ESPN the Magazine Body Issue 2013: Most Ripped Athletes in 5th Edition

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 11, 2013

Photo Credit: Richard Phibbs, ESPN The Magazine
Photo Credit: Richard Phibbs, ESPN The Magazine

The fifth edition of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue will be released on Friday, July 12, but the photos of 2013's athletes who chose to bear all have already been released.

Among the bunch of world-class sportspeople, several stood out as possessing the most ripped and defined physiques.

Granted, with some athletes such as 77-year-old golfer Gary Player, Washington Wizards point guard John Wall and many of the female athletes, that wasn't exactly what the magazine was striving for.

In any event, though, there is something mystical about those whose muscles have expanded to unimaginable sizes for the average human being. So let's take a look at those who had the most impressive frames in terms of size and perceptive strength.

Note: All images used were obtained from ESPN, and every athlete's complete gallery can also be viewed in the link.


Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback, San Francisco 49ers

The dynamic Niners signal-caller is proud of his many tattoos and what they stand for, and he makes that clear in the caption that accompanies the above photo.

Perhaps the most interesting image is Kaepernick posing as if ready to take off as a sprinter in a track race. Kaepernick is known for his amazing running ability, but the caption with this photo provides some context.

There is clearly a chip on the former second-round pick's shoulder, because Kaepernick discusses how eager he is to prove his doubters wrong. Said detractors apparently assert that defenses will pick up on what San Francisco did successfully in 2012 and thwart Kaepernick's progress.

Had scouts known how good he'd be so early in his career, he wouldn't have fallen that far in the 2011 draft. It's time for Kaepernick to fool the so-called "experts" again, it seems.

Kaepernick's 6'4", 230-pound frame is well-built from top to bottom, which makes sense given his explosive running ability and rocket right arm that often hurts teammates' hands in practice, according to another of the photo captions.


Kenneth Faried, Forward, Denver Nuggets

Appropriately nicknamed the "Manimal," Faried has always been a bit of a misfit on the basketball court, and it probably applies elsewhere due to his extraordinary height and strength combination.

Those unconventional characteristics have helped him carve out a respectable NBA career to date, despite being a dreaded 'tweener, who was thought not to have a true position coming out of Moorehead State.

Faried has proven his worth as a power forward in the pros, wowing teammates, fans and opponents alike with his outstanding dunking ability and athleticism.

When getting a closer look at all 6'8", 228 pounds of him in the magazine, it's easy to see why he's able to make many plays that the other 99.9 percent of the world can't fathom attempting.

He explains that he's always had trouble keeping weight on, but the leanness of his deltoids and biceps without even flexing are staggering, and he has arguably the best abdominal region of anyone in this year's Body Issue.


Vernon Davis, Tight End, San Francisco 49ers

Okay, so maybe it isn't fair to plug in two teammates out of the impressive athletes that were on display in this unique annual magazine issue, but Davis was impossible to exclude.

Davis is a whopping 250 pounds at 6'3", and like his quarterback Kaepernick, sports a plethora of tattoos, which visibly run down both his arms and on his chest.

In the picture on the right, Davis shows off the massive pectorals he's managed to carve out, and describes what drives him.

Davis' self-proclaimed "edge" is the will to be a great player, and he believes he's the very best on the gridiron every time he steps on the field.

Although he's approaching the age 30 plateau, which is relatively old in football years, the Pro Bowler is clearly keeping his body in top form. If he maintains this muscular volume, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to continue absorbing the punishment of the week-to-week NFL grind.


    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

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    Iconic Sports Illustrated Writer Deford Dies at Age 78

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report