Here at London Real, I’m incredibly fortunate to sit down with people from all different walks of life, but, more often than not, there is one common thread, a singular trait, a common goal that is synonymous with all these familiar faces: ‘You gotta do the work’.
I’m a firm believer in accountability, decisiveness and in showing up. The world is awash with great ideas and potential yet to be realised. One man who knows this all too well is Phil Heath, the legendary American professional bodybuilder AKA ‘The Gift’, considered by many an adept observer to be one of the greatest athletes to take the spotlit stage.
Phil Heath was crowned Mr Olympia on seven occasions back-to-back from 2011 to 2017, in an era of dominance experienced by only the elite sporting stars. His glorious victory in 2017 saw him equal the ‘Austrian Oak’ himself Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger, and only one victory behind two former guests in Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman. However, Phil isn’t finished when it comes to breaking records as an active competitor, not just yet.
His early years were dominated by another sport, as a Division 1 basketball player this compact and muscular athlete, turned heads with his speed and commitment at the University of Denver, something that would stand him in good stead in the years that followed.
In 2003 at the age of 24 Phil won his first title as a novice before being named Mr Colorado and announcing himself to the bodybuilding world. From here he turned professional and went head to head with the top names in the sport at the Arnold Classic, before winning the IFBB Iron Man Competition.
But it is on the grandest stage of all, where truly great champions are judged, Mr Olympia knows no hiding place. Every drip of sweat and bulging sinew shimmers under the bright lights. For Phil that journey began in 2008, and to many onlookers’ shock and surprise, he placed 3rd at his first attempt.
From here it has been one long victory lap as his shadow loomed large over the sport with an incredible 7 consecutive titles. Injuries have taken their toll with countless hours in the gym spent pushing himself through relentless and often damaging sessions, designed to take the human body to places it has never been before. 2018 saw a rare dip in form, followed by surgery and a year away from the sport.
2020 saw Phil Heath return to his familiar hunting ground, and a chance at one last memorable shot at glory and a record equalling eighth title, and although it was not to be, he is far from done. At 41 years of age Phil Heath continues to bely the critics and naysayers, the young upstarts and energetic rivals. His body is still a beacon of physical perfection, and a barometer of success for all who follow in his path.
One thing that sets Phil Heath apart, that puts him in the pantheon of that select group of human beings, is his willingness to put in that work. Nothing but nothing will get in his way, and his mindset and desire are truly unique. Outside the world of bodybuilding he puts that hunger to good use, sharing his wisdom with the young and disadvantaged, and helping people deal with the challenges of modern life.
“If you want the victory, then be prepared for THE FIGHT.”
"Of the People, By the People, For the People"
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