Breaking Olympia – The Phil Heath Story –

Breaking Olympia : The Phil Heath Story - the comeback?

The late great journalist and commentator Clive James once described Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s physique as a condom packed with walnuts and whilst it’s difficult to argue with such a description there’s no doubting that his commitment and dedication to body building was absolute. Though no one really has had the sort of profile he has had since, there have been some truly astonishing bodybuilders of which Phil Heath undoubtedly was one of the best. With seven Mr Olympia titles to his name an eighth was in his sights. That was until he was struck down with an injury.

Director Brett Harvey’s latest documentary takes a look at the athlete and its quite a story with a background that saw him train to be a basketball player but soon turned his attention to bodybuilding instead and quickly rose through the ranks and by 2011 he won his first Mr Olympia title and proceeded to have 6 more consecutive wins. Breaking Olympia follows his comeback in an effort to win a ground breaking eighth time.

Harvey’s last documentary ‘Inmate No 1’ was an account of another tough guy Danny Trejo and revealed a man whose image belied a gentle and caring person and in that respect this is similar. Heath comes across as an engaging and dedicated athlete with an absolute eye popping physique so the injury he sustains that has the effect of putting an almost permanent end to his career is understandably demoralizing and Breaking Olympia sees his efforts to make a full recovery and win another Mr Olympia title.

Running at almost two hours it’s a little overlong and contributions from his competitors who are quite open  in their, at times, inexplicable animosity towards Heath are revealing – there’s a lot of testosterone sloshing around here.  And whilst Dwayne Johnson’s contributions are largely superfluous the most obvious omission is Arnie himself. But Breaking Olympia often offers a compelling insight into a sport that demands absolute commitment ( the number of meals that have to be eaten to feed muscle growth is enough to leave you exhausted) but Phil Heath and the highs and lows he goes through offers a all too rare human insight into a sport that is often unfairly derided.

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We  chatted with director Brett Harvey about the making of the documentary….

Here’s the Breaking Olympia – The Phil Heath Story trailer…..

Breaking Olympia: The Phil Heath Story is released on digital to rent or own from 25th March 2024.

To watch the Phil Heath documentary  go to :


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