Seven-time Olympia champion Phil Heath recently discussed his future in the sport.
Phil Heath put together a bodybuilding career that has him up there with the best of all-time. The seven-time Olympia champion continues to train and this has sparked conversation on a potential return to the bodybuilding stage. Also, Heath has not officially announced his retirement from the sport but he has not competed since 2020. Recently, Heath discussed the possibility of making more appearances in competition.
Heath joined The Lobliner Lowdown podcast to discuss his future. The main topic of conversation was Heath making a comeback and attempting to add more Olympia titles to his resume. The legendary bodybuilder broke it down even further that it is not about his desire to comeback but the path might be difficult.
It is not out of the ordinary for bodybuilders to deal with different injuries over the course of their careers. For Heath, he had to deal with issues from a very young age. He discussed how he was sent into hernia surgery at the age of 3 and this is something that he has dealt with over the course of his career — including the 2018 Olympia.
“Three weeks out, I was clinching up on my belt and I’m like ‘oh my gosh,’ I feel like something popped,” Heath explained.
“I called up Dr. Grishkin of Ohio and he’s just like, ‘basically you have a floating belly button. You got to figure it out, you got to just deal with it.’ That’s the information we can’t obviously have. When you compete, people are like ‘oh he’s distended.’ And I am like you try holding something that just popped and it erupted, like you have no feeling.”
Following the 2018 Olympia, Heath had to go through surgery to fix the problem. This is the year his streak of seven consecutive victories at the Olympia ended.
“I had to go right back into surgery, which was a much more extensive procedure because now they have to take both left and right side, bring everything together and then the mesh and the staples.”
This was a difficult recovery process for Phil Heath but he was able to make it back on stage in 2020, when he finished third in the Olympia. In 2022, Heath contracted COVID-19 and this caused him to lose weight and muscle mass. This can halt any bodybuilder in his tracks and is especially hard for one that has not competed recently.
Heath explained that the decision to make a comeback would require a large commitment. This is because he would have to get back into championship shape along with some personal decisions that could impact the decision.
“If you think about it, it’s not like, if you’re gonna do it, it has to be a three-year commitment. And what will you be giving up during those three years with business, relationship, family, all of those things? Excuse the pun but is the juice really worth that squeeze?”
Phil Heath does not have anything to prove in bodybuilding. He is already one of the best of all-time and is currently has the second most Olympia victories ever. This could be the motivation to make a comeback as he is just one behind Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney, who are tied with eight a piece.
It remains unlikely that Heath will make a return to the stage but never say never. What we do know is that if there is a future in competitive bodybuilding, it will not be anytime soon for Phil Heath.
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