A champion on the verge of a dynasty. A former champion trying to reclaim glory. A challenger one step away from the dream of a lifetime. A new beast on the horizon. These and other headlines are what will be decided when the thousands of hours of sweat and sacrifice come down to a single moment when one will ascend to the very top as Ultimate Nutrition presents the 2013 IFBB Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness and Performance Weekend, brought to you by Bodybuilding .com, Sept. 26–29 in Las Vegas, NV.
Defending and two-time champ Phil Heath will have to go through the toughest trial of his life if he is to win three consecutive Sandows and join the likes of Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman. Among the threats to his claim are last year’s runner-up Kai Greene, third-place finisher Shawn Rhoden, former Mr. Olympia Dexter Jackson, and four time winner Jay Cutler, back after sitting out 2012. Also, making his Olympia debut is rookie pro, 286-pound man-mountain Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay. With perennial challengers Dennis Wolf, Branch Warren, Victor Martinez, and others, expect plenty of fireworks. Team AMI/Weider experts Dennis James, Chad Nicholls, and Fakhri Mubarak give you their unfiltered take on what could go down at the 2013 IFBB Mr. Olympia.
PHIL HEATH DATE OF BIRTH: Dec. 18, 1979 ■ HEIGHT: 5'9" ■ WEIGHT: 250 lbs ■ OLYMPIA HISTORY: 2012, 1st; 2011, 1st; 2010, 2nd; 2009, 5th; 2008, 3rd
Dennis James: I don’t think he needs to come in any bigger. Phil’s got the kind of animated muscle that jumps out at you, and in order for that to happen, he needs to be dry. He needs to bring the condition he had in 2011. But there is no room for error, and he needs to be equally good on both nights. He’s built his delts up so much that he took care of the width problem that plagued him early in his career. Unless he’s off and the rest of the guys nail it, I don’t see anyone beating him. I see guys being able to give him a run for his money, but if past performance is any indication, he will do his homework and come in tight and coupled with his muscularity and fullness and that will be a very tough package to overcome.
Fahkri Mubarak: Many people say that Phil is good because of his genetics, but what they don’t know is that he works extremely hard every day and loves being Mr. Olympia. He’ll do everything in his power to keep being Mr. O. The only way to beat Phil is to be better than him overall. So you have to have a better structure than him, better lines, great tie-ins, a small waist, round muscle bellies, and conditioning so dumb that it looks unreal. Well, the problem is that Phil brings that to the stage all the time. He is one of the best of all time already by winning two Mr. Olympias, and he’s my choice to win it again.
Chad Nicholls: I see Phil winning the show; he has momentum, however, he’s definitely got his work cut out for him. It won’t be a walk in the park at all. Kai Greene was extremely close last year, but he’s looking at an entirely different scenario with the momentum Mamdouh Elssbiay has after his recent N.Y. Pro win. At the end of the day, Phil can be no less than 100%. When he is, his muscles display crazy depth and his conditioning stands out. He is a complete athlete, though we are noticing his structural flaws with more athletes pushing their size and conditioning against him. He needs spot-on conditioning. He hasn’t been very consistent and has been less than 100% onstage more times than he’s hit it on the money. If Phil shows up as he did in 2012, he loses if he comes in spot on, he will walk away with win No. 3.
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