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Phil Heath Says $1M Could Prompt Return to Mr. Olympia or Masters Olympia: ‘I Know My Worth’

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Phil Heath, a Men’s Open great who attained seven Mr. Olympia titles, is fueling talks of an eventual comeback. In a recent Voice of Bodybuilding podcast, Heath revealed the conditions required to make a viable return to the sport. 

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A few months ago, the 2023 Masters Olympia reemerged on the bodybuilding calendar following an 11-year hiatus. The last Masters Olympia competition (2012) was won by Dexter ‘The Blade’ Jackson, who says he’s happy with his decision to step away from the sport. Given the show’s targeted return to Romania, fans are curious as to who might make an appearance. 

The athletes list for the Masters Olympia has yet to be revealed but Phil Heath has teased a return to the sport since late last year. In an appearance on Jay Cutler’s podcast, Heath said “I’m coming back” although was unclear in what capacity. Nevertheless, he’s remained in spectacular shape away from the stage. 

From injectable stacks to optimum post-bodybuilding cycles, Heath is an open book since his last Olympia contest in 2020 (third place). With the mass of an Open pro at 43, many in the sport, including Cutler, have called for his comeback. To shed some light on his 2023 bodybuilding plans, ‘The Gift’ spoke with Bob Cicherillo about what lies ahead. 

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Phil Heath Weighs Pros and Cons of 2023 Comeback: ‘It’s Got to Be More Than for a 2-Day Headline’ 

According to Heath, he’s in a lose-lose situation because fans will question him for not competing at the regular Mr. Olympia show if he chooses to enter the 2023 Masters Olympia. 

“You know, I was on Jay Cutler’s podcast… and I think that’s where it started because he’s doing this fitness after 50 thing, which God bless him, I mean that’s great, for me… Jay said if they paid a certain amount of money, I mean I understand that part too but I’ll be honest, it’s got to be more than just for a two-day headline, for me. And I know how everybody thinks – and I really do,” said Heath.

“If I were to do this show, everybody is going to say, ‘Why didn’t you do the regular Olympia? It just makes sense, you look phenomenal and this and that. I understand these things so well that it doesn’t really serve me. I would really have to have a compelling argument because I have to play both sides right.” 

Heath wasn’t enticed by $100,000 for a return and said his value is worth paying a premium for. 

“I produce a lot of numbers; I know my worth, it’s worth way more than 100 grand. I’m just going to be upfront. We’re in a sport in my opinion, where certain personalities – certain athletes bring so much value that there should be something to nudge them and no different than, hey we want this UFC fighter or we want this person to come from boxing into the UFC or vice-versa, we’re willing to pay a fee and I think that’s just business. Unfortunately, that conversation doesn’t exist.” 

“Oh there’s definitely a number, they have to come up, it would have to make sense. I don’t need to – I’m not going to sing for my suffering at this point. We would have to have a meeting of the minds and actually figure out, ‘Hey, how would this make sense for you guys?’ if I say, ‘Hey, a million dollars, they’re going to say why, we don’t really need you.’ Then, you could say well, how do we make that happen? There are phone calls that can actually be made to produce.”

Phil’s predecessor Cutler admitted he pressured Heath to compete at last year’s 2022 Olympia event, won by Iran’s Hadi Choopan. Cutler believes Heath could have done damage if he entered the contest. Meanwhile, one of Heath’s arch-rivals, Kai Greene, failed to shut the door on a comeback as well and recently said, ‘You never know.’  

Some believe Cutler is weighing a return to the sport as he transforms his physique for a ‘Fit for 50’ challenge. He spoke on the subject in a recent JayCutlerTV interview, where he said he could dramatically transform his body in the coming months with proper nutrition, training, and testosterone replacement therapy

RELATED: Hidetada Yamagishi Out of Retirement for 2023 Masters Olympia: ‘I’ll Be on Stage at 50’

Phil Heath is keeping his fans guessing about his future plans, but his hints and demands suggest he is not done with bodybuilding yet. 

Watch the full video below, courtesy of Bob Cicherillo’s YouTube channel: 


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