In a profession where most athletes are encouraged to continue to make their physiques bigger, scarier and more outlandish, WWE superstar Big Show’s dramatic weight loss has captured the imagination of many.
Billed for much of his career as the “world’s largest athlete,” Big Show’s weight has been listed as high as 500 pounds at various stages of his career.
And despite working 200 days a year for two decades in a physically rigorous environment, Big Show wasn’t exactly a picture of health. A pretty poor diet contributed to his massive size — which originally stemmed from a tumor that formed on his pituitary gland during childhood — and the 45-year-old, whose real name is Paul Wight, decided enough was enough.
Big Show has charted his new commitment to slimming down and toning up on social media, and he’s been an inspiration to many. But it hasn’t been easy.
“It was definitely a conscious decision. You don’t make the transformation I’ve made without a serious commitment to changing 40 years of improper diet and improper training,” he recently told WWE.com.
Big Show teamed up with Miami-based celebrity trainer Dodd Romero — who has worked with the likes of actor Denzel Washington and baseball star Alex Rodriguez — and devised a plan that included swimming, cycling, and weight training.
“Right now my schedule’s pretty light, but if I’m home three days, I train every day. If I’m home 10 days, I train every day,” he said.
“Right now, mostly, everything I count on is high-rep. I’m not trying to build muscle right now, I’m trying to keep my metabolism up, keep my tendons strong, keep my joints good, and cut a lot of fat.
“We’ll get to the muscle-building end of it once I get my body fat down to where I want it to be. … Those who weight-train know what I’m talking about. Lower reps with heavier weight will be more for building muscle. Right now we’re just trying to burn it up and keep it high-energy so the fat doesn’t have a chance to stick and grow.”
Big Show has dropped more than 60 pounds and credits “90 percent” of his weight loss to improving his diet — including the removal of his favorite meals like pizza, ice cream, and meatball subs.
“Will I end up ever looking like John Cena or The Rock or Triple H? No,” he said. “But I can take the assets that I have and try to accentuate them.”