Hany Rambod believes that is very difficult, but not impossible, for Phil Heath to Win Mr. Olympia again.
Hany Rambod is a legendary bodybuilding coach – perhaps most notable for coaching Phil Heath throughout his seven Mr. Olympia victories. So perhaps there is no better person than Rambod to predict if Heath could possibly make a comeback and win the Olympia title again. During the latest episode of Dennis James’ The Menace Podcast, Hany Rambod admits that it would be very unlikely, but not impossible, for Phil Heath to win Olympia again.
Hany Rambod is a legendary coach for a reason. He has worked with elite bodybuilders such as Hadi Choopan, Jay Cutler, and new rising star Derek Lunsford. Most notably, he also coached 7x Mr. Olympia champion Phil Heath. So it goes without saying that Rambod has some valuable insight into whether or not Heath will make a comeback… and if he could actually succeed in reclaiming his title.
In the short term, it appears clear that Phil Heath will not be competing this year. He’s set to be commentator for the Mr. Olympia broadcast – dashing any rumors that he would surprise return to compete. Of course, Heath is still notably in extremely good shape. So 2023 and beyond shouldn’t be crossed out for a return just yet.
While nothing is set in stone, Hany Rambod did cast some light on whether or not Phil Heat could return to the stage in the future. During his guest spot on The Menace Podcast, Rambod stated about Heath, “Could he come back? Absolutely.”
The bigger question – is does he want to come back? And if he did – could he ever possibly win?
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Hany Rambod evaluates the reality of a Phil Heath comeback to Mr. Olympia
When the topic of Phil Heath came up during The Menace Podcast, Hany Rambod was extremely honest and open. It’s clear that Rambod has already given this much thought – but he also doesn’t sugar coat the reality of where Heath is in his career currently.
“Could he win? I think the hardest thing is that he would never, I don’t think he would end up looking at it like… can Phil beat this guy or this guy, it’s can he beat his best. Because when you do this and you come back like with Jay Cutler in 09, you have to come back and be your best ever to be able to win again after losing. There’s only one bodybuilder who has ever done it so far and that’s Jay in 09.”
Hany Rambod brings up two really good points here. The first is about the mindset of why Phil Heath would return. If he returns simply to win and beat other physiques – that is a recipe for disaster. What Heath needs to believe deep down in his core – is whether or not he can beat his best self. If he does not believe that, a comeback becomes a much harder road.
Rambod also brings up a second point – which is statistically, it is extremely unlikely for a former Mr. Olympia champion to come back and win after losing. This has only been accomplished once by Jay Cutler in 2009. While there have been other champions who came back to win (such as Arnold Schwarzenegger) – they never lost. They simply retired and then came back to win again. That seemingly small difference has a big impact.
That being said, the beauty of sports is that nothing is impossible. Hany Rambod knows this and follows up his statement with further clarification:
“I think Phil obviously is a phenomenal athlete, but do I think he can be as good as he ever was? That’s really difficult to do. I mean I never say anything is impossible, but I think it’s very very difficult. I’m just speaking being honest here because you know… look at how many years he went on that run.”
Time is another important factor that Hany Rambod alludes to here. Phil Heath’s seven Mr. Olympia wins was a long run. Period. That’s seven years of competing at the very best of the best quality. On top of this, it’s been five years since he last won. Phenomenal athlete or not – it is simply more challenging for Heath to bring his best in 2022 (or beyond) than it was when he was 10 years younger.
That being said, no matter how difficult it would be for Phil Heath to win another Olympia title – Hany Rambod would still support and coach him for a comeback. Why? Because if there was anyone who can redo what Jay Cutler accomplished in 2009, Phil Heath would be the one to do it.
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Does Phil Heath actually want to return to competing? It’s complicated.
Hany Rambod’s analysis is extremely insightful. But it falls short in one aspect – he can’t read Phil Heath’s mind. At this moment, there has been no definitive yes or no to retirement rumors for Heath. Nor has he stated anything definitively about coming back to the Mr. Olympia.
All we know is that he is 100% out of this year’s competition due to his commentator commitments at the Mr. Olympia. However, Phil Heath teased that his competitive life may not be over just yet. In a recent Instagram post, Heath showcased an incredible physique alongside a statement: “I ain’t done yet, I’m only getting started.”
That comment is just vague enough to keep us guessing. He is referring specifically to competing? Is he simply hyping up fans for fun? Or is he referring to he bigger picture of his business ventures? We don’t know. And that’s the way Phil Heath likes it. Only time will tell if we see him on the Olympia stage again.
Stay tuned to the Generation Iron Fitness Network for future updates on this story and general updates on all things bodybuilding, fitness, and strength sports.