Workout with Mr. Olympia 2014 Phil Heath “The Gift”

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Many people get into bodybuilding purely by accident. They start out by dieting and exercising and get such a rush from the endorphins given by lifting weights and watching their body literally morph into something else, that they take this up as a hobby – or further, as a sport. Phillip Jerrod Heath, more commonly known to us by his nickname “The Gift” or just Phil Heath, has taken this to heart fully and is a professional bodybuilder with the American IFBB (American Federation of Bodybuilders) who has won the Mr. Olympia title 4 times since 2011. (Mr. Olympia 2013, Mr. Olympia 2014)

His dedication to his art, his sport and his passion are easy to see in his daily life. The day after he competes, is the first day back on the program to win the next year’s competition. Due to his disciplined approach, we are gifted with a chance to see how and why it works as he shares his routine with the world.

If you’re looking to get into bodybuilding and want to see the sorts of workouts that legends like Heath go through to prepare for his big event, there is a 37 minute video full body workout offered by Mr. Olympia himself that can be seen here in its entirety here.

Phil Heath’s Raw Stats

Personal:
Birth Name: Phillip Jerrod Heath
Also Known As: Phil Heath, “The Gift”
Born On: December 18, 1979

Vitals:
Height: 5’9″
Off-season weight: 127kgs
Pre-contest weight: 113kgs
Arms: 23 inches
Legs: 32 inches
Calves: 20 inches
Neck: 18.5 inches
Waist: 29 inches

“My goal every year is to be bigger and better than I was the year before. The competition just keeps getting better and the pressure just gets hotter. Nothing gets easier. To keep winning, I have to constantly outdo myself.”-Phil Heath

His routine is broken down as it would be in a typical day during his Olympia training for one week. Every day he trains different sets of muscles which helps to avoid exhaustion and injury. His routine also tells us that just going to the gym and dead-lifting all day, or just lifting heavy for hours and hours at a time day after day won’t give the gains bodybuilders are looking for. What better person to learn from than Mr. Olympia himself? If you’re unsure what the name of the exercise is, there’s “how to” links given from popular fitness forum and training site Bodybuilding.com included.

SUNDAY: Hamstrings, Quads and Calves Day

Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (method)

Front Barbell Squats: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Hack Squats: 7 sets of 5-7 reps (method)

Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlifts: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Seated Leg Curl: 7 sets of 5-7 reps (method)

Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 15-20 reps (method)

Calf Press using Leg Press: 4 sets of 15-20 reps (method)

Seated Calf Raise: 7 sets of 12-15 reps (method)

MONDAY: Chest Day

Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Leverage Chest Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Butterfly: 7 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Dips: 3 sets of 12 reps (method)

TUESDAY: Back Day

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps (method)

Chin-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps (method)

T-Bar Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown: 7 sets of 12 reps (method)

WEDNESDAY: Split day, Mid-week Intensive (repeat)

Morning: Quads

Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Front Squats: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Hack Squats: 7 sets of 5-7 reps

Evening: Hamstrings and Calves

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Seated Leg Curl: 7 sets of 5-7 reps

Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 15-20 reps

Calf Press Using Leg Press: 4 sets of 15-20 reps

Seated Calf Raise: 7 sets of 12-15 reps

THURSDAY: Shoulder Day

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Front Dumbbell Raises: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Upright Rows: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 7 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Dumbbell Shrugs: 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Barbell Shrug: 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (method)

Reverse Pec Deck Flyes: 7 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

FRIDAY: Back Day – Intensive (repeat)

Wide-Grip Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps

Chin-Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps

T-Bar Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Rope Straight-Arm Pulldown: 7 sets of 12 reps

SATURDAY: Chest and Arms Day

Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Leverage Chest Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Butterfly: 7 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Close-Grip Bench Press:  3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Lying Triceps Extensions: 7 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

EZ-Bar Curl: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

Concentration Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 reps (method)

While it’s clear that Mr. Heath splits his lifting very evenly across the entire week, it’s important to understand why he does this. Hypertrophy is a word commonly heard among bodybuilders, and it simply means an increase in muscular size. The best way to achieve hypertrophy even with little resistance training in your past is to lift heavier loads, training closer to muscular failure (which isn’t a bad thing!), using higher training volume, and performing a wide variety of muscular actions.  The reason Phil doesn’t need to lift heavier or “more” is because he is able to simply maintain once he has hit his goal, but as he’s constantly pushing that bar – he pushes his workout routine. Yours might be slightly more reps, or more load depending on your ability and history with lifting, but the results are the same.

Be sure to read up on studies done on muscle training to better understand the science behind your workout, to know what to expect, and what is healthy. As with any program, if this is new to you – or you have been out of practice for a while, consult your primary care physician before starting.

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