Shaquille O'Neal down 50 pounds after gaining weight during COVID-19 pandemic

·2-min read

Shaquille O'Neal will turn 50 in March. To celebrate, O'Neal wants to post a shirtless photo of himself on social media. Problem is, like many of us, O'Neal put on some weight during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

O'Neal's weight jumped to 415 pounds during the pandemic. Realizing that, and knowing his next birthday was a big one, O'Neal decided to hit the gym hard in 2021.

The results are impressive. O'Neal is already down 50 pounds, according to Jewel Wicker of Men's Health.

Speaking of energy, Shaq’s been burning serious calories lately in his home gym. During the pandemic, his weight crept up to around 415 pounds. (His playing weight was 325.) He typically trains four days a week now for about an hour, blasting through 20 minutes of cardio and banging out 40 minutes of strength work. He wants to slim down to 350 pounds and be ripped enough to “go topless” and post an Instagram thirst trap for his 50th birthday in March. His fitness goal, he elaborates, is to make sure his stomach doesn’t hang over his belt. He doesn’t want to develop the dreaded “OTBB,” or “over-the-belt Barkley,” as he puts it. (This, of course, is a reference to his friend and Inside the NBA colleague Charles Barkley. The two regularly riff with each other on many topics, including their weight.)

O'Neal hopes to drop even more weight. He's aiming for 350 pounds. If he's already dropped 50 pounds from his peak pandemic weight of 415 pounds, O'Neal is only 15 pounds away from his goal. That seems attainable by March if he keeps working.

As for showing off his new physique, O'Neal is waiting until he turns 50. Let's hope that reveal goes better than O'Neal showing off his bandaged head.

Shaquille O'Neal working as a DJ.
Shaquille O'Neal is working out four days a week. (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
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