Is Phil Heath The Greatest?


Phil Heath: #1 Bodybuilder In The Modern Age

Phillip Jerrod Heath or better as known to many as “The Next Big Thing” or “The Gift” is the present Mr. Olympia. He’s an all American IFBB or broadly, International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness professional bodybuilder and the current 6-time winner of the title of Mr. Olympia, having won from the year 2011 till 2016.

With his ever growing presence in the bodybuilding world, Phil Heath has been seen in many magazines and fitness articles. He was also featured on the cover of Flex. Phil

The media plays a big part in the life of a modern day bodybuilder, we can probably thank Arnold Schwarzenegger for that since he led the way with Pumping Iron. In this same venture, Heath has released 5 DVDs on bodybuilding, namely –

  • The Gift
  • The Gift Unwrapped
  • Becoming the Number 13
  • Journey to the Olympia
  • Operation Sandow
  • Life Before Bodybuilding

Born and raised in Seattle, Washington. Phil was a student at Rainer Beach High School, where he played as shooting guard on the varsity basketball team. Following High School, he then went on to attend the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where attended on a full athletic scholarship.

This might be one of the lesser known fact about Phil Heath, but whilst on his athletic scholarship, he took a double major in IT (Information Technology) and Business Administration. Just like in High School, he also played as shooting guard for the basketball team of Denver’s Division.

Phil Heath: The Bodybuilder

Phil gave up playing basketball after he playing 66 matches in college, to concentrate more on his bodybuilding as he was starting to develop into the man we all know today.

He was introduced to bodybuilding in early 2002 and it didn’t take long before he took the plunge and started entering events. During his early days as a basketball player, he used to have a diet that required him to eat three times a day but when he turned his attentions to bodybuilding, this literally doubled to eating six or even seven times a day.

In 2005, Phil conquered the overall or complete title at the National Physique Committee or briefly NPC USA championships. This further helped him earn the privilege to enter the competition as an International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro.

Valiantly, Phil won the first two professional events as an IFFB pro the following year –

  • The New York Pro Championship, and,
  • The Colorado Pro Championships.

In 2007, he placed fifth at the prestigious Arnold Classic. Although, he still succeeded in qualifying as a contender in the Mr. Olympia contest in 2007, Phil decided that he wouldn’t take part in the contest as he didn’t feel ready and would rather invest valuable time in to improving and working on his overall form.

Phil won the Iron Man show in 2008 and came second at the Arnold Classic in the same year, improving on his fifth placing only a earlier; Dexter Jackson won that overall title. 2008 would be the year where he’d enter the Mr. Olympia for the first time and he came away placing third, becoming the first novice to place in the top 3 since 1993 – a sign we should have all taken note of!

In the lead up to the 2009 Mr. Olympia, Phil “The Gift” was being seen by many and the out and out favourite to take the crown, but unfortunately, a stomach problem resulted in him arriving of 6 lbs lighter than planned on day one and as a result, he came away in fifth place that year.

In 2010 he would return back in the form that everyone had expected the previous year, looking big, lean and sharp. He ended the competition in second place as he was up against a formidable opponent in the form of big jay Cutler who took the top honours.

Finally Winning Mr. Olympia

2011 would prove to be Phil Heath’s year. Be returned to the Mr. Olympia stage having worked hard and improved his rear lat spread and went on to become the overall winner of the Mr. Olympia – defeating Jay Cutler in the process, who had pipped him to top spot the previous year.

Phil Heath aka “The Gift” has ruled and taken rightful ownership of the Mr. Olympia title ever since, and has won the title consecutively for six years. In the year 2014, he had some fierce competition in the forms of Kai Greene & Dexter Jackson, but these didn’t stop his dominance. Winning his sixth title in 2016 Phil conquered a huge milestone by tying his achievement with that of Dorian Yates for 4th all-time Mr. Olympia wins trailing Lee Haney (eight), Ronnie Coleman (eight) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (seven).

Insight Into Training

Still training at the Armbrust Pro Gym located in Wheat Ridge in Colorado. Heath’s favourite exercises include –

  • Hack Squats
  • Preacher Curls
  • Hammer strength shoulder press.

He’s bodybuilding training and workout schedule becomes more rigorous during the contest season and he weighs somewhere around 110 kg during those times. However, during the off season he weighs around 125 kg.

Like many other pro’s Phil regularly does cardio in order to warm up before starting his regular workout plan, which is further divided into two sessions; morning session and evening session.

Outside Of Bodybuilding

Phil Heath is the owner of a company that deals with fitness apparel known as the “Gifted Athletics”. As you can guess the name was derived from his nickname, “The Gift”. Additionally, with this successful venture of fitness apparel, Phil, with the partnership of Joey Firestone, created “Gifted Nutrition”.

With the creation of his own line of supplements, while possessing the title of Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath became the world’s first pro bodybuilder to lead and manage his own company of sports nutrition while still being in the competition.

On 20th October 2013, Heath accompanied Robbie E and Jessie Godderz (The BroMans), during Bound for Glory’s (TNA) countdown, for their gauntlet match for the tag team championship. The BroMans won that match and Heath accompanied them again to their match against James Storm and Gunner for the “TNA World Tag Team Championship”. Heath was later seen celebrating the victory backstage and in the ring with them post match.

Tips from “The Gift”

The “Next Big Thing” advises against inventing new exercises if you are presently getting benefits from the workout that you have been doing. Sometimes, Phil doesn’t even count the number of sets for all the workouts that he is exercising at that period of time because he feels that he doesn’t intend to over work on the muscles and instead save the energy for the sessions in the evening or cardio workout. Therefore, he doesn’t believe in any hard & fast rule and he keeps on amending the rules according to his needs and the competitions.

“The Gift” also suggests that you should not hammer or overwork your body while working out in the gym in order to get a chiselled body or muscle gain if you don’t find your body responding to or recovering from the workout like it was expected to.

What To Expect

We are literally on the cusp of greatness with Phil Heath lining himself up to surpass the records currently standing in his way, set by Ronnie Coleman, Lee Haney and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In less than two years we could be seeing his name rise up the record board – and quite rightfully so. The honours that he’s earned to date, have been just that – earned!

Good luck to “The Gift”

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