Shaquille O’Neal Reveals How a 70 Year Old Motivated Him to Lose 30 Pounds

Published 11/22/2021, 2:30 PM EST
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 24: Shaquille O’Neal attends 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/WireImage)


When people hear the name Shaquille O’Neal, the word that comes to mind is utter dominance. This is a 7-foot-1 man who could bring down baskets and break boards with his dunks. And when patterned up with Kobe Bryant, he won three NBA championships for the Lakers, and one while playing for the Miami Heat.

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People would often hesitate to guard him and hated being posterized by him. Unfortunately, for any NBA player after retirement, it becomes a very difficult task to be able to maintain a fit body. However, Shaq had his reasons for losing his focus on fitness.

In the year of 2020, not only did he and the NBA fraternity lose one of the greatest NBA players, Kobe Bryant, to a helicopter crash, a couple of months before that, he also lost his sister. In fact, the entire year went by and he lost 28 other people in his life.

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At such a stage, anybody loses their motivation to do anything. All he wanted to do was eat and watch Netflix. However, he has finally gotten his will back and has started getting his routine back on track. What you won’t believe, is that a 70-year-old man is responsible for helping Shaq realize what he was doing to himself.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the ESPN Gala: “30 For 30: This Magic Moment” Screening during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at SVA Theatre on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)

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What motivated Shaquille O’Neal to get back into shape?

Shaq admitted that at least now, he has started to think more smartly about his health. His addition to eating sandwiches day in and day out was making him look old. “So I said to myself, I want to take my shirt off on Instagram one last time,” the 49-year-old told Men’s Journal.

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“I saw this 70-year-old guy on there, and he had muscles everywhere. So I just decided to switch it up. No more bread, no more late-night lemon Oreos, no more Entenmann’s cakes, none of that.” 

It’s been six months since he has been following a strict diet because of which he was able to lose 25-30 points. In fact, he even admitted that the last time he saw six-pack abs emerging was when he was playing for the Heat in 2006.

CHICAGO – APRIL 24: (L-R) Antoine Walker #8, Shaquille O’Neal #32 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat sit on the bench in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 24, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 107-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

However, he also revealed that all the work that he is putting in is for something big coming up in March. Whatever that may be, is definitely something to look forward to if it led to the O’Neal whipping himself back into stellar shape.

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Yashima Bhatia

1741 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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