Former USA champ Phil Heath, passing on the Mr. Olympia competition for the second consecutive year, was in Vegas not only to see the USA but also to spend time training, eating and discussing bodybuilding with local icon Jay Cutler. Heath spent an entire week with Mr. Olympia, training twice a day, eating seven meals a day and living in the lap of luxury, bunking at Cutler’s pricey new abode.
The deciding factor for Health regarding his skipping the O this time was his fifth-place finish at the ’07 Arnold Classic. Heath says he’ll open the 2008 season at the IRON MAN Pro, followed by the Arnold Classic and the Sacramento
The recently married 27-year-old from Denver is one of the industry’s brightest young stars, and I think his plan to wait until 2008 to compete again is a wise one. He needs time to add some thickness to his upper body, and prepping for the Olympia would have prevented those gains. No need to rush. As Mick Jagger once sang, “Time is on my side, yes it is.”
Although some people jumped off the Heath bandwagon after his placing at the ASC, I’m not one of them. He’ll only be 28 when he makes his Olympia debut a year from now; Cutler will be 35 by then, as will Victor Martinez and Gustavo Badell. Ronnie Coleman, of course, turns 44 next May, but I’ve heard no word of his impending retirement.
Toney Freeman will be 42 and Dexter Jackson just a year shy of four decades. Hey, even the newest wunderkind, Dennis Wolf, is a year older than Phil.
Phil will thrill next season. Take that Gift to the bank.
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