Phillip Jerrod Heath (nicknamed “The Gift“) was born December 18, 1979 and spent his formative years in Seattle, Washington where he developed an affinity for basketball. Heath proved his innate athletic drive in high school playing varsity basketball which in turn secured a scholarship and highly coveted position as point/shooting guard for the Pioneer’s at the University of Denver. He attributes many of the lessons he learned in sportsmanship to the time he spent playing on the Division 1-A Men’s Basketball team during 1998-2002. Heath double majored in IT and Business Administration during his tenure at the University.
Inspired by the rewarding experience on the court and the capability to scratch “basketball player” from his to-do list, he positioned himself for the next challenge. The allure of intense training and competition steered Heath towards the bodybuilding trajectory. He transitioned his focus to the intensely competitive sport as he realized basketball hadn’t allowed him to fully define his niche. Humble in his approach, yet stealth with strategy, he officially pursued bodybuilding with unyielding fortitude in October 2002.
Starting out at 185 lbs., he grew to be 215 lbs. with 6% body – a dramatic transformation. Ultimately, at a rock solid 192 (considered a light-heavyweight by industry standards), Heath competed in his first competition in 2003 – The Rocky Mountain NPC (National Physique Committee) USA Championship “Northern” where he walked away with the overall title.
Suitably referred to as “The Gift” and fueled by the success of the first competition; he went on to compete again 8 weeks later in the same light-heavyweight category. The second time around, he fell one point short of the overall victory he accomplished during his novice attempt. Realizing that he may have been relying on his inherit genetic ability to a fault, Heath began training smarter.
In an effort to perfect his craft, he enrolled in a hardcore gym in 2003. His determination led to victory starting at the NPC Colorado State Show where he earned the distinction of Mr. Colorado – competing at 200lb. He went on to sign with Weider Health and Fitness for which he respectfully acknowledges former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and Peter McGough. Heath later competed for his pro-card at the USA’s at 215 lbs taking overall honors.
Today this IFBB Pro & 7-Time Mr. Olympia title holder looks towards the future in attaining more Olympia titles, hopefully breaking the all-time record of 8 Mr O’s. Heath’s intention is to “represent the sport of bodybuilding in a way that many people can relate to while maintaining the respect the sport deserves.
He currently participates with the “Make it Fit Foundation” for increasing autism awareness, along with being President of Gifted Nutrition, his supplement company he Co-Founded in Summer of 2014.
“Being Mr. Olympia is a great responsibility not only on stage, but more importantly off-stage. I am reminded daily that my likeness and hard work can enable others to achieve greatness in their endeavors, which in turn makes me feel awesome! I live by these words daily, ‘Train Hard, Train Smart and Have Fun!’ and always make sure you’re challenging yourself with new goals and enjoying the journey no matter how wild it gets.”
Be Gifted Everyone!
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