Well… kinda… he put on 25 pounds after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
He stopped swimming after his big victory (who wouldn't take a break?), and just got super lazy!
Michael didn't even notice until one of his friends pointed it out!
Here's what he said:
"It was weird going from the highest of the high, the biggest point of your life - winning eight gold medals - and then saying, 'All right, where do I go from here?' I wasn't motivated. I did nothing, literally nothing, for a long time. I gained 25 pounds… A friend of mine and I were playing football on the beach in Miami and somebody got a picture of us… (My friend said) 'Bro, you gotta start working out, man. You are fat.'"
While we certainly wouldn't call a 25 pounds heavier version of the body on the cover (above) fat, at least it lit a fire under him.
Now he's training and back to where he needs to be:
"I realised that I probably hadn't reached my full potential. There was still more in the tank… At this point in my career, everybody has caught up. I'm fine-tuning the little things that add up to make a huge difference."
Good luck this year, Michael!
We're rooting for you!
[Image via Details.]