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Bryce Harper on appearing in Body Issue: ‘My body feels pretty unbelievable’

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The Washington Nationals slugger will raise many an eyebrow with his appearance in the upcoming edition of the annual ESPN The Magazine “Body Issue,” in which he showcases what some view as cockiness and others see as justifiable self-confidence.

Speaking with ESPN reporter Stacey Pressman, Harper discussed myriad topics, including how his health this past offseason allowed him to work out as hard as he could to get himself in tip-top shape, something he takes incredibly seriously, evidenced by how he once proudly proclaimed, “My body is a temple.”

I worked hard this offseason to get my body where I needed to get it because, finally, I wasn’t hurt. I was able to work every single muscle in my body head to toe. In 2013, I had the knee injury; the year before that, I just wasn’t healthy. Now, I feel great. I feel light. My body feels pretty unbelievable.

Obviously, feeling as if one’s body is in pretty unbelievable condition arguably is a prerequisite to agreeing to pose nude, even in a a tasteful manner perfected in the “Body Issue.”

Later comments demonstrated how even someone as chiseled as Harper can feel that their body isn’t as sculpted as they would hope, while still acknowledging that he goes all-out to be in peak physical condition.

I wish my abs were a little bit better. God gave me a great body, but I think my abs could be better than they are.

I can squat 405. I’m proud of that — that’s one of my favorites.

While squatting 405 pounds is indeed beyond impressive, does it exceed the amazement elicited by watching Harper dragging around 550 pounds like it’s nothing? Actually, both feats of strength are pretty mind-blowing.