FLEX: What was your reaction to the news that Kai Greene was doing the Arnold Classic?
PHIL: Kai doing the Classic is great for the sport. He hasn’t competed in more than a year—the fans will be happy to have him back.
FLEX: Have you ever met a vegetarian who is big enough to compete as a pro? What about someone who trains with calisthenics, resistance bands, or isometrics?
PHIL: I first met a gentleman a few years back at the Australia Grand Prix, Varinder Singh, who is a vegetarian, and he placed ninth in the open at that contest. I was just in India and saw him again, and he has quite a bit of muscle. In terms of whether a vegetarian or someone who trains with alternative methods can add enough muscle to make it to the Pro League, the answer is yes. I think there are people who have the work ethic, who have the genetics, who find a way to get the job done with the tools they have to work with.
FLEX: At last year’s Olympia press conference, you knew the competition so well that you could have predicted the final rankings at the contest. Do you spend time thinking about your competitors ahead of the Mr. O?
PHIL: I do think about them. I have a good eye for talent and for the field. I look at everybody’s strengths and weaknesses. I do virtual posedowns against them. So, yeah, maybe by that time I do have a good idea of how they’re going to place.
FLEX: Which charity do you support?
PHIL: Make It Fit Foundation, which works to improve the lives of people living with autism. You can go to makeitfit.org for more information.