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Home » Articles » Phil Heath

Phil Heath

Find out how "The Gift" rose to the top of the bodybuilding world

Phil Heath, the current Mr. Olympia, is working to become one of the best bodybuilders in the world. However, bodybuilding wasn't always his sport of choice.

Heath grew up in a neighborhood where it was every kid's dream to play basketball, and Phil was no different. He played as a point guard for the University of Denver's Men's Basketball team, which he says taught him numerous lessons about self-discipline, hard work and humility.

He continued to train after his time playing for the team ended, and made new friends who were into bodybuilding. Although he had never seen himself as a bodybuilder, he found he enjoyed the camaraderie and the competitive aspect of the sport and applied the lessons he had learned playing basketball to this new form of training. Soon, he had found a new love.

Phil the Gift Heath entered his first bodybuilding contest - the NPC Northern -in 2003, and soon began collecting wins. Within a few years he became an IFBB pro, and his winning didn't stop.

A turning point in Phil Heath's training style occurred in 2007. While Heath is blessed with incredible genes, he revamped his workout to take him the extra mile that genetics could not supply. He increased his intensity by decreasing the rest time in between sets, which forced his muscles to adapt to new challenges faster, as well as increased his body's fat burning ability.

Heath has worked out with bodybuilding great Jay Cutler, and he borrowed his new routine from the man he calls his "big brother" and mentor - a man who Heath says keeps his workouts moving at a fast pace. This increased intensity paid off in a big way. He added 16 pounds of pure muscle to his frame in less than a year - unheard of for a professional bodybuilder. In 2008 he placed first at the Iron Man Pro and second at the Arnold Classic.

In 2010, Heath (who had come to be known as Phil the Gift Heath), took the second place title at Mr. Olympia, having been beaten by Jay Cutler. In 2011, both Heath and Cutler were again in the top two at this same contest, but this time Heath took the title, becoming the 13th man to ever become Mr. Olympia.

Many fans saw Heath's victory as the beginning of a new era, and that may well be the case. In his early 30s, it's likely that Heath still hasn't reached his peak.

On his website, Phil Heath shares "I intend on representing the sport of bodybuilding in a way that many people can relate to and in a way that mainstream society will respect. I hope to be one the greatest of all-time."

And, he's working hard to get there. Heath, also shares, "I will continue to bring my best package to every contest and also stay humble and personable." If he keeps bringing his best, it seems that the Heath era is here to stay.


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