Phil Heath Talks About His Latest Win

Q&A with The Gift on capturing his 6th Sandow title.


Shawn Rhoden and Heath are all smiles onstage during a break in the action.

Speaking of other competitors, who’s your rival right now? Do you even have one? Or has it become a “Phil Heath vs. the Field” situation like it used to be in golf with Tiger Woods?

Yeah, that’s exactly what it is. Honestly, a lot of people think it’s boring because there’s no rivalry. Who are you going to stack up against me? No one. Shawn Rhoden [who finished second to Heath at the Olympia] couldn’t even win a show after the Olympia. So you can’t really use him as a rival going into 2017. There was barely even a rivalry between Kai Greene and myself, because I beat Kai more than he beat me. Now it’s more me against the field. They’re all praying for my downfall, no different than they were for Tiger Woods. I’m sure people are jumping for joy now that Tiger can’t play anymore, because we all know if he comes out doing his job, it’s a wrap. Same thing with me. No one’s going to say, “I want to see Phil at his best, and my best is going to be better than his.” Not one person is going to say that, because they know better. They all said the same thing going in: “If Phil slips, I’m right there.” That’s not a competitor. That’s like saying, “If Mike Tyson doesn’t  show up in the ring, I have a chance.” But I still train knowing anything is possible. I train knowing that I could potentially get hurt. It’s just me against myself at this point. I may sound arrogant, but I know I made this boring, because no one can even talk s--- anymore.

Heath doubled-up on leg workouts every week to improve from last year (left). Pinpointing specific areas has kept him on top.

Your legs were noticeably bigger this year. That was a point of emphasis coming in for you, right? What did you do specifically for the lower body in the off-season?

It was pretty simple. I trained legs twice a week and made them a bigger priority. I also did cardio earlier in my precontest prep, which normally I thought would make them smaller—but it actually made them bigger and harder. On my type of physique, the harder I get, the more 3-D I get. So even if I drop weight, I look better.

As far as legs go, the guy who had the biggest legs there was Ramy, right? Everyone talks about  his legs. So what’s the biggest kick in the balls to somebody? It’s to take their best punch and not even move. I neutralized Ramy’s strength. I neutralized everyone who had good quads by improving mine. Now what are you going to say? Because everything else was on point.



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