NFL legend’s incredible body transformation from 300lbs lineman to lean swimmer


Joe Thomas is living his best life after retiring from the NFL.

The former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman, who was inducted into the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame, is barely recognizable from his playing days having dropped 50lbs and shaved off his signature beard.

Thomas got up to 312lbs during his playing career with the Browns, who drafted him third overall in 2007

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Thomas got up to 312lbs during his playing career with the Browns, who drafted him third overall in 2007Credit: Getty
He is widely regarded as one of the best offensive tackles of all time despite never making the playoffs

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He is widely regarded as one of the best offensive tackles of all time despite never making the playoffsCredit: Getty

Thomas wore the Browns uniform for eleven years and played 10,363 consecutive snaps for the franchise, an NFL record.

Sadly, his pro career ended in 2017 during Cleveland’s 0-16 season when he suffered a torn tricep in his left arm.

Since retiring in 2018, the former left tackle has undergone an incredible body transformation after hitting the 312lbs mark during his playing days.

A year after hanging up his cleats, the 38-year-old said he was “more eager to lose weight than almost anything in retirement,” and revealed he lost roughly 50 pounds in the months following his final season.

“I was constantly on all sorts of anti-inflammatories and medicines to deal with the pain,” he told GQ. “Trying to keep that weight on meant eating a lot of crap. I’m not really naturally a huge guy, so to be 300 pounds, I was eating 6,000, 7,000 calories a day.

The fix was pretty simple.

“You just don’t eat until you feel like you’re gonna throw up at every meal and all of a sudden the weight falls right off,” Thomas explained.

By drastically reducing his caloric intake and not eating 7,000 calories a day, Thomas was able to get down to a much leaner frame.

After retiring in 2018 he dropped over 50lbs by drastically reducing his caloric intake

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After retiring in 2018 he dropped over 50lbs by drastically reducing his caloric intakeCredit: YouTube
Thomas took up swimming as it was easier on his joints than running and cycling

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Thomas took up swimming as it was easier on his joints than running and cyclingCredit: YouTube
It's all smiles for him now after changing things

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It’s all smiles for him now after changing things
He looked in incredible shape when he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor in October 2023

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He looked in incredible shape when he was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor in October 2023Credit: Getty

At the same time, the former O-lineman also became a keen swimmer, swimming laps on a regular basis with high intensity workouts.

The ten-time NFL Pro Bowler took to the water so well that he became a US Masters Swimming member.

“I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to find a way to stay in shape,” Thomas said of his new hobby in 2019.

“I’ve had five knee surgeries so running was out of the question. I needed something that had no impact on my joints so I decided to start swimming again.

“Now I swim for 30 minutes two or three times a week, and I feel great when I’m done.”

The 6ft 6in star also shaved off his hair and signature beard, completing one of the most impressive NFL transformations fans have ever seen.

Thomas regularly shows off his new look as an analyst for the NFL Network, where he appears on pre-game and post-game Thursday Night Football shows.





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