ESPN usually puts out a few different covers for its annual Body Issue (they had six last year). The first cover of this year’s edition was released on Thursday, featuring Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
It’s been known for a few days that Harper would be in this year’s issue of the magazine, and with the release of the online version of the magazine less than a week away, the Worldwide Leader announced that Harper will be one of the handful of athletes who will grace the cover.
ESPN also released its feature story with the Nationals’ slugger, which consists of Harper giving short quotes on a variety of subjects. Harper touches on his approach at the plate, the importance of sleep, and how he takes care of his body.
Either you put crap into your body and you feel lazy all day, or you put good stuff into your system and you feel great every single day. During the season, I’m always with [Nationals outfielder] Jayson Werth, who’s very good with all of his food. He’s gluten-free. He’s like an older brother to me, and he’ll have his meals packaged and sent to him when we’re on the road. So I’ll go up to him in the kitchen and say, “Hey, you got any extra? What do you got?” He’ll be like, “All right, kid, go grab it.”
Despite an emphasis on taking care of himself – Harper is proud of the fact that he can squat 405 pounds and spends a ton of time working on his core – he admits that he’ll have a cheat day every now and then, mostly because his mom makes awesome cookies.
My mom’s cookies are unbelievable. So what I do: I’ll put the cookies inside the microwave for, like, 12 seconds. It’s got to be 12 seconds. And then I’ll grab the ice cream and I’ll make an ice cream sandwich. And I mean it’s unbelievable. I have my cheat days.
The full Body Issue will be released online on July 6. Print issues of this year’s magazines will be released on July 10.