Phil Heath: How Almond Butter Ruined His Midsection
In the aftermath of 2017’s Mr. Olympia there has been an incredible response to Phil Heath’s narrow victory over Big Ramy. Many fans believing for the first time that Phil was the obvious loser especially because of his ‘bubble gut’.
The midsection has always been a critical aspect of great physique in bodybuilding. It continues to be one of the most vexing aspects of elite competition because the goal is not growth, but tightness. The dreaded ‘bubble gut’ has been an object of harsh criticism from the bodybuilding community.
In the following video, Phil Heath talks about his diet and workout experiences to keep a relatively trim & tight midsection. Phil also shares one episode with recalled almond butter gave him particular trouble:
“Ten weeks out from the Olympia I was ingesting almond butter that was on recall – did not know it. I was doing it for two whole months. So about two weeks out I started noticing like wow I’m having these problems. I can’t keep my stomach in- my diaphragm- everything hurts really really bad. I thought ‘Okay I need to go to the store.’ Find out it was on recall, holy sh*t, what do I do? There’s this thing called magnesium citrate try to flush out my whole system. It didn’t work but also it ruined my electrolyte balance which in turn left me with more bloating.”
Phil says that experience steered him away from nuts in general. Although he doesn’t say he has an allergy too them, he is wary of their potential to cause devastating bloating. That’s Phil’s main point on the diet. As far as training – he says ab work is critical.
“As you get bigger – we’re talking 225, 235, 250 range, it’s very difficult. Because everything seems to want to grow. It’s gonna grow proportionate with your body. It’s very hard to manage that.
So what you have to do is really focus on a lot of cardio. Focus on types of abwork -hanging leg raises, jackknifes, suitcase crunches, bicycle kicks – stuff like that.”
Watch the video below:
Phil says that the best way to identify bloating agents in the diet is to keep a food and physique log – otherwise, you are stuck without any real data from which to make decisions.