Ask The Champ: What's An Example Of Your Olympia-Prep Training Schedule?

He beat the odds and the mega-tough competition to earn the Sandow three years in a row. Learn how reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath trains to look his best on stage!

Q
Can you give us poor mortals an example of how you train? You have to be doing something crazy, right?

My goal every year is to be bigger and better than I was the year before. The competition just keeps getting better and the pressure just gets hotter. Nothing gets easier. To keep winning, I have to constantly outdo myself.

This constant competition doesn't mean that I do anything crazy in the gym. I stick to bread-and-butter bodybuilding. I hit my muscles from various angles, work on bringing up any weaknesses, and design workouts that are always challenging and helping me progress.

Here's an example of one of my past splits:

Phil Heath's Olympia-Prep Training Program:

Sunday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves


Monday: Chest


Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves


Thursday: Shoulders


Friday: Back


Saturday: Chest and Arms


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VTrendafilov

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VTrendafilov

Amazing article !!! It is really cool to know Phil Heath's routine ! ....

Jan 28, 2014 6:12pm | report
 
Bcoble0991

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Bcoble0991

Who needs rest days!

Jan 28, 2014 6:33pm | report
 
haunter90

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haunter90

People who don't have help.

Jan 29, 2014 8:32pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 159.83 lbs
  • bf: 13.0%
dylanbohn95

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dylanbohn95

yeah that kind of extremely high volume training only works if.... well you know the routine. But who cares! Phil is awesome and he's getting payed to do this to his body.

Jan 28, 2014 7:30pm | report
 
TankMcRae

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TankMcRae

if... you condition your body to be able to handle high volume. You don't need steroids to be able to do high volume training. I'm natural, and do a two day double split with anywhere from 12-16 sets per body part and will probably increase that volume in a few weeks, and many olympic lifters and powerlifters who are natural will train relatively high volume as well (though in a different manner than I do). You just have to increase your calorie intake to offset the extra calories burned from volume training and make sure you get enough sleep. I've been following that protocol and eating about 4000 calories daily to cut, as opposed to the 3000-3500 I'd eat on a lower volume training program, and haven't experienced anything even remotely similar to overtraining.

Arnold actually explains how to work up to volume like that in his encyclopedia of modern bodybuilding. It's tough for the first few weeks, but after that your body adapts and it becomes pretty easy to maintain.

Jan 28, 2014 8:14pm | report
Saltus

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Saltus

If you use too much volume, though, you will accrue injuries faster and burn out your training years much faster than others.

Jan 28, 2014 10:16pm | report
samerym

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samerym

Not really, Saltus; high volume is usually done with sets taken to mechanical failure, not muscular failure as in high intensity programs, so the strain is less. Also, the heading above the program says "Olympia-prep;" I'm certain you know about periodization--I assume he does not do this year-round.

Jan 29, 2014 8:02am | report
travis132

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travis132

If you're even able to do "2 a day" as a body building split, you're training like a *****.

Jan 29, 2014 3:50pm | report
andmasten

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andmasten

travis, that doesnt even make sense. you sound like an idiot.

Jan 30, 2014 3:53pm | report
Jonesdaboss24

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Jonesdaboss24

good article! the volume is insane!

Jan 28, 2014 9:29pm | report
 
adamosbarca

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adamosbarca

0 day off CHAMPION

Jan 29, 2014 5:12am | report
 
elglodmo

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elglodmo

I like splitting legs in the morning and evening, I think I might give that a try

Jan 29, 2014 5:15am | report
 
travisromero2

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travisromero2

A lot of hard work!

Jan 29, 2014 7:32am | report
 
Qotu79

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Qotu79

Thanks for sharing Phil! Helluva leg day!

Jan 29, 2014 7:33am | report
 
BenBlue

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BenBlue

rest days are overrated as far as I am concerned. If you train smart, eat smart and enough, and sleep enough, there is no reason why you can't do a split that allows you to workout daily, while still giving enough rest time in between hitting the same body parts. I have worked out like this for 10 years, and feel great. I almost never take rest days, and my body feels amazing.

Jan 29, 2014 7:59am | report
 
samerym

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samerym

"sleep enough" and "giving enough rest time in between hitting the same body parts" equals recovery time, same as rest days. And, besides individual differences, there are many other variables to consider. It's not really cut-and-dried.

Jan 29, 2014 9:18am | report
BenBlue

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BenBlue

Listen to what i'm saying: "there is no reason why you can't do a split that allows you to workout daily"
I'm not talking about refusing your body rest, i'm talking about doing a split that gives you the ability to workout everyday without over straining your body. Hence my comment that rest days are overrated IMO. I know this aint for everyone, but to tell people who want to workout daily that they can't do it without hurting themselves or limiting their ability to lift in the future, is nonsense. You can do splits that provide enough rest for your body parts, without actually taking rest days.

Jan 29, 2014 1:06pm | report
samerym

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samerym

We're saying the same thing, in different words. It's just that some novices may read this and think, "Great! This confirms that I should do more and more." I think you may have seen this many times.

Jan 29, 2014 1:22pm | report
badboy198

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badboy198

Preach bro! I couldn't agree more!

May 30, 2014 7:49pm | report
eazey505

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eazey505

try running your car for days non stop, yeah you'll end up burned too, body needs to recuperate, eventually your CNS will shut you down & you become vulnerable to injuries especially when not giving a day rest to your shoulder

Aug 29, 2014 5:15pm | report
DankDangles

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DankDangles

Massive volume in Heath's program. This seems to work for some and not for others.

Jan 29, 2014 9:39am | report
 
RememberthtShit

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RememberthtShit

Explains why he's built like a rhinoceros.

Jan 29, 2014 10:49am | report
 
danydesmarais

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danydesmarais

As far as this program goes, pretty much the exact same thing as all the other program available on this site.

Jan 29, 2014 11:22am | report
samerym

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samerym

Ok man, take all that stuff, and let's see you do what he does.

Jan 29, 2014 1:24pm | report
danydesmarais

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danydesmarais

thats becoming a very poor and old excuse to justify doping and lie.

Jan 29, 2014 1:52pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 50 Comments

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