To Top

Building A Pro Physique

Q: I’ve been blown away by the photos of Phil Heath winning the Mr. Olympia. Are there special exercises and routines the pros use that will enable me to build a physique something like theirs?

A: If you were to see Phil in the flesh, you’d be blown away even more. Photography is one thing, reality is something else.

My obsession with bodybuilding started when I was 14, and lasted many years. Phil bowled you over just as Arnold, Sergio Oliva, Frank Zane and some others of the 1970s bowled me over when I was a teenager. The same desire you have for building a great physique is what I had when I was a kid—and for many years thereafter. I used to ask the same question that you asked, but the answer is the same today as it was back then.

Some of the exercises that built Phil’s muscles are the same ones that can build your muscles; but because of his exceptional responsiveness to training and his freaky potential for growth, he progressed on some exercises that won’t help you.

Although his training routines worked for him, that doesn’t mean they will work for you. You could try his routines, the way I tried Arnold’s and Sergio’s and Frank’s. But unless you have an exceptional genetic gift for bodybuilding or are into steroids—which I most certainly don’t recommend—you won’t respond well to Phil’s routines; just as I didn’t respond well to champ programs. I didn’t have their genetic advantages for bodybuilding. I could have gotten into drugs to try to compensate, but I had the sense not to. It’s madness.

If you follow the guidelines I promote in this column, you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding routines appropriate for you. How far they will take you will depend on your level of dedication and your genetic potential for bodybuilding.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or


You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • Total Knockout!

    You already fell for Lindsay Christiansen with one simple glance. Are you man enough to dive into who she really is?...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • 9 Reasons To Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    If you are serious about your physique, you'll seriously want to give this supplement a look. By Sarah Butcher   BCAA:...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • The Spartan Chest Workout

    Add size and definition to your chest with this next level chest workout. By Raphael Konforti MS, CPT   History tells...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 13, 2017
  • Massive Gains From Head To Toe

    A total body overload plan for virtually guaranteed hypertrophy. By Sarah L. Chadwell, NASM-CPT   Broscience states that lifting heavy junk...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 13, 2017
  • Danny Hester: King of Consistency

    If you want results, you do the work. If you want to be one of the fittest men on the planet...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 12, 2017
  • Berry Blast!

    Make this shake for more power, greater gains and to boost your entire body into a muscle-building machine! By Maria Romano...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 12, 2017

    Tired of the same old chicken? Try this new take on the old standard from the comfort of your grill. By...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 11, 2017
  • Brain Stimulation Helps Battle Obesity

    The battle of the bulge has been raging for decades. Scientists constantly look for ways to help obese people return to...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 11, 2017
  • The Key To Fat Loss? Smell!

    Science just uncovered research that says the secret to losing weight is right under your nose! BY SARAH CHADWELL, NASM CPT...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 10, 2017