Bodybuilding legend Phil Heath reached the top of the sport with a jaw-dropping display of fullness and conditioning. While away from the stage, Heath recently offered fans insight for growing three-dimensional delts.
Reigning over the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open division, Heath cemented himself as an all-time great with a total of seven Mr. Olympia titles. His rivalry with perennial contender Kai Greene lives on to this day as one of the most heated and memorable. When looking back on his battles with Heath, Greene said he ‘hated’ him but respected his accomplishments.
Heath last competed in 2020 at Mr. Olympia, where he earned third place, behind runner-up Brandon Curry, and former two-time champion, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay. Last year, Heath promised a big surprise for the bodybuilding community. At the beginning of January, Heath appeared on a Cutler Cast podcast and hinted at an eventual return.
Given his condition and overall mass, fans continue fueling discussions about Phil Heath’s comeback. Since stepping away from the limelight, Heath has taken part in countless training sessions, like when he joined NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe for a ‘bodybuilding-style’ workout. This time, Heath used his time in the gym to offer guidance on growing bigger delts.
Phil Heath on Growing 3D Delts: “People Don’t Train What They Can’t See”
Heath said lifters often forget the delt has three heads: rear, side, and front (anterior, lateral, posterior).
“So right now, I’m just getting warmed up, doing some cable stuff. There’s some behind-the-back cables, side laterals, now, I’m working some rears. Rear delts. A lot of people don’t have them and it’s because they don’t train what they can’t see. They don’t realize they have a rear, side, and front delt.
Usually, they train rears at the very end of their workout because they want to focus so much on presses, like I said, they tend to forget that small muscle but that small muscle helps, especially when you have big triceps, you got the trap, front delt, side delt, and the rear – you got to have some meat back there. If you don’t have some meat back there, you’re not going to be 3D. Everybody wants to talk about this 3D stuff, but you got to make sure you’re training to be 3D.”
He highlighted the need for a proper warm up before progressing with pressing movements.
“I start out doing exercises like this, it might be something you consider your workout, but it’s my pre workout. So, I’ll do these two, do some fronts with this rope, which is really cool because then I can do a set here, do the rope in between my legs like this, work the front delt. Then, I can get right into presses. Some people consider that a pre-exhaustion movement doing those three exercises, but for me… my warm up is very very important. I don’t really have to also grip this, like a lot of people grip it. I can just use a couple fingers and just pull to my face,” says Phil Heath.
Phil’s rival-turned-friend, Jay Cutler, has been pushing for his return for quite some time. While assessing ‘The Gift’s’ chances at an eighth Sandow, Cutler said he’d surely ‘do damage’ if he returned to the Olympia stage in 2023. At the Olympia last December, Heath served as a commentator for the event instead of competing.
Heath opened up in a Muscular Development interview about some of his recent steroid protocols. Overall, the 43-year-old said his primary goal was to optimize his health and longevity. Even though he’s yet to announce a firm return date, there’s no denying Heath has done an incredible job of maintaining an Olympia-caliber physique.