Phil Heath won his first Mr. Olympia title last year with one of the most complete physiques ever seen. He’s the odds-on favorite to defend his O title this September.

Here, Heath shares his most valuable pieces of training advice, culled from countless hours spent in the gym:

-The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to come up with any exotic movements if what you’re currently doing is working. The goal is to find out what works.

-There are days when I don’t count sets at all, but then there are some days when I have to realize that I don’t want to overwork because I still have an hour of cardio ahead of me or another training session later that day.

-A lot of guys think that you have to hammer it out at the gym every single workout. Ideally, you want to do that. But you have to keep in mind that your body may not be recovering as fast, and you might actually be doing more harm than good.

-Saying, “Oh, I’m just going to focus on higher reps and shred up”—that’s a fallacy. I don’t buy into that anymore. Early on in my career, before I started working with Hany (Rambod), I believed that, but not anymore. I realize that a stronger muscle is always a bigger one and that you should be able to lift heavy throughout your contest prep until maybe the last 10 days. And quite frankly, I lifted heavy up until three days out from the (2011) Olympia.