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The Item: Career Updates, Contest Preparation, Andrew Oye's IFBB Pro Athletes Roundup

The Scoop: Recently Announced: IFBB Pro Phil Heath voiced his decision not to compete at the 2011 IFBB Pro Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Bodybuilding Championships in Columbus, Ohio (March 5). Instead, Heath will give his total attention to preparing for the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest at Joe Weider's Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada (September 17).

The "So What?": Phil "The Gift" Heath admits that this choice presents a missed opportunity. After back-to-back Arnold Classic runner-up placings in 2008 and 2010 (he did not compete in 2009), perhaps 2011 could have been his year to win the show. "But at what cost?" he asks "After placing second at the [2010] Olympia, I feel like I've solidified my position as one of the top two bodybuilders in the world."

As reported in "Andrew Oye's Pro-Muscle Report," Heath opted not to compete at the Olympia in 2006 and 2007 (won by IFBB Pro Jay Cutler) and subsequently made his debut at "Bodybuilding's Super Bowl" with an amazing third-place finish in 2008 (won by IFBB Pro Dexter Jackson). The 2010 Olympia was a nail-biter where Heath took 2nd place in a contest that, depending on who you ask, he would have, could have, or should have won. With drastic improvements on his mind, Heath insists, "Every decision I've made in my career, I've had no regrets. I'm doing this...to bring my best to the Olympia."

Andrew Oye's Verdict: By not competing at the Arnold Sports Festival, Phil Heath just left the door wide open for other IFBB Pro League athletes (like IFBB Pro Branch Warren and IFBB Pro Dennis Wolf) to bump up in placings in Columbus. While his absence from the Arnold Classic might disappoint his fans, it might help Heath to finally relinquish his 2010 title of "Runner-Up King" of the prestigious IFBB Pro contests and to become an actual winner of a major title in 2011.  

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