Phil Heath Discusses What A Pro Bodybuilding Diet Really Costs


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Bodybuilding has become one of the most profitable industries of the sports sector, but to reach the pinnacle, reigning Mr. Olympia Phil Heath has shown us you need to invest a major amount of cash before you can expect that big payday.

Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman said it best when he proclaimed: “Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy-ass weight.” The truth is, plenty of us want to (and do) lift heavy-ass weight, but affording the Mr. Olympia lifestyle is a different matter altogether.

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Heath spoke to the Generation Iron Fitness Network earlier this year, breaking down the costs of his own regime at the microscopic level, and those hoping for a quick shortcut to the peak of the physique world are in for a serious reality check.

Working out is the easy part. Just about anybody can afford some level of gym membership—trust us, you don’t have to go to Venice Beach to get in shape—but it’s the diet and supplement intake of a bodybuilder that hits the chequebook hardest.

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Of course, we’d all love to take up fitness full time and pack in that day job to focus on training full time, but the expenditures Heath details mean you might want to keep those weekend shifts at J.C. Penney; think of the big picture here.

Head to the next page to hear Heath elaborate on precisely how much it would cost to challenge the biggest and the best.


For those out there who didn’t major in mathematics, Heath estimates a bodybuilder would need as much as $40,000 a year to fund their development, and that’s just accounting for food and supplements. So unless you have a sponsor lined up or are eyeing that promotion at Goldman Sachs, an elite bodybuilding career may just about be unobtainable for the Average Joe.

But hey, it’s not like your supervisor would mind if you came into work smelling like a homeless person, mainly due to the fact that you now are a homeless person after deciding rent and liveable accommodation came second to affording proper calorie intake.

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Heath’s numbers may be slightly off due to the fact sponsors fuel his machine-like metabolism, which he claims digests about $200 of chicken per week. That works out at $10,400 per year in chicken alone. I feel fairly confident that if Phil wasn’t on this planet, the rooster population would have already conquered the world through numbers alone.

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