Clash of the Titans Eight: Phil Heath vs Kevin Levrone
September 16, 2009
The 2009 Mr. Olympia on September 25-26 is shaping up to be the most competitive in history. Loaded with star power that hasn't been seen since the explosion of talent that populated the lineups of the nineties and into the new millennium, it sparks the timeless debate: Who was better, the champions of yesterday or the champions of today? To answer that, we've pitted the class of '09 against legendary names from the past, each in a one on one battle to determine once and for all, who will reign supreme.
The eighth in our Olympia Clash of the Titans series features reigningPhil "The Gift" Heath and Kevin "The Maryland Muscle Machine" Levrone.
TALE OF THE TAPE
|NAME: Phil Heath
WEIGHT: 240 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 2008, 3rd
|NAME: Kevin Levrone
WEIGHT: 240 pounds
OLYMPIA HISTORY: 1992, 2nd; 1993, 5th; 1994, 3rd; 1995, 2nd; 1996, 3rd; 1997, 4th; 1998, 4th; 1999, 4th; 2000, 2nd; 2001, 3rd; 2002, 2nd; 2003, 6th
SCOUTING REPORT: HEATH
Although 2009 will mark only his second Olympia appearance, Heath has already established himself as one of the favorites. Like Levrone, Heath has almost no weak points. His formerly subpar back is now shaping up to be among the best in the world. His arms are arguably the best. His legs, calves included, are also near the top. While his chest leaves room for improvement and his clavicles aren't the widest, his lines make up the difference.
SCOUTING REPORT: LEVRONE
In survey after survey Kevin Levrone ranks at or near the top of the list when it comes to uncrowned Olympia winners. With four second place finishes, including in his Olympia debut, Levrone has established himself as an all-time great, regardless of the fact he never got to hold a Sandow aloft. There's very little to criticize about a primed Levrone physique. His delts and arms were astounding, his legs amazing, his torso fantastic. His back was a minor liability, but only because he had to compare it to those of Messrs Yates and Coleman so often.
Levrone is complete from head to toe. Although in later years his legs lagged a little, at his peak (which is what we're comparing) they were terrific. Heath's chest thins out a little in the front double biceps and looks a bit narrow in the most muscular, but he beats Levrone in conditioning and overall leg development.
Levrone is among the best of all time in the side shots. While Heath's chest results in a Levrone edge from the waist up, his crazy glute and hamstring separation give him a lower body advantage.
Heath has an edge here, sporting a crisper, more detailed back and incredible glute/ham/calf density, although Levrone's width is an advantage for him.
Levrone and Heath present two of the finest physiques in IFBB history and are very evenly matched. Because Heath is required to reach a higher level of conditioning than Levrone he wins in that department hands down. All things being equal, however, this match is a virtual dead heat. Based on photos of Heath taken at this year's Jacksonville Pro our prediction is that he will surpass Levrone at this year's Olympia. In other words, this one is still open...
FLEXONLINE OLYMPIA COUNTDOWN
JAY CUTLER'S GUIDE TO LAS VEGAS
2009 MR. OLYMPIA: WHERE DOES IT RANK?
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: WARREN VS EL SONBATY
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: FREEMAN VS DILLET
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: WOLF VS SCHLIERKAMP
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: MARTINEZ VS WHEELER
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: GREENE VS. CORMIER
2009 OLYMPIA: WHY I BEAT...
OLYMPIA MADNESS: PLAY-IN ROUND
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: CUTLER VS. YATES
2009 OLYMPIA: WHO WILL STEP UP?
OLYMPIA MADNESS: ROUND ONE
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: JACKSON VS RAY
PHIL HEATH: PHASE V VIDEO
2009 OLYMPIA: WOLF'S REBOUND?
OLYMPIA CLASH OF THE TITANS: HEATH VS LEVRONE