James “Flex” Lewis is an IFBB Professional Open division bodybuilder from Wales. He’s a 7x 212 division Olympia champion. This is his complete profile, biography, training regime, diet plan, and more.
(IFBB Pro bodybuilder, trainer, business owner)
|Full name: James Lewis|
|212 – 238lbs (96 – 107kg)||5 ft 5.5” (1.66 m)||37 years|
|Date of birth||Era||Nationality|
|November 15, 1985||2000, 2010, 2020||Welsh|
James “Flex’ Lewis was born in Llanelli, Wales.
At age 12, Flex Lewis got his hands on a book by the “Golden Eagle” Tom Platz and you could say that he developed an obsession for muscular physiques at this point.
He can thank his aunt for attending a Platz seminar and bringing the book home that had photos of the legend’s iconic legs.
But he was also, like many of us who are into building big muscles, inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Lewis started off with some plastic Weider branded weights at home. Although, his parents didn’t exactly love the idea of him lifting weights at that age. However, he snuck and trained anyway but his parents eventually took them back.
Little did his parents know at the time that their son would one day be one of the all-time bodybuilding greats.
In the meantime, though, he was very involved in the sport of Rugby which is, surprisingly, how he earned the nickname “Flex” due to his amazing flexibility and ability to escape tackles.
There’s a misconception that he was given the nickname from being involved in the sport of bodybuilding but that’s not the case. In fact, he was called Flex by his peers at just 6 years old.
Fast forward to age 15 and Flex Lewis was old enough to train at a gym and you better believe he took full advantage. Having access to equipment would allow him to bulk up for Rugby.
But it was there that he was eventually discovered by a local bodybuilder by the name of Steve Naylor who saw the potential in young Flex. So they linked up and off to training they went.
Lewis entered his first bodybuilding show, the Jr. Mr. Wales at 19 of which he prevailed victorious. It was at this event that Flex met famous coach Neil “Yoda” Hill who he’s worked with for several years and currently.
At age 22, Lewis moved to the US to pursue his dreams and the rest was history.
“Working with Neil, he doesn’t allow you to have any like room for error, he’s very anal about everything.”
Flex Lewis Bodybuilding Competition and Career
To continue from the last piece, Lewis and Hill have been working together for years after the latter first convinced him to try his Y3T program. Flex went on to win his second show under Hill’s guidance.
Related: Flex Lewis Reflects On Journey To Open Bodybuilding Debut, Recalls Meeting Neil Hill
Lewis was contacted by Ed Connors shortly thereafter and convinced that he needed to come to the US if he was to reach his full potential and maximize his success in bodybuilding.
He trained at the famous Gold’s Gym in Venice in California for a little and then was eventually approached by the well-known Milos Sarcev, who invited him to train with elite bodybuilders at Kolosseum Gym.
It was a group of competitors who’d train and do everything together; a brotherhood.
Famous journalist and promoter Peter McGough eventually introduced Flex Lewis to the legendary Joe Weider who offered him a contract with Weider Publications in 2006.
He won his Pro Card at the 2007 British Nationals in the Overall Division.
Flex Lewis is known as the greatest 212 division bodybuilder of all time, winning seven consecutive titles. He retired from the 212 division after his seven wins.
But the “Welsh Dragon” decided to make the switch to the Open division where the competitors are as big and muscular as it gets.
Lewis received a special invitation to compete in what would have been his first Mr. Olympia contest (2020 Mr. Olympia). However, he opted to sit and work on rehabbing his injuries from years of being an athlete.
