Phil Heath and Steroid Use
In the bodybuilding world, there are many names that draw excitement but very few who have a nickname like “The Gift.” Phil Heath is the current six-time Mr. Olympia champion, having won the first title back in 2011, he has been on a winning streak that could see him go down as the most successful bodybuilders of all time if it continues.
There is little doubt that any bodybuilder who competes in the Mr. Olympia competition is probably massive, but Phillip Heath appears to be in a league of his own. His muscles are so incredibly round and full that they pop, creating a 3D effect that is a sight to behold. Phil’s dominant muscle groups are his delts, and it shows, to be fair though, there’s not a single part of Phil that isn’t muscular and large.
How did Phil Heath get to be 6x Mr. Olympia champion?
Philip Heath started out playing basketball at the University of Denver before he took on bodybuilding as his profession in the early 2000’s. He has won many awards and prizes since he started, but he came into the limelight and became prominent after almost immediately and easily winning the overall title of National Physique Committee (NPC); USA Championships in 2005. Since then, he has been competing as an IFBB Pro. After he won his first two professional events, he earned the nickname “The Gift, The Next Best Thing” or “The Gift” for short. By 2008, Phil Heath had garnered a massive following and was proving to be extremely popular with the masses. Even though he opted out of Mr. Olympia that year to take the time to prepare and improve further so, he could take part later, and since 2011 to present day, the title has been his.
It’s easy to see his dedication and amazing genes coupled with a work out regime as being the reasons behind his impressive track record, but it could potentially also be those things going hand in hand with steroid use.
Phil Heath Stats:
Height: 5 ft. 9
- Competition weight: 240lbs (109kg)
- Off season weight: 275lbs (125kg)
- Competition body fat: 3% approx.
- Arms – 22 inches
- Legs – 32 inches
- Calves – 20 inches
- Neck – 18.5 inches
- Waist – 29 inches
Those numbers are impressive, and more than 3.5 million people agree. His fan following on Facebook is massive to be sure, but he also has a lot of people who do not think well of him.
Training and Nutrition
Phil Heath consumes around 5000 calories per day, consisting of 400 grams of protein and 600 grams of carbohydrates. Before any major contests, he cuts down on calories, and eats a lot of protein, along with supplements to help him bulk up. Usually, he eats around 7 meals a day. All these calories are offset by an intense workout routine.
Phil trains heavily with weights to build muscle, so his routine consists of the following.
- Day 1 – Leg workouts with exercises like leg curls, leg presses and calf raises,.
- Day 2 – Chest and Tricep workouts with exercises like dumbbell incline presses and flys, bench presses and tricep pushdowns.
- Day 3 – Rest
- Day 4 – Back and bicep workouts with exercises like pull-ups, pulldowns, rows, and curls.
- Day 5 – Shoulder and traps workouts with exercises like military presses, upright rows and a variety of shrugs.
- Day 6 – Cardio exercises to maintain the cardiovascular system.
- Day 7 – Rest.
This comprehensive exercise routine helps Phil Heath maintain his body. He performs a large number of reps to optimize his performance and create his shredded physique.
This negativity stems from a couple of things, one, his appearance on a documentary film called “Generation Iron” gave many people the perception that Phil is arrogant/big headed. Phil Heath more or less admitted to taking steroids on video, he didn’t think or know he was being filmed, and his team intervened before he could say anything damning, but the implications are irrefutable. The video is on YouTube, for those who want to hear the admission for themselves.
In the video, a Youtuber called “Prophet Muscle” confronts Phil Heath and asks him repeatedly why he takes steroids. After some pushback, Phil is heard responding “because…,” before he is stopped by his bodyguard and warned not to speak any further on the subject.
Young Phil, as a natural bodybuilder in 2003
If you’ve followed his career, it’s easy to tell he’s a natural bodybuilder in this picture because, at the time of this photograph, he weighed around 192 lbs., which means going by his current stats, he has gained roughly 50 lbs. of lean mass since that time.
It has been a long time since 2003 and one might argue that he has simply worked hard and with a dedication to bringing himself to this point, but it has to be noted that that kind of lean mass growth tends to happen on steroid use.
If Phil had already been taking steroids at the time of this picture, there would be little growth in his lean mass simply because a person taking steroids will experience most of their physical gains in the first few cycles of use. And judging by how big he has grown since this picture was taking, it seems fairly obvious that he was a natural bodybuilder at the time of this picture, and steroid use came later.
This picture is proof of one more thing. Phil Heath has amazing genes; those genes are what have obviously earned him his many titles and success in bodybuilding. Which means even if one were to take steroids, without amazing genes like that, it would be near impossible to look like Phil Heath. He was a big guy well before he started juicing.
So what steroids is Phil Heath taking?
Without concrete and definitive proof, it’s hard to tell what kind of steroids Phil Heath takes, but we can make educated guesses. It is most likely a combination of the following:
It seems as though there is a strong chance that Phil Heath has used trenbolone. Trenbolone will help build muscle everywhere, but more specifically in muscles that contain a higher number of androgen receptors, these are usually the shoulder and traps muscles, both of which are very prominent muscle groups on Phil.
Human Growth Hormone and Insulin
Phil possesses something known as “Steroid gut,” which is a prominent sign of human growth hormone use combined with insulin. Why would a bodybuilder use a combination that gives him a gut? Well, insulin is highly anabolic which means nutrients get shifted into the muscle cell to help the growth of musculature.
Anadrol is one of the most potent steroids available. Using Anadrol all but guarantees a huge increase in both strength and size. Phil is a likely candidate for having used Anadrol because if you’ve seen him offseason, he looks bloated and almost fat even though he doesn’t have much body fat.
This side effect is a result of Anadrol; it can cause A LOT of water retention which contributes to the bloated look that Phil has during the offseason.
Finally, Anavar, cutting steroids. When its season and bodybuilders around the world start to gather to compete, Phil is always noticeably well cut and defined. While Phil’s water and sodium intake is carefully monitored to ensure he flushes out excess water to appear as defined as possible. Anavar is the more likely of two options as it keeps the muscles looking full while cutting to maximize appearance.
Final Say on Phil Heath
It is unknown and unlikely that Phil Heath will be upfront about his steroid use, only time will tell, but steroid use or not, there’s no way to replicate Phil Heath’s impressive work as a bodybuilder.
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.