“They’re Allowing That Weight to Control Them”: Phil Heath Debunks Bodybuilders Ego Issues With NFL Legend Shannon Sharpe

Published 01/23/2023, 10:30 AM EST

Phil Heath dominated the Mr. Olympia stage from 2011 to 2017. One of the principal reasons behind Heath’s success was his in-depth knowledge about his sport. Despite not competing since 2020, the bodybuilding icon has used his ability to stay in almost competition-ready shape. In December 2022, the bodybuilding legend teamed up with retired NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe. The duo worked out in the gym and discussed their approach to bodybuilding. 

Sharpe posted a short video of their gym session on Twitter. In the clip, the duo discussed one of the most common mistakes gymgoers make while working out. The seven-time Mr. Olympia also weighed in and revealed why people make such mistakes and how they should focus on quality over quantity in the gym.

Phil Heath explains why quality is superior to quantity


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On December 15, 2022, Shannon Sharpe uploaded the video on Twitter and captioned it, “Don’t be this person in the gym.” In the video, Sharpe did a few repetitions of lat pull-downs on the cable machine. However, he deliberately rocked back and forth during the last few reps as if he overloaded. Sharpe said overloading weights were among the most common mistakes in the gym.


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“They’re allowing that weight to control them, instead of them controlling the weight,” responded Phil Heath. “And normally it’s an ego thing,” added the Gift. Hearing the bodybuilding champion’s response, Sharpe also enacted how people overloading the chest fly machine react when they have difficulty pulling the weight.

“If I can master to 50 pounds, then I’m gonna go to 60,” said Heath. The former Mr. Olympia said he would also ask his 25-year-old self to focus on “getting quality reps… slow (this thing) down and really hone in on the little things.” During their conversation, Heath also revealed why he didn’t lift heavy all the time.

How heavy could the bodybuilding icon lift?


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The seven-time Mr. Olympia said his working sets were much lighter than his one-rep maxes. “My heaviest lift, ever, was 505 (lbs) on the beach (bench press),” said Heath. However, he chose not to “do that every day,” because it would tire him out. In fact, he would feel weak for the rest of the routine. His goal was to build the best physique possible, not to lift the heaviest weight.

Sept. 16, 2011 – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Phil Heath poses during preliminary judging of the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest at Joe Weider s annual Olympia Weekend. Mr. Olympia Judging – ZUMAce6

The Gift also said he could squat as much as he bench-pressed. “I’m in that 1500 club, I’ve done it all!” said the seven-time Mr. Olympia. However, Heath didn’t let his ego get the better of him while working out.


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What do you feel about Phil Heath’s advice? Do you agree or disagree? Write your views in the comments.



Sagnik Bagchi

397 articles

Sagnik Bagchi is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor's and Master's in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. He has experience working as a freelance MMA writer for Sportskeeda.

Edited By: Jahnabi Choudhury