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Actually These Nude Athletes Will Show You What It Means to Be STRONG

This year is no different. The issue showcases 19 badasses, ranging from an NFL “giant” to a petite paratriathlete, stripped down to their realest selves—literally and figuratively. Trust us when we say there’s a lot to see…and learn. (Learn how to build sleek, strong muscles with Women’s Health’s Lift to Get Lean by Holly Perkins.)

Every year, we get excited for ESPN the Magazine’s annual Body Issue. Winning athletes. Naked bodies. Soulful insight. What’s not to love?

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Here, a sneak peek at the eight in-the-buff cover stars you’ll see grace newsstands starting today. Enjoy, ladies.

esp. body issue jason errataPhotograph by Marcus Eriksson for ESPN

Jake Arrieta, pitcher for MLB’s Chicago Cubs
“I was a little fat kid. I think most of that was baby weight. But 14, 15, 16 years old is a tough time to be on the heavier side. Trying to start to talk to chicks was tough. Sophomore and junior year of high school, I started to transform. The growth spurt and the body changes happened very quickly for me. But I think that’s when my wife, Brittany, started talking to me, so it worked out.”

elena delle donne the body issue Photograph by Carlos Serrao for ESPN

Elena Delle Donne, player for WNBA’s Chicago Sky
“I used to tell my mom all the time that I wished I were shorter. She’s 6′ 2″ and my dad is 6′ 6″, so she understood. She was like, ‘I’m telling you, one day you are going to realize how beautiful your height is.’ She would always tell me how unique I am and say, ‘Why try to be like the rest of the pack? Be your own person.'”

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espn the body issue christen pressPhotograph by Carlos Serrao for ESPN

Christen Press, U.S. soccer forward
“I’m 100 percent a byproduct of my sport. I always tell my teammates that I only have muscles where they get to play. I have butt muscles, thigh muscles, and then my upper body is super skinny—except for in my shoulders, which you need for a little bit of strength to hold other players off the ball. So I think I’ve developed muscles 100 percent from just shooting the ball and running. Every single thing about my body looks like soccer.”

conor mcgregor espn the body issuePhotograph by Mark Seliger for ESPN

Conor McGregor

, MMA fighter
“There ain’t many people going up 25 pounds to fight on the drop of a hat, in nine days.”

von miller espn the body issue Photograph by Peggy Sirota for ESPN

Von Miller, Denver Broncos linebacker
“Out of high school, I was like 202-205 pounds. My rookie season I was like 245, my second year I was 255. My third year I got up to like 272, and I tore my ACL. I don’t know if my weight was part of the cause of that, but I got hurt, so I just tried to re-evaluate my situation. Right around 238-242 is my ideal range—I can do everything that I need to do at 245 and lighter. I played in the Super Bowl at 236.”

claressa shields espn the body issue Photograph by Simon McDermott-Johnson for ESPN

Claressa Shields, Olympic boxer
“I’m like Serena Williams’ little twin. First of all, we look alike, how our bodies are built. She has a slim waist, big butt, come on—she’s from Michigan!”

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espn the body issue dwayne wadePhotograph by Carlos Serrao for ESPN

Dwyane Wade, NBA free agent
“When I was young, my belly button was an outie, and I never even wanted to take my shirt off when we were at the swimming pool or outside during water fights. The only people who went into the pool with their shirts on were the kids who were overweight—and me. I knew that I was different. I knew from all the kids I had seen that nobody else had what I had.”

vince wilfork espn the body issue Photograph by Peter Hapak for ESPN

Vince Wilfork, Houston Texans tackle
“Everybody knows that I have a big stomach, but I think sometimes that overshadows everything else on my body—from my calves to my back to my shoulders to my biceps, you name it. What people go to the gym and work for, I have. The only thing I don’t have that they got is six-packs. But I really don’t care about six-packs.”

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