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“I Was on a Roll”- Phil Heath Believed He Could Win 10 Mr. Olympia Titles Before the Devastating Injury

Published 01/14/2023, 5:15 PM EST

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Once Phil Heath said only 13 bodybuilders have had the capability of winning the Mr. Olympia title in the whole world. And among them has won it seven consecutive times, which stands the second highest ties with Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, it was not what Heath had in mind. Phil Heath had the vision and the strategy to go on and dominate the entire decade with his massive physique. Then what stopped him? Why was he only able to win seven titles instead of ten?

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Everything didn’t go as planned. The challenges got severe and Phil Heath eventually had to stop his journey with seven Mr. Olympia titles. 


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Phil Heath had it all clear in his mind

A target can’t be achieved with just words. It needs vision, planning, and a lot of hard work. Similarly, with Heath, he had it all clear in his mind. He knew since he became a pro bodybuilder, that he will dominate the bodybuilding world. Heath always aimed for the first position, which he eventually got in Mr. Olympia 2011. Moreover, he continued to be the number one till 2017, before Shawn Rhoden dethroned him in 2018.

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Recently, while talking to Lewis Howes, he opened up on what he felt about his winning run and what he believed. “I was on a roll. I thought I was really gonna win 10 of these things consecutively. I already had it bookmarked. I was like I already know how this is going to play out, I know how to strategize this,” Heath said.


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Heath continued, “Even though 2018 I was like if I win this one I’m gonna have to get the surgery, I’m gonna know how to come back, maybe I still sit out 2019 and I am going to come back even better and then win that ninth one and I am gonna go for 10. And I am gonna call it the decade of dominance.”

The injury that deviated the victorious journey of Heath

Phil Heath began the decade with complete domination when he won the 2011 Mr. Olympia title. However, he continued to get tough competition from the other end. He never gave anything away to the opponents and dominated for seven years. But then the devastating injury hit him and there was nothing he could do to recover better from that.


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Around 2017-18, Heath continued to have minor injuries and surgeries to manage them. But it never came under complete control. Heath said in the same interview, “When it comes out, double hernia, intestinal strangulation and you know diastasis recti where now I gotta put everything back in titanium staples, mesh here, mesh here, you are gonna leave a scar and you got six months of inactivity.” 


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The hurt from the inactivity of six months and the surgeries took a toll on Phil Heath. He competed later but wasn’t able to win his eighth Mr. Olympia title. What do you think if the injury didn’t happen? Would Heath be able to win 10 Mr. Olympia titles? Let us know in the comment section. 

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Written by:

Kaivalya R Pillai


One take at a time

Dr. Kaivalya R Pillai is a US Sports author working at EssentiallySports. An accomplished academician, he recently completed his doctorate degree in pharmacy.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi