EXCLUSIVE: Toronto Raptors All-Star Kyle Lowry Talks About His Surprising Weight Loss

Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry discusses his weight loss as he preps for the upcoming NBA season.

When New York Knicks guard Kyle O'Quinn posted a post-run photo of himself and a handful of other NBA players on his Instagram page earlier this summer, something (or the lack of something, we should say) immediately stood out. Standing in the middle of the photo was Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in a black tank top and black shorts, looking considerably slimmer than his typical in-season physique.

The photo hit the Internet and for a couple of days, Lowry's weight loss was the only thing being talked about in NBA circles. Even Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Reddick was taken aback, leaving a comment on O'Quinn's original post.

"Bro is that Kyle Lowry??" Reddick asked.

"yeah!! Lol. The slimmer version," O'Quinn responded.

"He looks amazing. Geez."

For much of his career, Lowry, who is listed at just 6-feet tall, has used his size and physicality to bully his way to the hoop, bouncing off defenders in the lane like a pinball. Lowry weighs 206 pounds, and his strength was his stocky build. So why would he decide to drop down to the slim figure you see now? We got the nine-year veteran on the phone to explain.

Kyle Lowry Before and After

STACK: That photo of you that Kyle O'Quinn posted caused quite a stir.

Kyle Lowry:  I guess it took off and people got excited about it. It ended up being a topic of discussion. But for me, it wasn't about showing off my body.  It wasn't about anybody but myself. It wasn't about anyone asking me to do anything or anyone telling me to do anything. It was about me wanting to be the best player I could possibly be, and trying to educate my body to make sure I'm the best player I can be for 82 games and a long playoff run.

What made you decide to drop weight?

It started during [last] season, and even before that. I was talking to my wife, and she said "You were always your best at your college weight." The saying is, the older you get, the lighter you've got to be. I thought Ray Allen did a great job of that, and Chauncey Billups too. I'm getting to the point where I'm a little bit older. I'm still young, but I'm a little bit older, and I can pick and choose how I want my body to look and feel. It's good to understand your body. I want to be special. At the end of the day it's all about me and how I feel and what I can provide for my team and my family.

How'd you go about doing it? Did you switch up your normal routine at all?

I still lift with my trainers (at Impact Basketball). I don't play as much pick-up basketball during the summer as I used to when I was younger. I implemented bike riding and extreme Pilates. There's not too much running and sprinting. Instead of doing five days of lifting, I do three days of lifting and two days of cardio. Before, I would lift five days a week and take a day off. Now, there's no days off, but there's a conditioning day and a recovery day and there's always work being done.

What is extreme Pilates?

I do private classes. It's 45 minutes to an hour straight of just work. It's not as much stretching, but a lot of strengthening. We keep the room hot. I tell them to turn the air conditioning off, and we just go in there and work. We're focused and I have a good teachers. It's fun. It's something completely different from what I do every day.

Are you worried that your weight loss will keep you from being as physical on the court as you used to be?

Who said I won't be? I'm still lifting, still moving the same way I used to. So there's no change in that. I'm going to play the best basketball I can play. I've always tried to be stronger than people and just a bigger bully. People are making a big deal out of something. I've always worked hard. This is just me changing up the way I do it, the way I dieted and the way I eat, the way I grind. I've always worked hard, it's just now I'm smarter and older and I know how to work.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock