Written by Big Al
09 October 2012

Mr. Olympia Workout

With “The Gift” Phil Heath


Mr. Olympia champion Phil Heath became a pro after less than three years of training, and was looked upon as such a genetically gifted bodybuilder that his self-given nickname “The Gift” was deemed totally appropriate and accepted by those in the industry. Despite being undersized, Phil defied the odds with a great work ethic and iron-willed determination. His 248 pounds distributed on his 5’9” frame have an almost a 3-D effect, with perfectly balanced proportions. In the ongoing “Aesthetics vs. Freakiness” debate, Phil Heath ends all discussion. He is the hybrid: the first “Aesthetic Freak.” As Flex Wheeler remarked as Phil took the stage at last year’s Mr. Olympia, “Man, I’ve never seen anything like this.” As Phil prepares to defend his Mr. Olympia title, let’s take a look at the training of the man who many say may eventually be proclaimed as one of the best bodybuilders in history.


Day 1: Quads, hams and calves

Day 2: Chest

Day 3: Back

Day 4: Quads (a.m.)

Hams ands calves (p.m.)

Day 5: Delts

Day 6: Back

Day 7: Chest ands arms

Abs are worked every second day.


Excercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbell Presses 4 8-10
Side Lateral Raises 4 8-12
Barbell Front Raises 4 8-10
One-arm Cable Side Raises 7 8-12
Face Pulls 4 8-10
Bent Over Lateral Raises 7 8-12
Sets performed in FST-7 style with minimum rest


Phil Heath WorkoutPhil Heath follows the FST-7 training system formulated by his contest-prep advisor, Hany Rambod. Here Rambod describes the fundamentals of this system.

“FST stands for Fascia Stretch Training, and the 7 refers to the 7 rapid sets performed usually as the final exercise of the targeted body part. The goal with the 7 sets— both the volume and the pace— is to bring a flood of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, oxygen, etc. into the muscle being worked. This pump also stretches the fascia surrounding the muscle, which helps encourage maximal muscle growth. The fascia is the thin sheath of connective tissue that holds muscle in place. This system stretches the fascia from the inside out by flooding the muscle with blood, etc. and forcing the muscle to grow. This is achieved by getting the maximum pump with 7 sets with a certain exercise for a body part being completed with only 30-40 seconds or so rest between sets. Make sure to stay hydrated during these 7 sets so as to push that fluid into the muscle and stretch the fascia even further. Even during the rest time, you should be flexing the worked muscle so as to keep the pump going and put optimum pressure on the fascia.”

For more on this system, keep checking Hany Rambod’s “The Pro Creator” column in MD and visit his website, http://www.fst-7.com.


“The way Jay handled himself was epic. We saw how great a heart he has. He’s guided me for six years and he still had the grace to guide me through to the end although it meant beating him. Amazing.” —Speaking of how gracious Jay Cutler was onstage as Heath took his title at the 2011 Mr. Olympia.

“When I drew number 22 at the athlete’s meeting, I was sure the stars were in my favor. That was my number during my high school and college basketball days. Plus I pack a couple of 22s in my shirtsleeves.” —Commenting after his 2011 Mr. O win.

“I woke up this morning as Mr. Olympia, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet— it’s gonna take some time … maybe when then check comes.” —The morning after his Olympia win.

“Thanks for taking a chance on a basketball player.” —Said to bodybuilding historian and MD’s Peter McGough, after finishing third in his first Olympia (2008). McGough was an early supporter of Phil’s career.

“It was a slam dunk.” —McGough’s response to previous comment.

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