The overall focus for Phil has been refinement. Our goal was to put on a maximum of three pounds compared with last year, which is like 10–15 pounds on other guys because of Phil’s muscle quality and depth of separation. Seven to eight pounds would be too heavy for him. We train together three to four days every three to four weeks during contest prep, and the training adjustments are dynamic.


Phil’s set cardio routine starts about 10 weeks out. It’s about 30 minutes twice a day. Usually he does steady state in the morning and intervals at night, and then we’ll flip the methods after a few days.



Jeremy’s prep centered on adding size. Because the guys in his division are getting bigger we targeted a five- to seven-pound muscle gain since last year. To keep his waist as small as possible we stay away from exercises that will cause his obliques to grow.


At 10 weeks out, he does 20–30 minutes of cardio per day. His body comes down fast, so we have to watch his weight.


Phil needs to consume more food, so it’s OK if he bulks. During the off-season he’s 275 pounds. With Jeremy, he’s going to grow into the show. Getting too heavy is going to stretch out his gut. As for legs, men’s physique guys train them to keep the metabolism going. However, legs are not nearly as important in men’s physique compared with bodybuilding.


In 2014, Hany Rambod became the first contest prep coach to take three athletes—Phil Heath, Jeremy Buendia, and Nicole Wilkins (figure)—to their respective Olympia titles in the same year.