Flex Lewis competition history
- 2018 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2017 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2016 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2015 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2015 IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2014 IFBB San Marino Pro: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2014 EVL’s Prague Pro 212 Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2014 IFBB Korea Grand Prix 212: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2014 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2014 IFBB Arnold Sports Festival: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2013 EVL’s Prague Pro 212 Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2013 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2012 EVL’s Prague Pro 212 Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2012 British Grand Prix 212 Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2012 Mr. Olympia Weekend Bodybuilding: IFBB Pro 212 – 1st Place
- 2011 Arnold Classic Europe Men’s Bodybuilding: Pro Men – 5th Place
- 2011 Mr. Olympia Weekend Men 202: Open – 2nd Place
- 2011 New York Pro Championships Men’s 202: Men’s 202 Class – 2nd Place
- 2011 Mr. Europe Grand Prix Men’s Open: Men’s Open List – 3rd Place
- 2011 IFBB British Grand Prix Men’s 202: Men’s 202 List – 1st Place
- 2009 IFBB Atlantic City Pro 202 Division – 1st Place
- 2009 IFBB 202 Challenge (Mr. Olympia) 202 Division – 5th Place
- 2008 Europa Pro Overall Division – 7th Place
- 2008 Europa Pro 202 Division – 1st Place
- 2008 Tampa Pro Open Division – 7th Place
Amateur Competition History:
- 2007 British Nationals (Earned Pro Card) Overall Division – 1st Place
- 2006 Mr. Wales U90, Overall U90 Division – 1st Place
- 2006 Mr. Britain U90 Division – 1st Place
- 2004 Nabba Mr. Universe – 1st Place
- 2004 EFBB Jr. Mr. Britain – 1st Place
- 2004 EFBB Jr. Mr. Wales – 1st Place
- 2004 Nabba Mr. Europe – 1st Place
- 2004 Nabba Jr. Mr. Britain – 1st Place
- 2004 Nabba Mr. Wales – 1st Place
- 2003 EFBB Jr. Mr. Britain – 1st Place
- 2003 EFBB Novice Mr. Wales – 1st Place
- 2003 EFBB Jr. Mr. Wales – 1st Place
Flex Lewis Training Regime
The Welsh Dragon’s workout can vary throughout the year but we’ve shared some examples of his workouts shared to YouTube below.
Lewis likes to train heavy but he’ll also sometimes mix things up and do higher reps to create a new stimulus for the muscles.
“Bodybuilding is all about muscle confusion, muscle breakdown, and I truly believe that if you do the same routine week in and week out, your body will get used to it.”
- Standing cable chest fly
- Lying chest press machine
- Incline dumbbell press superset w/ barbell chest press
- Seated chest press
- Machine lateral raise
- Seated machine overhead press
- Seated dumbbell raises
- Pec dec performed at shoulder level
Lewis believes that finding your own training style is a good thing and that you don’t always have to follow what others are doing.
“You look at athletes who have won many titles, you look at the Mr. Olympias of the last couple of years, every one of them has a different style, all the way from Ronnie Coleman to Jay Cutler.”
- Cable triceps pushdowns using rope
- Elevated bodyweight triceps extensions using Smith bar
- Machine triceps dips
- Dumbbell skull crushers
- Close-grip preacher curl
- Standing alternating dumbbell curls
Diet and Nutrition
Flex Lewis usually has six meals per day and a shake.
He has a shake and greens for breakfast, five solid meals in between, and then a shake to finish up his day of eating.
An example of an eating day for Flex is two chicken, two beef, and one salmon meal with rice. Of course, his diet can vary but these meals are what he ate during quarantine according to a day in the life series shared on YouTube in late 2020.
He takes a pre-workout supplement before training for energy and focus.
See our best pre-workout picks for 2022.
Personal Life and Endeavors
Flex Lewis was sponsored by Gaspari Nutrition for six years and then signed with BSN, and in 2018, he was offered a contract by Yamamoto Nutrition of which he accepted.
Lewis currently resides in Boca Raton, Fl with his wife and children. He also owns a large gym, “The Dragon’s Lair,” of which he also trains athletes.
He’s currently rehabbing his injuries in hopes of competing on the Olympia stage in the Open division.
Lewis was close friends with IFBB Pro Dallas McCarver who passed away in 2020. He was like a little brother to Lewis.
Read: Flex Lewis ‘None of Us Know When It’s Time, So Live Life” Remembers Dallas McCarver
Flex Lewis will go down as one of the greatest competitors in history. He’s achieved more than he ever could have imagined but his career isn’t over just yet as we look forward to his Open division participation.
From a boy who wasn’t allowed to train, to GOAT status, we’d say he’s done well for himself and is always a huge inspiration to fans around the world.
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