Phil Heath decides to sit out the 2009 Arnold Classic

by Allan Donnelly

November 24, 2008


Prediction time: Phil Heath won’t be winning the Arnold Classic in 2009.

No, we haven’t soured on The Gift’s otherwordly potential, especially not after his third-place finish at the 2008 Olympia, behind only winner Dexter Jackson and runner-up Jay Cutler. It’s simply because Heath has decided he will bypass the second-biggest contest in bodybuilding to focus on winning the sport’s ultimate title.

“After the Olympia, I definitely feel I could not only place high at the Arnold, I could win it,” Heath said. “But my goal is to be Mr. Olympia. I just feel that to continue to improve and satisfy everyone – including myself – I would need another 10 months. I think I can be 240 on stage – dry and hard. But we can’t do it in March. I just need that time in the gym.”

Heath’s announcement comes on the heels of Dennis Wolf‘s decision to also bypass the Arnold and sit out until the Olympia and Joe Weider’s Pro World Cup in Berlin, Germany the following weekend. Those decisions leave 2007 Arnold Classic champ Victor Martinez and fifth-place Olympia finisher Toney Freeman as the early favorites in Columbus come March.