About Kenneth Flex Wheeler
Born: August 23, 1965
Birthplace: Fresno, California, USA
Residence: Morgan Hill, California, USA
Height: 5′ 9″ (175 cm)
Competition Weight: 229 lbs (104 kg)
Off Season Weight: 265 lbs (120 kg)
Kenneth Wheeler began training as a teenager, initially with martial arts in mind. However his natural development persuaded him to pursue bodybuilding. Despite this he is on record as regarding himself as a “martial artist first, a bodybuilder second.” It also accounts for his remarkable flexibility in a physique so large. Even so, he has been described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the greatest bodybuilders he ever saw.
After a short career as a police officer, Wheeler focused full time on becoming a professional bodybuilder, taking the nickname ‘Flex‘. He competed for the first time in 1983 but it was not until 1989 that he secured a first-place trophy at the NPC Mr California Championships. Since then, he has placed second at the 1993 Mr. Olympia, narrowly missing a win (something he was to repeat in 1998 and 1999). He is a 5 time Ironman Pro winner, 4 time Arnold Classic winner, and has enjoyed victories in the France Grand Prix, South Beach Pro Invitational, Night of Champions and Hungarian Grand Prix.
Flex has the best IFBB pro debut in the history of the sport of body building in 1993 with 4 wins Pro IronMan, Arnold Classic, German Grand Prix, French Grand Prix and 2nd in his first Mr. Olympia.
In 1994 he was involved in a near-fatal car accident that could have left him with lifelong paralysis. He started from scratch again, returning with remarkable speed to the top ranks of the sport.
In 1999 Wheeler discovered that he had Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a form of kidney disease. Despite press speculation as to the cause of the failure, Wheeler pointed out that the condition is hereditary, not self-inflicted. Wheeler announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding in 2000, but continued to compete until 2002. He received a kidney transplant in 2003.
Flex was added to the Guinness Book of Records in 2000.
Since retirement Wheeler has focused again on martial arts, his specialism being Kemp-Kwon-Do, a variant of Kempo and Tae Kwon Do. He participated in a championship match at the 2005 Arnold Classic.
In 2007, Flex was interviewed by freelance journalist Rod Labbe for Ironman Magazine’s LEGENDS OF BODYBUILDING series. Entitled “Yesterday and Today” it covers his extensive career and reveals how a Legend can conquer adversity and triumph against incredible odds.
Flex is a partner with AAEFX currently serves in an executive position as the Director of Media and Public Relations for the Sports Nutrition Company All American EFX, based out of Bakersfield, California. Flex has his own product line with AAEFX called “Flex Wheeler Signature Series”. Additionally, he manages their sponsored athletes and can be seen in numerous advertisements for the company.
Mr. & Masters Olympia Results
- 1993 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 2nd
- 1995 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 8th
- 1996 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 4th
- 1998 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 2nd
- 1999 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 2nd
- 2000 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 3rd
- 2002 – IFBB Mr. Olympia: 7th
- 1985 – AAU Teen Mr America (Medium-Tall)
- 1987 – Rust Wanner (MW)
- 1989 – NPC Governors Cup
- 1989 – NPC California Championships (L-HW)
- 1992 – NPC USA Championships
- 1993 – IFBB Arnold Classic
- 1993 – IFBB Grand Prix France
- 1993 – IFBB Grand Prix Germany
- 1993 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 1995 – IFBB Florida Pro Invitational
- 1995 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 1995 – IFBB South Beach Pro Invitational
- 1996 – IFBB Florida Pro Invitational
- 1996 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 1996 – IFBB Night of Champions
- 1997 – IFBB Arnold Classic
- 1997 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 1997 – IFBB San Jose Pro Invitational
- 1998 – IFBB Arnold Classic
- 1998 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 2000 – IFBB Arnold Classic
- 2000 – IFBB Grand Prix Hungary