Phil Heath Bodybuilder Workout routine and diet planBuild Olympian-sized muscle with Mr. Olympia Phil Heath

Phil Heath is a professional IFBB bodybuilder and three-time winner of the coveted Mr. Olympia competition – the most prestigious title in bodybuilding.

Nicknamed “The Gift”, Heath started his sports career as a basketball player and was point/shooting guard for the University of Denver Pioneers. Initially, Heath lifted weights to enhance his fitness for basketball but despite enjoying success on the court, his amazing progress in the gym soon led Heath to give up on basketball and focus on bodybuilding full time.

With a couple of short years, The Gift won his first professional bodybuilding tournament and the rest, as they say, is history.

Phil Heath – How He Got Where He Is Today

Ten years ago Heath began his bodybuilding odyssey weighing just 185lbs but now tips the scales at 280lbs between competitions when he weighs a ripped 250lbs.

His physique, while impressive, is not as massive as some of his fellow competitors but what Heath lacks in pure muscle size he more than makes up for in balance and symmetry.  Others may be bigger but Heath’s gift is aesthetics – maybe that’s where he got his nickname?

Phil Heath’s approach to bodybuilding is not unlike that of the greats Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman – both multiple winners of the Mr. Olympia crown themselves.

While many bodybuilders make do with working each muscle group once per week, Heath (as both Schwarzenegger and Coleman did) trains each muscle group twice per week. This, says Heath, has allowed him to pack on over 100-lbs in muscle in the ten years since he left basketball.

Combining a balanced mix of compound and isolation exercises, Heath prefers to keep his rep count down below 12-reps per set and says that if he feels like he can do more than 12, he is going too light and so he puts the weight up for the next workout. The main exception to this 12-rep cutoff is calves which, Heath believes, respond better to higher reps.

A typical Phil Heath workout takes around two-hours to complete and involves a lot of volume plus heavy weights. This commitment to working both hard and long as earned heath the reputation of being a true “blue collar” bodybuilder who works hard and smart to build his awarding-winning physique.

The Phil Heath Workout Routine

This is how The Gift organizes his weekly workout schedule…

Sunday Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves
Monday Chest
Tuesday Back
Wednesday Quads (AM), Hamstrings, and Calves (PM)
Thursday Shoulders
Friday Back
Saturday Chest and Arms

Phil Heath’s workouts change slightly depending if he is preparing for or recovering from a show however this is the workout he used to prepare for his most recent Mr. Olympia appearance.

 Phil Heath Workout Quad Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Back Squats  3 10
2  Leg Press  3 10
3  Leg-Extensions  4 10
4  Hack Squats  3 10
5  Walking Lunges  2 60 feet
6  45 Degree Lunges  2 10

 Phil Heath Workout Hamstring Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Standing Leg Curl  3  10
2  Russian Deadlifts  4  10
3  Lying-down Leg Curls  4  10
4  Seated Leg Curls  4  10
5  Ham n’ Glute Raises  5  10

 Phil Heath Workout Calves Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Standing Calve Raises  3  14-20
2  Seated Calve Raises  3  12-20
3  Seated Calve extensions  3  12-16
4  Donkey Calve Raises  3  10  optional

 Phil Heath Workout Chest Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Incline Bench Press  4  10
2  Flat Bench Press  4  10
3  Decline Bench Press  4  10
4  Flat Dumbbell Flyes  4  10

 Phil Heath Workout Back Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1 Pull-ups 5-7 Failure
2 Bent Over Rows 5 10
3 Lat-Pull downs 5 10
4 Seated Low-Rows 5 10
5 Hyper extensions 5 12
6 Deadlifts 3 8-12

 Phil Heath Workout Shoulders Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Barbell Military Press  3  8-10
2  Side Raises  3  8-10
3  Front Dumbbell Raises  3  8-10
4  Rear Dumbbell Raises  3  10
5  Dumbbell Military Press  3  12
6  Upright Rows  3  12

 Phil Heath Workout Biceps and Triceps Routine

Exercise Sets Reps Notes
1  Dumbbell or Barbell Curls  4  10
2  Preacher Curls  4  10
3  Incline Curls  4  10
4  Hammer Curls  4  10
5  Pushdowns  4  10
6  Skull Crushers  4  10
7 Donkey Kickbacks 4 10
8 Dips 3-4 failure

The Phil Heath Diet Plan

Fueling such a high volume of heavy training requires food – lots of food. As a ball player, Heath sustained himself on two or three meals a day whereas Heath the bodybuilder eats as many as seven meals a day!

The size and content of his meals depends very much on whether his in the off-season and trying to gain muscle or getting ready for competition and trying to lose body fat to reveal the detail of his muscles.

Off-season diet

Meal 1

  • 12 oz. chicken
  • 1 cup of egg whites
  • 1 cup of cream of rice

Meal 2

  • 12 oz. 94% lean ground beef
  • 2 cups of white rice

Meal 3

  • 12 oz. beef tenderloin
  • 8 oz. whole wheat pasta

Meal 4

  • 6-8 oz. beef tenderloin
  • 10 oz. white potato

Meal 5

  • 12 oz. chicken
  • 1 cup of spinach

Meal 6

  • 12 oz. of 94% ground beef
  • 1 cup of broccoli

Meal 7

  • 2 tbsp. of almond butter
  • Protein powder

Pre-Contest Diet

Meal 1

  • 2.5 cups egg whites
  • 1 cup of oatmeal

Meal 2

  • 12 oz. white chicken breast
  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • Steamed vegetables

Meal 3

  • 12 oz. beef tenderloin
  • Medium sweet potato

Meal 4

  • 12 oz. beef tenderloin
  • Medium sweet potato

Meal 5

  • 12 oz. white chicken breast
  • 1 cup brown rice

Meal 6 & 7

  • 12 oz. halibut or tilapia
  • Steamed broccoli

Phil Heath transformed himself from basketball player to bodybuilding champion. It took him nearly a decade to lift his first Olympia crown but only a couple of years to win his first professional bodybuilding show. Train hard, eat big and treat the gym like it’s your place of work and you too may follow in The Gift’s footsteps

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