T Nation

What Just Happened?!?! Phil Loses - Mr Olympia 2018


Hoping it signals a shift to the tapered look personally. The last few years have really been bad.


Kai’s Not coming back. He loves to stir things up and get attention though.



He won’t win anyway. I mean he didn’t downsize significantly but after 3 years without competing, I imagine he’d lose a bit of size, definition, and the discipline. Next year is gonna be a battle between Winklaar, Phil and Shawn. About Ramy, I just don’t know about that guy anymore lol


There’s a YouTube video floating around showing 2011 Phil vs 2018 Phil (cant seem to find it again).

What is very noticeable is the increased thickness and width in the midsection plus a significant loss of size and fullness in a bunch of muscles. 2011 was probably one of his smaller years as well.

These things can be misleading but he almost looked to have the beginnings of Palumboism.


He was much more more tapered and aethstetic in 2011. To me jay looked quite a bit bigger than him that year.


IMO he won that year because jay was on the down slide. I was a fan of cutlers but we all know his “bicep injury” was a synthol shot gone bad (look at the photos and focus on his arm). Couple that with being unable to duplicate his conditioning from ‘09 and the door was left very open for Phil to walk in.

Phil looked good for a few years, but his regression the last seberal Years has been visually documented all over the internet. Legs smoother, belly puffier… successively like clockwork



Do you think the larger bloated mid section comes from years of excessive PED? Or just athletes getting complacent ?


Don’t discount years of stretching out the stomach from eating massive quantities of food to maintain so much muscle.


Lol yeah truth. Kai anyone!?


here are some photos that I took at the Mr O (Friday night)
It was my first bodybuilding show and wow the big guys are REALLY F***ing big !


Lol - I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard (In real life and even on this forum!) talk as if they were “pro sized” themselves.

Even some of the men’s physique guys are pretty damn huge (remember how many are just failed open competitors!)



I knew they were big but honestly I was still blown away!
And then we must say that these guys are the top of what is done!
Even the figure girls are huge haha


Yeah, I remember seeing my first pro in real life after years of following them in the magazines. I saw Nasser up close and was totally blown away. A few years later, I attended the Nationals in Miami and remember sitting next to Jay, Phil and Dexter in the same row during prejudging. These guys are all huge. Even later on I was walking directly behind Dexter the year he won the O and we were at the Tampa Pro. I must be 4-6 inches taller than him, but his sheer width blocked the sun.

Hats off to any of these guys/gals that have the will & genetics to pull this combination of size and conditioning.


The evening of Mr O, while waiting for our Uber in front of the Orléans, William Bonac passed next to me, although he is small (I’m 1m80) and he was dressed in his tracksuit he was so wide !!!


HOnest to goodness competitive Pros can’t hide their physiques in regular clothing -lol

Whenever I get new gear for my clients, I always have to get XXL for Arash, and even in contest condition he’s bursting out of 'em… and he’s “only” a classic competitor :slight_smile:



With Cbum at the Expo, my arm is litterally only a part of his triceps :sweat_smile::joy:


Evan Centopani was at my gym once. He was doing lat raises with 10lbs. Whilst he was big overall, very big, the startling thing was the hardness and size of his muscles. A pro bodybuilder’s shoulders and back (or what I could see of it) just don’t make sense haha


First pro I ever met was Mike Francious. Sitting there, wearing A normal shirt (no Rips or missing sleeves), no hunching over with his arms out, no pretending his Lats were so big he couldn’t put his arms at his sides… and he was just monstrous. Just exploding from what was probably a shirt purchased for morbidly obese gentlemen.



I have met a few pros who were not as big as I was expecting. Hide Yamagishi comes to mind. Obviously not small and had great proportions but he is on the shorter side so that is probably why. I haven’t met any of the pros competing in the open class at the Olympia though. I would imagine they truly have that freak factor when you meet them in person.

Also surprised no one mentioned what appears to be a pec tear Phil has.


The regression in physiques has happened to a number of pros and even some high-ranking amateurs who competed for a significant amount of time–Nasser, Dorian, Titus, Jay, Branch, Ronnie, Kamali, etc.–from a combination age, decreased motivation, injuries, maybe even some medical disorders, and what appears to be an overall negative effect of heavy drug use for years.

It seems the appendages become smaller and mid section grows larger and overall symmetry and hardness just goes down the drain. This is the phenomenon called Palumboism.

Take a look at Branch as a 20-something year old man compared to his later years of competing. The comparison is shocking, though he was great for some time!