Athletes Who Put on a Ridiculous Amount of Muscle

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2014

Athletes Who Put on a Ridiculous Amount of Muscle

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    There have been a few times when I've had conversations with my buddies as to why us guys put so much effort into lifting and trying to get "swole" in the gym.

    Yeah, there are obvious health benefits, it's hard to come up with a better reason than to impress the ladies—sadly.

    But while you or I try putting up as much as we can to look good during swim season, athletes actually get paid tons of money to be stronger and leaner.

    And some have had quite the transformation, with these being the ones who have put on the most ridiculous amount of muscle—without any PEDs, of course.

Brett Favre

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    Keith Warren/Associated Press

    The ol' gunslinger doesn't play professionally anymore, but future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre sure does look like he could still hold his own against current beasts of the gridiron.

    Photographed last week looking like he has been tossing trees—along with the razor—a burly Favre shows he's not just that old guy trying to keep up in the gym.

    A high school coach these days, Favre is one jacked up dude.

Pablo Sandoval

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Like a few others you'll see on this list, San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval has naturally bulked up because, well, he lost a bunch of fat.

    Showing up to spring training in some of the best shape of his life, Kung Fu Panda is hoping a more svelte frame will not only help him avoid injury, but also allow him to jack some more homers—oh yeah, and beat his teammates in a few arm wrestling matches.

LenDale White

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    Associated Press

    Like the aforementioned Pablo Sandoval, former NFL running back LenDale White earned some bulk by cutting the fat—OK, more specifically the tequila—out of his diet.

    Shedding an insane 30 pounds back in 2009 during the offseason to help increase his speed and power, the former bruiser was a lot less hefty and a lot more lean.

    Unfortunately, he was probably a bit better with the extra pounds, as White enjoyed his finest season the year before getting stronger and slimmer.

Ricky Hatton

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    One would think, as a professional boxer, a guy would have to maintain a routine of staying in shape, right?

    That may be the case for the majority of people, but not for former fighter Ricky Hatton.

    In fact, on two different occasions, the once-WBA Welterweight Champion was seen going from flabby to ripped, preparing for fights against opponents whom he didn't think he could beat without getting jacked.

JaMarcus Russell

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    Mike Stone/Associated Press

    Look, don't get me wrong, the top pick in the 2007 NFL draft is arguably the biggest bust in sports history, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't cheer for him after the pitfalls he had in the past.

    After ballooning to more than 300 bills, JaMarcus Russell believed he could try and make a comeback as a starting signal-caller last year—which, unfortunately for him, didn't pan out.

    Still, I can applaud the guy for losing the weight and getting back into shape by dropping 51 pounds and adding a ton of muscle to his frame.

Kevin Love

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Remember when Minnesota Timberwolves'—and double-double machine—Kevin Love came into the league back in 2008?

    It's easy to laugh off now, but there were actually question marks as to how he'd do in the Association because of his lack of strength and "tweener" size.

    Seems that Love had a solid answer to any doubters—get in shape.

    And that's what he has done ever since, bulking up and slimming down to help his game develop even more, thrusting himself into the conversation as being the best power forward in the game.

LaRon Landry

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    As a former top-10 pick and Pro Bowler, safety LaRon Landry has shown he has enough talent on the gridiron to make an impact on any defense he plays with.

    But seeing the way this guy works out in the offseason to maintain his jacked physique, one might think he's a bodybuilder more than a football player—just look at the dude's Instagram account.

    From his days at LSU until now, Landry has bulked up considerably, even admitting the gym is his sanctuary—which can't be good to hear for any receiver coming across the middle.


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    Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press

    A two-time winner of the FIFA Ballon d'Or—1997, 2002—the former Brazilian soccer star really let himself go even before he stepped off the pitch for good back in 2011.

    And even though he's not quite back to his playing weight, all that fat has been replaced with muscle by Ronaldo as he lost 37 pounds in three months on a reality TV show a few years ago, and he has maintained working out to look even more ripped recently.

Brady Quinn

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    Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

    Someone needs to remind backup quarterback Brady Quinn the guy under center doesn't need to be the most buff guy on the football field, because he seems to be a bit confused.

    Even back in his Notre Dame days, Quinn showed he had lean muscle, but these days he looks more like a wide receiver than a signal-caller, with the guy seemingly spending more time working out to stay cut-up than studying film and opposing defenses.

Prince Fielder

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    As I've mentioned with a few other guys, spring training is always a time when baseball players come to camp bulked up and slimmed down—and newly acquired Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder happens to be both.

    After a 2013 season that saw him lose some of the pop in his bat—and eat nachos during a game—Prince thought it was time to get serious about adding more strength and not relying so much on his natural bulk.

    Shedding weight and adding power by getting into an MMA-style workout, Fielder is primed for a huge year in Texas this season.

Lolo Jones

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    As one of the sexiest ladies in sports, Lolo Jones has always been in great shape—let's face it, the girl is an Olympic athlete so she kind of has to be.

    But fans were probably a bit shocked when the usually toned Lolo looked a lot more bulky during her training and competing for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team, with Jones even admitting the sport had made her stronger.

    Naturally, pushing an 800-pound sled is bound to make someone stronger.

Anthony Davis

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Earning his first career All-Star appearance this season, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis has shown he was worth all of the hype he received coming out of Kentucky a few years ago.

    Though there were still plenty of questions about the guy—especially considering he was paper thin after going from point guard to power forward between his junior and senior years of high school—Davis has responded quite nicely, adding mass and muscle to his frame.

    Gaining weight is never a bad thing for a dude who entered the league at 6'10" and just 220 pounds—especially when it happens to be muscle as Davis did.

Bryce Harper

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Washington Nationals All-Star outfielder Bryce Harper has already accomplished a ton in his first two seasons in the nation's capital, but he's looking for more—like a World Series title.

    Missing a few games last season due to injury and hoping to increase his power numbers, Harper showed up to spring training looking like a completely different player than in 2013, putting himself through intense workouts to get buffer.

    Sure, he may have been a bit overzealous about showing off just how much he loved lifting weights in the offseason, but if it helps, no one will really care.

Tiger Woods

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Although Tiger Woods has always been slim, it wasn't until about 2007 that he took his physique to a completely different level, hiring a personal trainer to put some bulk on his frame.

    Woods was even obsessed enough with maintaining low body fat and staying jacked that he even put himself through an insanely intense Navy SEALs regimen, which, no doubt, has kept him in the shape he's in today.

    Most golfers might be a bit flabby and "normal" looking, but that's not Tiger.