Bodybuilding legend Phil Heath recently partnered with Will Tennyson for an intense shoulder workout. Heath is yet to raise a curtain from his retirement/comeback but continues to stay in shape, keeping fans’ hopes alive.
Phil Heath is one of the greatest bodybuilders in history. He won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title seven consecutive times from 2010 to 2017. The 43-year-old ruled the pack with insane conditioning, proportions and aesthetics. His rivalry with Kai Greene is considered among the fiercest in the sport’s history. While Greene came close to dethroning Heath on several occasions, he never succeeded.
Heath also competed against other bodybuilding greats like Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, to name a few. While he successfully stayed on top for three quarters of a decade, late Shawn Rhoden eventually caught up with the dominant champion and dethroned him at the 2018 Olympia. Heath returned in 2020 and finished third at the Olympia. Although he has not competed in the subsequent years, Heath is yet to formally announce his retirement.
While the prospects of his return are always present as the seven-time Mr. Olympia never stopped training and maintains a stage-worthy physique to this day. Heath has laid out conditions for his return on several occasions but it has not come to fruition so far. However, veteran bodybuilder Milos Sarcev recently raised suspicion that Heath might be preparing secretly to compete at the 2024 Arnold Classic.
Recently, Phil Heath partnered with Canadian fitness influencer Will Tennyson for a shoulder workout. Tennyson is constantly gaining popularity in the YouTube fitness community and ha amassed 2.07 million subscribers with engaging content. He routinely partners with elite bodybuilders to gain bodybuilding knowledge and also challenges himself in unique ways to test the limits of his body.
Phil Heath and Will Tennyson go through a shoulder workout
Will Tennyson recently invited Phil Heath to train with him and share the wealth of bodybuilding wisdom he has accumulated over the decades. The duo trained together with a sense of camaraderie but furious intensity as Heath gave insightful bodybuilding tips along the way. The video of this session was posted on Will Tennyson’s personal YouTube channel. So let’s check out how the legendary bodybuilder helped Tennyson push his limits in the gym.
Phil started the workout with face pulls using a rope attachment. This exercise primarily targets posterior/rear delts. Instead of gripping the rope attachment firmly, Heath held it between the index and middle fingers of both hands to isolate the posterior delts to a greater degree.
“I try to (start with rear delt exercises) because I want to create more stability and it’s always something that majority of people don’t train until the very end,” Phil Heath stated.
The duo tackled a few sets of face pulls and Will Tennyson admitted to feeling the movement in the rear delts, which generally does not happen with him.
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Heath and Tennyson next jumped into the medial/lateral delt-focused exercise and did dumbbell lateral raises. Given the nature of this movement, using extremely heavier dumbbells is not common. Tennyson was curious to know how he could increase the amount of weight used for lateral raise. Heath advised the fitness YouTuber to hold the dumbbell with a pinky instead of a thumb and notice the difference.
“I can’t even emphasize the difference just flexing this thing (pinky). Squeezing this thing makes everything way harder,” Tennyson said.
Many bodybuilders employ partial reps at the end of the set to push beyond failure. Will Tennyson asked the legendary bodybuilder to share his thoughts on the same.
“The problem with it is like I feel like I’d rather do that sh** on the machine. Doing with the dumbbells, that’s cool. But then it’s just kind of funny,” Phil responded.
Dumbbell Front Raises
While many bodybuilders argue that front delts get stimulated during most pushing exercises and put less emphasis on anterior delt training, Heath believes that is not reason enough to avoid training that muscle. He guided Tennyson to this anterior delt isolation movement and the duo cranked out a few sets.
“These muscles are stubborn. So we’ve got to wake them up, we’ve got to slap them around. We’ve got to remind them that their job is to grow,” Phil Heath said about muscle building.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The duo took to the standard seated dumbbell shoulder press next to stimulate anterior deltoids further. Seated shoulder press target the anterior deltoids. While the standing variation of the movement is more beneficial to building functional strength, the seated variation eliminates the role of stabilizing and core muscles. This helps with inducing hypertrophy more effectively. The duo pushed through some solid sets of exercises with perfect technique and went back to working with the machines.
Machine Incline Shoulder Press
Phil Heath and Will Tennyson performed the machine variation of incline shoulder press in the concluding part of the training session to add the final bit of stimulus to their anterior deltoid muscles. In addition to the delts, incline shoulder press engages the pectoral muscles to a greater degree. After getting some solid sets of the movement under their belts, the duo wrapped up the training session.
Overall, the workout composed of following exercises:
- Cable Face Pulls
- Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Dumbbell Front Raises – Hammer Grip and Regular Grip
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Machine Incline Shoulder Press
Phil Heath advices young lifters to stay away from jacka**es that recommend PED use
Rising PED use among young bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts has become a major concern in the fitness world. Being a dynamic fitness influencer, Will Tennyson has amassed a vast number of young followers. After concluding the training session, Tennyson asked Phil Heath to share his wisdom with teenagers and young adults that might fall prey to poor training methods or PED use.
“I want you guys to live, and I want you guys to live the best life you can live. But I want you to make sense as to why? If you are going to take that step in the PED realm, why are you doing it? Are you doing it because some jacka** told you?” Heath said.
Elaborating further on the people that promote the use of PEDs, he added:
“That’s a drug dealer. I don’t like those people, man! They’re very toxic to our community and I also want to let the influencers know – When you sensationalize the drug use, guys like me, Guys like Jay (Cutler), guys like Ronnie (Coleman), we look down upon that because we don’t want anybody to get hurt and just because you haven’t been hurt yet, doesn’t mean someone else won’t get hurt.”
Most elite professional bodybuilders reached their natural potential before using PEDs. However, this fact gets completely neglected by impatient youngsters. As a result, many young lifters face health complications. Heath drew attention to this and said:
“The younger you’re trying this, you’re not even allowing your natural potential to shine through. I would love to see your generation of lifters to just give it a chance. Don’t compare yourselves to the guys that are insecure.”
Phil Heath has conquered the highest peak of achievements. He is also one of the bodybuilders that preserved their health while pursuing an intense sport. His advice to stay away from PEDs holds more water than those promoting the use of it.
You can watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Will Tennyson’s personal YouTube channel: