Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper spoke with reporter Stacey Pressman about expectations for the Nationals" season, how he prepared this winter, and what it was like to take it all off for surfacetoairnewyork.com The Magazine"s Body Issue. For more from the 2015 Body Issue, discover surfacetoairnewyork.com/bodyissue! And pick up a copy on newsstands starting July 10.
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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.
Everyone has talked about the Nationals as the World Series favorites this season. That"s pressure enough. But we"re not trying to live up to what other people think. We go into every single clubhouse and we think we"re going to win every single game we play.Bryce Harper
Age: 22Height: 6"3"Weight: 208 pounds
I"ve always had plate discipline. But being in the lineup every single day this season helps because you"re seeing pitches every single day. When you take two months off because you"re hurt, it hurts you.
Still playing hard but playing smart is where I need to be. I look back on certain things that I"ve da ... we were winning 6-0
It sucked not being able to use my thumb.
I"m about 8 percent body fat right now. I think the lowest I"d been was 13, so it"s pretty special. I"m down to 208 from 240 -- actually back where I was in college. I sat down with
Sleep is huge. That"s your biggest way of recovering. In baseball, it"s such a hard sleep schedule during the season, but you try to do the best you can. Because you can take all the protein drinks, you can do all these things, but your recovery is your sleep.
Having a good swing is all about your legs and core. You really have to have a good foundation. If you look at your legs, your forearms, your wrists and your core -- those are the top three or four things you really need. I spend about an hour a day on core.
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 worked hard this offseason to get my body where I needed because, finally, I wasn"t hurt."Peter HapakI can squat 405. I"m proud of that -- that"s one of my favorites.
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
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.
There"s nobody as sexy as
Yasiel Puig has one of the strongest arms I"ve ever seen. He plays the game as hard as anybody; I absolutely love the way he plays. You look at certain guys, also like Mike Trout or Andrew McCutchen, and you just go, "Man, that guy"s got it."
Baseball"s a feel game.
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So many guys -- and I get this way also -- try to look at video. They think, "I need to change this," "I need to change that," and don"t just play the game. That"s what Derek Jeter always used to say, too: Try to feel the game. Feel where your swing is; where your arm slot is during a ground ball. That"s what got you there.
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