Breaking records is something that occurs every so often in the vast majority of sports. Players will bypass others in one stat or another and only the ones that seemed ‘unbreakable’ get the big headlines. But when it comes to The Iron Game, there’s only one record worth mentioning and that is winning the most Olympias.
Phil Heath took a major step towards becoming one of the all-time greatest bodybuilders by winning his sixth consecutive Sandow last month. In doing so, he tied the mark previously set by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman.
Schwarzenegger retired after he won his sixth straight Mr. Olympia but came back to “win” one more in 1980 in the most controversial decision in the contest’s history. Yates did it and stayed retired, while both Haney and Coleman won two more each to share the record.
So now that Heath has put himself in some illustrious company, he appears ready to keep winning and doing so easily. The past two years, he has not had to be concerned with Kai Greene, who is generally spoke about as the second best bodybuilder in there world. “The Predator” was Heath’s runner-up from 2012 through 2014 and has decided for reasons only known to him to sit out the last two while winning multiple Arnold Classic shows domestically and internationally. Heath was dominant in 2015 and this year at the Olympia and both Dexter Jackson and Shawn Rhoden – the respective second place finishers – were not even close.
At 36 years of age, Heath has at least two or three years left in his prime and may not even need to be at his best to continue his winning ways. His genetics are supreme and the competition – while worthy – is still not in his league right now.
Jackson, 46, seems as if he will go on forever. But “The Blade” will have to hang it up one day sooner than later and Heath has already proven that he can beat him even when a bit off. Besides, Jackson is a very active competitor and has a ton of shows under his belt throughout his long career. Rhoden is also on the wrong side of 40 but he has not put his body through the same rigors as Jackson. There was a period during his amateur career when “Flexatron” gave up the sport entirely – competing and training – for a seven-year stretch. So even at 41, Rhoden has much less mileage than Jackson.
The wild card competitors include someone such as Big Ramy, who has so much potential that if he can harness it, many predict him to be a future Mr. Olympia. But he carries so much mass on his frame that it is difficult to remain symmetrical and aesthetic.
Heath may have came in the best he ever has in Las Vegas a few short weeks ago. “The Gift” looked huge with impressive muscle bellies and conditioned to a tee. He even caught a break with the comeback of Kevin Levrone after a 13-year absence from the stage. All of the talk for months heading into the show was about Levrone and Heath quietly went about his business. It’s a very unique circumstance when the reigning champion is barely mentioned and that may have taken a lot of the pressure off Heath.
But it probably mattered little in the end with the way that he looked. Heath’s physique was in a class by itself and he had the show won as soon as he hit the stage at prejudging. It was that apparent.
A lot of things can happen in three years, but it seems like a good bet to put your money on Heath winning in Las Vegas the next three years at the least.