Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper was one of 24 athletes who took part in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue this year, and he has revealed that he put in quite a bit of work to make sure that his body was ready for the photoshoot.
Harper developed an athletic body over the years, but he wasn't able to just roll out of bed on the morning of the photoshoot and pose for pictures. He put in weeks of extra work to fine-tune his body.
Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post was able to get the details on Harper's preparation for the revealing photoshoot:
[It] consisted of three workouts and six meals a day until it consisted of none, that final week when Bryce Harper consumed only juice. Seven different raw juices. Over the final two weeks, before he exposed each of his muscles to ESPN’s photographers, he put salt in his drinking water so he could hydrate himself without gaining weight.
On the final day, before he stripped naked and recorded the results for the world, he rose for one final workout, but when he went to refresh himself, he spit the water out. When he arrived at the field at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for the shoot, his system was completely depleted. He shoved raw, white potatoes down his throat because he knew the glucose and glycine they contained would run straight to his muscles — which yearned for something, any kind of nourishment they could find.
"It makes you pop," Harper said. "It makes you stand out."
Some fans may wonder why athletes decide to do the naked photoshoot. For Harper, it was all about changing the perception that his sport doesn't have athletic players. Per Svrluga:
I did it for baseball. Baseball players have such a bad rap of, like, we don’t work out or we’re not strong or this or that. Guys work so hard in baseball, it’s incredible. But people don’t know that. I wanted to show them, ‘Hey, this is our sport. This is who we are.’
The 22-year-old Harper is dedicated to putting in the work on his body and his game. As long as he continues to keep a strong work ethic, the sky is the limit for the three-time All-Star.