Who Is Phil Heath?
Phil Heath is an American IFBB professional bodybuilder and 7-time winner of the Mr. Olympia competition.
Known for his muscularity, conditioning, and roundness, Heath is arguably one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.
His first Mr. Olympia victory came in 2011, after defeating his mentor and 4-time Olympia champion, Jay Cutler.
Phil lost the title in 2018 to Shawn Rhoden.
Throughout his career, he competed against Kai Greene, Branch Warren, Dennis Wolf, Dexter Jackson, and other future hall-of-fame athletes.
Also known by his nickname “The Gift”, he's been featured in countless bodybuilding magazines and is followed by millions of fans around the globe.
There probably isn't a single amateur bodybuilder out there that doesn't aspire to build a physique like his.
So, how exactly did Phil Heath build his cartoonish physique?
And, more importantly, did he do it naturally?
Stick to the end to find out.
Phil Heath Stats
Let's begin the article by stating the obvious – Phil Heath is a massive human being.
Actually, to be fair, massive doesn't even begin to explain how big he really is.
Don't take my word for it though, instead, take a look at his stats.
The following measurements were taken directly from his website.
Height: 5'9 (175 cm)
Weight: 252 lbs (114 kg)
Arms: 23 inches (58.4 cm)
Legs: 32 inches (81.3 cm)
Chest: 54 inches (137 cm)
Neck: 18.5 inches (47 cm)
Calves: 20 inches (51 cm)
Waist: 29 inches (73.6 cm)
When it comes down to professional bodybuilding, there are very few bodybuilders with a competition history that can rival Phil Heath's.
Off the top of my head, I could only name a couple (Dexter Jackson and Jay Cutler), both of which Phil has already defeated.
Let'a take a look at his most impressive wins.
- Mr. Olympia (2011-2017)
- 2006 Colorado Pro
- 2006 New York Pro
- 2008 Ironman Pro
- 2011 Sheru Classic
- 2012 Sheru Classic
- 2013 Arnold Classic Europe
Becoming Number 13
Growing up, Phil had always been an athletic kid.
By the time college rolled around, he was awarded a scholarship at the University of Denver where he played division 1-A basketball.
Sadly, as good of a player as he was, his height would prevent him from following his dream of playing professionally.
If was during these years that he took up bodybuilding; after seeing a bodybuilder's picture on a friend's computer.
Not long after, he joined the gym and began to see his physique transform at an unreal pace.
His first amateur show was in 2003 and by 2005, he had already won the NPC USA's and achieved pro status.
Early on in his career, Jay Cutler saw his potential and decided to take him under his wing – becoming his mentor.
Little did Jay Know that Heath would eventually be taking his title away.
The start of it all happened in 2006, where Phil would earn first professional win at the Colorado Pro.
Two years later he would participate in his first Mr. Olympia – taking third place.
The future champ placed 5th in 2009, 2nd in 2010, and took home his first of seven wins in 2011.
Losing the Title
Phil's Olympia reign was definitely a very rocky ride.
Although at first fans were happy to see him surpass his mentor, the sentiment didn't translate later on in his career.
A year after winning the Olympia, Kai Greene challenged Phil and ended up taking a controversial second place.
The same thing happened in 2013 and 2014.
The controversy was made that much worse because of Heath's physique.
Unlike his first Olympia appearances though, his physique wasn't as impressive as it once was and his stomach was becoming bigger.
Fans were also growing tired of seeing the same person win.
2015 and 2016 were both decent years for Phil – 2017 would prove to be different.
2018 would be the year that the curent champ, Shawn Rhoden, would defeat Heath.
In what seemed to be a close battle, Rhoden took the edge over Phil with an aesthetic and symmetric physique.
Although Phil was bigger than Shawn, his waist was wider and his stomach out of control.
As of today, Phil is taking a small break from competing and is expected to return to competing in 2020, to regain the title.
A lot of people probably think that Phil had more than a few tricks up his sleeve that allowed him to build his monstrous, Olympia-winning physique.
To be honest, his training and nutrition aren't even that crazy.
Phil has actually received plenty of criticism for not being a “hard trainer”.
Although he's no Ronnie Coleman, he does what his body responds best to.
Being under the guidance of Hany Rambod, he incorporates a lot of FST-7 into his sessions.
He also likes to utilize a mix of free weights and machines – favoring machines, by far.
His diet is also very straightforward and resembles that of most pro bodybuilders.
Chicken, beef, fish, rice, veggies, and protein are all staples in his diet.
If I had to guess, I would say that Phil's amazing physique is a direct result of phenomenal genetics and strict work ethic.
Is Phil Heath Natural?
Now that I talked a bit about who Phil Heath is and why he's amassed such a huge fan base, it's time to get to the good part of this article – which is analyzing if he's natural.
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge the fact that he is a men's open professional bodybuilder in the IFBB.
Achieving pro status in the IFBB is extremely difficult.
Those who compete in this federation are genetically gifted, work extremely hard, and are unlikely to be natural.
If we factor in Phil's extreme measurements, it's safe to say that he's not natural.
The 7-time Mr. Olympia champ has never talked about steroids, so it's impossible to know what he's done exactly to build his physique.
Sadly, we will probably never really know what he did or took to get to to the top.
That's fine though, because no amount of dieting, training, or steroids will ever make someone look like he does.
His genetics are one in a million.