Phil Heath continues to tease a return to professional bodybuilding. In a recent interview with Jay Cutler, Heath discussed a bodybuilding comeback for next year at the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest.
Throughout the mid-2000s, Phil Heath dominated the Men’s Open division with an iron fist. From 2011-2017, ‘The Gift’ was recognized as the world’s best bodybuilder, having won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title on seven occasions.
He competed against former champions like four-time winner Jay Cutler and the late Shawn Rhoden, but perhaps his biggest claim to fame was the intense rivalry he shared with perennial contender Kai Greene. His longstanding success was put to a halt in 2018, however, when he finished runner-up to Rhoden.
Heath hasn’t dismissed a return to bodybuilding despite taking a few years away from the world’s most competitive stage. In fact, Heath revealed earlier this year that his chance of making a comeback stood at just five percent. Nevertheless, fans continue to press the former Mr. Olympia to confirm their suspicions. Adding fuel to the fire, Heath shared in November that his plan for 2023 is ‘fuc**ng crazy.’
In the latest Cutler Cast podcast, Phil and Jay mulled over potential returns to the sport. Heath, who is currently 43 years old, made it clear he intends to make a comeback in 2023.
Jay Cutler: “I Would Come Back And Compete Right Now For A Million”
While Cutler retired in 2013, the bodybuilding legend would come back for a hefty price tag.
“What would it cost for you [Jay Cutler] real quick to come back. How much would it cost for you to do one more [Olympia]?” Phil Heath asked Jay Cutler.
“I think a million bucks. I would come back and compete right now for a million I think because I’m doing my fit for 50. I turn 50 in August. I’m 5″9′. What would I do in [Classic Physique] my waist is wider than my shoulders!”
A few months ago, all signs pointed to Jay Cutler coming back after his physique did the rounds on social media. His vascular and shredded look prompted fans to ask if he was preparing for a show. Within days, Cutler shot down any chances of making a comeback. He said he is currently transforming his physique as part of a ‘fit for 50’ challenge.
“Are you coming back to compete next year? How many times did you get that [at 2022 Olympia]? You know what, [the fans] are asking for you everywhere I go. And I don’t want to hear this Masters shit. Everybody is talking about the Masters Olympia. They [the fans] think I’m coming back for the Masters.
I fit the Masters a little more than you do because you still look the part man — you’re still training all the time. You look great,” says Jay Cutler.
Cutler added that the Masters Olympia this year will be open to athletes 45 and older. Olympia Owner Jake Wood has teased the show’s return as the last event took place in 2012, which was won by Dexter Jackson. Wood specified that 2023 Masters Olympia is slated to be held in Romania, likely next August or October.
“Someone said it’s for 45 [years or older]. The last one was 40. So, they changed it, so yeah that would be two years for me to do that,” Phil Heath said. “But I’d have to be 45. I hadn’t heard that the [2022 Olympia winner got $450,000].”
Phil Heath on Bodybuilding Return: ‘I’m Going to Come Back’
Phil Heath confirmed he’s planning to come back to bodybuilding. He intends to take part in a three-month training test-run to assess where improvements are needed most.
“I was the Planet Hollywood, and a lot of people were just taking pictures and stuff. It does get old. It feels good though. This is different for me. People are like — you’re right I’m going to get questions about a comeback, and I am going to come back,” says Phil Heath.
“Hey look, all I gotta do is train for three months and see what happens. If I like what I see… then I like what I see,” Phil Heath said.
In November, Heath revealed that he was ‘rebuilding his physique’ for 2023. His coach Hany Rambod, who guided Hadi Choopan, Derek Lunsford, and Chris Bumstead to success at 2022 Olympia, wouldn’t dismiss a Phil Heath return. Rambod explained that ‘nothing is impossible’ but Heath winning an eighth Mr. Olympia title would be a ‘very difficult’ task.
Watch the full video below:
Many believe Phil Heath’s midsection held him back from winning an eighth Mr. Olympia title. Should he fix the issue, fans are confident he could push for one more Sandow next year.