Phil Heath is a legend in the field of bodybuilding. He has won many prestigious competitions and is one of the most successful professionals in this sport. His career is decorated with seven Mr Olympia titles, second only to two other who share first place.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Heath will miss the 2022 Mr Olympia competition and serve as a commentator at the event. With the finals of the Mr Olympia Men's Open dawning on us, Phil Heath had advice for the athletes who go up against the reigning champion, Mamdouh 'Big Ramy' Elssbiay.
Speaking to Dave Palumbo of RxMuscle, Heath proffered valuable advice for those competing in the 2022 version of Mr. Olympia. Perhaps the most important piece of advice came when he described how he approached beating the reigning champ.
"For myself, the way I approached Ramy is to always try to negate his strengths."
He also emphasized the importance of conditioning in challenging the champion and reiterated that Big Ramy's shape is impeccable.
"My advice would be to out-condition him, number one. If you’re not going to out-condition this guy, forget it. If you think you’re just going to beat him on your own shape, I mean I can go down the list."
He then went on to talk about negating Big Ramy's strengths and identified what those are:
"What are his strengths? He’s wider but I had rounder muscles so I wanted to make sure I was more 3D than him… But when Ramy gets in really good shape, it’s really f**king hard to beat."
It is visibly evident that Ramy has a very wide build. Trying to be wider than him is a very hard feat. However, working on muscle groups a certain way can result in rounder muscles that look better separated.
Phil Heath on who stands the best chance of dethroning Big Ramy
When asked whom he backs to beat the reigning Mr Olympia, Phil Heath put his money on Iranian bodybuilder Hadi Choopan.
"Hadi has the best chance. We haven’t seen Derek. I say Hadi because last year, I felt like he should have been, at least, second. I felt that. On Friday night, I had him winning. I’m not there but I had him winning, not by a huge margin but I had him winning."
In the 2021 Mr Olympia Men's Open, Hadi Choopan walked onto the stage with visibly separated muscle groups and a well-rounded build. However, this didn't prove enough as he finished in third place, behind Brandon Curry and Big Ramy.
"He’s complete. What more do we want? He got third and I think they chose Brandon over him based on shape, not conditioning ... Hadi has the more exponential growth than probably Brandon and Ramy because he was in 212 all those years."
Phil Heath continued to praise the Iranian and backed him as his pick for being most-likely to beat Ramy for this year's title.
"This year, he can knock on the door. It’s always going to come down to the champion being off to get dethroned. But Hadi is definitely knocking on the door."
Phil Heath stands as the second-most successful Mr Olympia behind legendary Ronnie Coleman and Lee Haney. The latter two have won the prestigious event eight times, while Heath has won it seven times.