💪 How Strong Was Phil Heath?

It’s July 14th, which means France is celebrating Bastille Day. Does anyone know if they keep gyms open today? Asking for a friend. (It’s us. We are the friend.)

Here’s what we have on deck if you’re looking for hypertrophy with your revelry:

  • Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg is looking lean and mean — and dare we say, in fighting shape.

  • Phil “The Gift” Heath is a celebrated, 7-time Mr. Olympia. But how STRONG is he?

  • A legendary world’s strongest man competitor squats over 800 pounds — for the 27th year in a row.

CELEB PHYSIQUES

The Zucker Punch

Image: @stylebender on Instagram

There must be some pretty good gyms in the Metaverse.

Tensions online have flared between social media billionaires Mark Zuckerberg, owner of Facebook (rebranded as Meta, which now owns Facebook, Instagram, and Threads), and Elon Musk, owner of Tesla, SpaceX, and Twitter. Threads is a new social media platform linked to Instagram that is a direct competitor to Twitter, which Musk reluctantly bought for $44 billion dollars on Oct. 27, 2022.

Before we bury the lede, peep the photo (above) of Zuckerberg looking ripped after training with UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and UFC Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

Zuckerberg does have legitimate BJJ bonafides. In May of 2023, Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself getting his had raised in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament. He competed as a white belt, the most novice of the BJJ belt ranking system, in two different division — Gi and No-Gi. He won a gold and silver medal in No-Gi and Gi, respectively.

We’ve got more details on his training below.

BODYBUILDING PROS

How Strong Is/Was “The Gift”?

Credit: @Philheath on Instagram

When you’re nicknamed “The Gift,” chances are you’re going to ruffle a few feathers. But bodybuilder Phil Heath backed up his boisterous moniker with real results, winning seven consecutive Mr. Olympia titles from 2011 to 2017 and cementing himself as one of the premier physique athletes of the 21st century. (And he’s not even officially retired as of 2023.)

Unlike previous Olympia great Ronnie Coleman, whose plate-rattling training videos remain the stuff of legend, Heath’s routines focused on machines over free weights and lacked the jaw-dropping feats of some previous Sandow winners.

This methodical (if not reserved) training style soon led to a popular question among bodybuilding fans and journalists: Just how strong is Phil Heath anyway? Let’s take a look.

TRAINING

Legendary’s Strongman’s Legendary Streak

On July 10, 2023, World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Mitchell Hooper posted a video to his YouTube channel featuring a leg-training session with strength sports icon Nick Best.

After some warm-ups and deliberative conversation with his eventual spotter in Hooper, the 54-year-old Best successfully locks out a 364.2-kilogram (802.9-pound) back squat with wraps starting at around the 4:45 mark in the video. According to Best in the video, it is now the 27th consecutive year he has squatted at least this much weight for one rep.

THE DROPSET

Dieu’s Offseason Dominance

Image: @andreideiu_on Instagram