Talking Huge | EP 9: Craig Golias Weighs In – Is Phil Heath Done Competing?

Craig Golias and Vlad Yudin reflect on the life of John Meadows, talk about Phil Heath’s future, and debate if progress pics can be trusted.

Welcome to another episode of Talking Huge – a weekly digital series in which Craig Golias talks in-depth with Vlad Yudin on the latest trending topics in bodybuilding. Raw, honest, and uncut – Craig Golias shares his opinions on all things bodybuilding. In this episode, Craig Golias looks back on the life and times of the late John Meadows, talks about the physique updates of Phil Heath and Big Ramy, and the illusions of progress pictures.

After a few weeks away, Craig Golias returns to speak with Vlad Yudin to catch up on the latest and trending topics in bodybuilding. The biggest story, of course, is the tragic passing of beloved bodybuilder and coach John Meadows. While Craig did not know him personally – he was aware of the impact he had on the sport both as a bodybuilder and as a human being. Craig and Vlad also look at some of the latest progress pics that popped up over the past few weeks – focusing on Phil Heath and Big Ramy. Will Phil make another comeback? Does Ramy look on point for another victory? Let’s jump into it.

In Memory of John Meadows

The bodybuilding world was shocked earlier this week to learn that bodybuilder and beloved coach John Meadows had passed away. Meadows is known as one of the most iconic trainers in modern bodybuilding. But more importantly than that – he was a man with a kind personality that truly touched any person he met. In a sport that can be somewhat isolating, John Meadows made many connections. His kindness and optimism was felt strongly even during some of his hardest hurdles – such as the heart attack he suffered last year and recovered from.

While the exact cause of John Meadows death does not seem tied directly to bodybuilding, there’s no doubting that a mass monster bodybuilding lifestyle increases some risks. Vlad asks Craig Golias if Meadow’s passing made Golias think about his health and future. Is Golias worried that he may run a higher risk of serious health issues or death too soon?

In a surprisingly candid and quiet moment, Craig Golias admits that he does sometimes think about his choices and how it will affect his health. Especially in his younger years, Golias did anything possible to be HUGE. This included some not-so-healthy diet habits. There’s also no way around it – 300 pounds of muscle is still 300 pounds of weight that the heart has to pump blood through. That can take a toll.

The Future Of Phil Heath

Vlad Yudin and Craig Golias also discuss some of the biggest physique progress pictures that were released onto the internet. One of the biggest trending updates come surrounding Phil Heath. Many of his social media posts over the summer have showcased an increasingly conditioned physique. Some fans think he already looks better than his past two Mr. Olympia showings. This has led to speculation that he’s ready to come back yet again… and maybe win it.

But Craig Golias isn’t convinced. In fact, he’s convinced the other way around. He thinks that Phil Heath is done. That he will never win the Mr. Olympia again – and will likely not compete at the Olympia again. Even is Golias is wrong, he thinks that Phil Heath will simply place lower.

Craig Golias points towards every other great Olympia legend including Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. Both are amazing athletes, as is Phil Heath, but after they fell from their throne – they never really got it back. Jay Cutler may have returned for a win at the Olympia after a short knock off – but ultimately when it was obvious he was declining he kept placing lower. Ronnie Coleman is the greatest bodybuilder of all time – but still succumbed to a lower placing on his last attempt at Mr. Olympia. Golias believes this is the point that Phil Heath is at now.

Progress Pics: Truth or Illusion?

Ultimately, this leads to Vlad and Craig talking about progress pictures overall. Do they help or simply hurt by raising expectations too far? Photos are a far cry from being under the hot lights of the competition stage. It’s easy for a bodybuilder to manipulate their physique with the right angle, lens, and alternate lighting on Instagram. It seems more often than not – the photos look more impressive than the final physique we see on stage.

Craig Golias agrees with this. It’s the double edged sword of social media. These kinds of frequent posts help make bodybuilders more of a brand. It helps them gain sponsors and a following and make money. But back in the day, bodybuilders often trained not knowing what anyone else would look like. The fans faced the same situation. That led to more shocking reveals at the actual competitions. It was exciting and also led to less overextended hype.

Wrap Up

There are far more topics discussed in this episode than we can cover in this article. You can watch Craig Golias and Vlad Yudin discuss other topics such as the consistent natty or not debate. Should athletes owe fans proof when they don’t believe natural claims? You can check it all out in the latest episode of Talking Huge above! Make sure to check out Talking Huge every week on Friday – only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network!

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.