Mr. Olympia Phil Heath On Who Inspired Him Toward Bodybuilding Stardom

Phil Heath, the reigning Mr. Olympia, appears on the cover of September’s issue of Flex magazine as he readies to defend his crown next month in Las Vegas and we’ve got a preview of the Q&A with the 5-foot-9, 250-pound mountain of muscle right here on

Heath, a standout college basketball player, says that he was inspired to pursue his gold-plated path to bodybuilding stardom by two mutli-sport icons: Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan.

“Both taught me that if you truly want something bad enough, you could obtain it despite people telling you it’s not possible,” Heath said.

He lauded Jordan for his oft-second-guessed transition to baseball during the middle of his historic NBA career.

“People told him he could not do it, yet he went on to do it anyway,” Heath tells Flex. “After he left basketball, he needed a challenge in his life and so he pursued a career in professional baseball despite the critics.

“I felt the same way … when I told people I wanted to start bodybuilding, they all laughed at me and told me it was impossible.”

Health, who’s slated to take the stage in defense of his sport’s most vaunted title, opened up on the superstitions he holds dear to his success.

“Every year there is an Olympia winner’s after party — I always buy my suit that I am going to wear at the Olympia after party a month before I compete,” he said. Psychologically, I have already won the show and have my winner’s suit, I just have to go to the Olympia to pick up my trophy, I already have the suit!”

For more, check out September’s issue of Flex magazine.

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