dramatic 115-pound weight loss. Daly had always been known for his drinking and otherwise gluttonous lifestyle, which made the loss all the more shocking.
He has gained some of the weight back in recent years, but still looks substantially healthier than he did in his previous life.
7. Eddy Curry
Images via TheSportSpin, RealGM
Free-agent center Eddy Curry's weight has been a problem throughout most of his NBA career. His weight was so out of control by 2009 that he had to shed 100 pounds just to get a one-year deal in 2012.
Curry was signed by the Heat in 2012 but, despite losing the weight, wasn't much of a contributor to the team's championship season.
6. Mark Schlereth
Images via Zap2it, AllSport
After over a decade playing guard in the NFL for the Redskins and then the Broncos, Mark Schlereth finally hung up his pads for good in 2000.
Shlereth told Men's Health that he worked hard to maintain his playing weight for years and then worked hard to change his lifestyle and lose the weight upon retirement.
5. Bartolo Colon
Images via ESPN, SeattlePI
Since debuting with the Indians in 1997, pitcher Bartolo Colon has seemingly increased in mass every season since.
Colon may have gone varied slightly over the years, but for the most part, he's maintained this unimpressive figure over the years.
4. Shaquille O'Neal
Images via HuffingtonPost, SlamCentral
Seeing photos of Shaquille O'Neal during his playing days at LSU is kind of jarring—it's hard to remember a time before Shaq was super-sized.
During his NBA career, particularly in the later years, Shaq often showed up to training camp out of shape and overweight.
His weight seems to have leveled off in recent years. He may have retired from the game, but not from being big.
3. Rex Ryan
Images via Poochtimes, Gazettenet
Since being hired as the Jets head coach in 2009, Rex Ryan has established the fact that he's got one of the biggest mouths in pro sports. And until recently, Ryan has had the ample physique to match.
Guess he got sick of all the fat jokes?
2. Charles Barkley
You know Sir Charles Barkley didn't get sick of all the fat jokes, but he decided it was time to make a change last year.
Part of an endorsement with Weight Watchers, he has since dropped nearly 50 pounds.
Barkley has commented that he is contractually obligated to keep the weight off for a period of time, which leads me to believe this may only be temporary.
1. Charles Barkley
Images via SI, Brahsome
The only thing more impressive than Charles Barkley's current weight loss is the initial transformation from lanky superstar to slovenly old dude.
He never said he was a role model.