Shaquille O’Neal – or simply “Shaq” – is a basketball legend. The 2.16 meter giant was one of the best basketball players in the world in the 90s and early 2000s. He has not lost his ambition: last year – at the age of 49 – he fought his way to “the best shape of his life”. Now it has delivered an awesome update.
In the recent past, basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal (50) has had to deal with several twists of fate. As he revealed in interviews, he not only lost his sister and close basketball friend Kobe Bryant, but many other people around him. The blows of fate had brought him down so much that he let himself go completely. He was beginning to feel sadness and frustration proverbially to “dig” themselves. Last year, the then 49-year-old surprised his fans with a six-pack and announced at the time: He wants more! Apparently he followed up his words with action, because now he’s posted a topless photo and shows off his eight-pack.
That’s why Shaq took up fitness ambition
Personal twists of fate, pandemic, confinement – as Shaquille O’Neal reports in “Men’s Journal”, he lost all motivation to stay in shape. Plus, sandwiches have always been his weak point. Not only did he eat them at any time of the day, but also at night when he couldn’t sleep. A carbohydrate nightmare, so to speak. “I was starting to look old and I didn’t want that. So I was like, I want to take off my t-shirt on Instagram one last time,” Shaq says, his positive turnaround. When he also discovered a muscular septuagenarian on Instagram, it gave him the final push to get back in shape.
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Shaq’s goal – 350 pounds and an eight-pack
What more could you ask for than a six pack? An eight-pack, of course! Shaq revealed this in an interview with “Men’s Health” in 2021. Additionally, he had set a weight goal that he would like to achieve: 350 pounds, which is the equivalent of about 159 kilograms. After gorging himself up to 415 pounds or 188 kilograms during the coronavirus pandemic, Shaq is looking to lose nearly 30 kilograms. Incidentally, that would mean he wouldn’t be that far off the body weight he weighed in his active basketball career: 147 kilograms (325 pounds). In any case, for her 50th birthday in March 2022, O’Neal wanted to look her best — and proud to show up topless.
Shaquille O’Neal shows off his eight pack
Although Shaquille O’Neal owed this photo for his fiftieth birthday in March, he’s now made up for it: on Instagram, he showed himself topless at the gym! As he strokes his remarkably trained eight-pack (that’s when you can see four muscular bellies on each side), a female voice can be heard over the audio track: “When you’re old like shit, but you still look young and handsome as f…!” That and the message line he wrote: “Damn, I’m old!” Makes her fans and followers smile – and amaze them. Because even though Shaq is still massive and probably couldn’t lose 30 kilograms, he seems to be in great shape and has reached his goal of eight packs. Respect!
What was the diet like on the way to the eight-pack?
In order to lose weight — but also because his doctor had advised him to do so during a checkup — Shaq had said goodbye to the diet he himself called the “NBA diet,” according to “Men’s Health.” It was “a burger or a sandwich with an extra mayonnaise and two pineapple lemonades”. The star, also known as “DJ Diesel”, has largely banned lemonades from his life. And after changing his diet, burgers and sandwiches were no longer a the agenda.
No bread, no midnight cookies, no cake
According to an interview in Men’s Journal, Shaq cut out all of the unhealthy white flour and sugar carbs that lurk in bread, cookies, and cakes. Instead, fruit, protein shakes, salad, fish, chicken, asparagus and other vegetables were on the menu. All this in very small portions and spread throughout the day helped him lose about 14 kilograms of weight. Of that first hit in 2021, Shaquille O’Neal enthused, “Suddenly I saw things I hadn’t seen in years – like a six-pack.” He last saw his six-pack in 2006 while still playing for the Miami Heat.
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One hour of exercise a day is enough for Shaquille O’Neal
Thanks to the change in diet, he is now much more active, can sleep better and has more energy. “I just want to exercise all day,” Shaq says of his new found urge to move. His training is surprisingly simple, as CrossFit and Co. aren’t for him. Instead, he goes to the gym every day (he has a home gym in the garage) and does his standard exercises:
- 20 minutes of cardio to warm up
- 30 to 45 minutes of strength exercises per day: pectorals, biceps, triceps, back and abdominals
- A total of one hour per day
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Because he broke his hips and knees while playing basketball, he can’t do jumping or sprinting drills. According to Shaq, a healthy, low-carb diet and an hour of exercise a day is all you need to get back in shape.