51. L.L. Cool J
Forget gin and juice, L.L. is more of a fruit-and-veggie (followed by weighted-jacket sprints) kind of rapper. “Working out is a huge investment in yourself, and it builds equity in your body,” he says.
On the road, he regularly hops off the bus for hours of drills on burning-hot asphalt, or pullups on high-school football field goalposts.
The hip-hop star has even taken his healthy message to the masses with fitness and nutrition books like LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout and the LL Cool J Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle.
Try his workout and the ladies might just love you, too.
46. Dwyane Johnson
It’s hard to believe Dwyane Johnson almost never became The Rock.
And the irony is that it was his failure in one arena—literally—that led to his success in another. Johnson was on a full scholarship at the University of Miami, suiting up with Ray Lewis and Warren Sapp. When a back injury sidelined his career for good—even the CFL couldn’t find a place for him—he turned to pro wrestling. Unbelievably, that required trimming down—going from 280 to 260 pounds.
Under his new persona, The Rock, Johnson quickly became a fan favorite—and it wasn’t long before Hollywood saw his potential as a bankable star.
And so for his role in The Mummy Returns, The Rock slimmed down yet again, shedding another 15 pounds in 4 months using a high-intensity resistance-training program.
40. Karl Malone
Standing 6-foot-9 and 265 pounds, “The Mailman” racked up 36,298 points—the second-most in NBA history—over a 19-year career with the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers.
As a rookie, Malone weighed 250 pounds with 10.5 percent body fat. An unparalleled work ethic and a rigorous, self-designed training regimen eventually cut the latter number to a miniscule 4.8 percent.
“Karl Malone was not a Michael Jordan when he came into this league,” said former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. “He made himself a great player through hard work.”