Flex Wheeler is an award-winning and retired American bodybuilder. He holds the record for the most victories in the prestigious “Ironman Pro” bodybuilding competition (won in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998). At the same time, Flex is a four-time winner of the “Arnold Classic” tournament and a three-time silver medalist of the “Mr. Olympia” competition. Wheeler is considered by many bodybuilding fans and experts to be one of the most gifted athletes ever to compete in the sport.
Flex Wheeler Biography
The future eminent bodybuilder Flex Wheeler was born on August 23, 1965 in Fresno (California). It is one of the five largest cities in the state, today, like the 60s, with a developed sports infrastructure. According to experts, its population is 520 thousand people, the area is 271 square kilometers.
Flex Wheeler has been fond of sports since childhood. At first he was engaged in martial arts. Working on himself, the guy noticed that he was physically slightly worse than his peers, so he decided to switch to bodybuilding. The gym in his youth was in second place for him, but having lived an independent life, he fully switched to training with iron.
After briefly working as a police officer, Flex Wheeler entered bodybuilding. To stand out from the competition, he adopted the nickname “Flex”.
A complete biography of Flex Wheeler was published a few years ago, titled “Flex Ability”. In it, the athlete talked about his own life, in particular, he shared the details of his youth, which had not been made public before. From the book, the athlete’s fans learned that he grew up in a dysfunctional family, suffered from low self-esteem, faced a constant lack of money, even suffered violence: in childhood he became a victim of molestation, as a result of which he almost committed suicide.
In addition, at a young age (15 years old) Flex already became a father. He had a daughter, whom he had to raise, while he was still a child. The athlete does not hide that he was a problem teenager and if it were not for bodybuilding, then his life would most likely have ended earlier (either in prison or in a mental hospital).
Flex Wheeler entered its first competition in 1983, and won its first title in 1989 – winning the “Mr California” amateur tournament. Over time, the bodybuilder’s merits only accumulated: over 10 years of performances at the Pro level, he managed to win more than 10 awards, including multiple 1st places in the “Arnold Classic” and “Ironman Pro”.
Despite the fact that Flex Wheeler left the big sport back in 2003 (the main reason was the health that tormented the athlete for all 10 years of his professional career), he did not say goodbye to bodybuilding forever. In our years, his main source of income is his work in the All American EFX company (this company specializes in the production of sports nutrition and equipment). He works as the executive director of public relations and media, in other words, acts as the face of the brand.
In everyday life, Wheeler prefers luxury: wears expensive clothes, drives beautiful cars, and is friends with film and television stars. However, even if a bodybuilder cuts through the city in a civilian car, few will recognize him by sight. And not only because the end of Flex’s career took place more than 10 years ago. The appearance of the eminent athlete was severely battered by numerous illnesses and operations.
On the other hand, Flex Wheeler is still trying to keep himself in shape: he did not give up training, which is confirmed by the official Instagram account – “officialflexwheeler”.
At the height of his career, before several surgeries, including a kidney transplant, Flex Wheeler had impressive anthropometric data. Many modern bodybuilders use him as an example. And for good reason, because Flex in the 90s, according to most experts, is the owner of one of the most beautiful and powerful muscles in history.
With an average height (no more than 179 centimeters), Wheeler could boast of a competitive weight of about 116 kilograms (in the offseason, the mass increased to about 125-130 kilograms), a chest girth of 142 centimeters, a biceps of 56 centimeters, a waist of 70 centimeters, hips – at 79 centimeters (averaged indicators).
It was the impressive muscles, supported by an amazing self-confidence, which some consider rudeness, that allowed the athlete to become the triumphant of so many Pro championships and competitions. In total, Flex Wheeler in its piggy bank has about eighteen titles and a dozen prize (second or third) places. Among them:
- 1st – Grand Prix France 1993;
- 1st – Ironman Pro 1993;
- 1st – Arnold Classic 1993;
- 1st – Grand Prix Germany 1993;
- 2st – Mr. Olympia 1993;
- 1st – Grand Prix Spain 1995;
- 1st – Ironman Pro 1995;
- 1st – Ironman Pro 1996;
- 1st – Night of Champions 1996;
- 1st – Ironman Pro 1997;
- 1st – Arnold Classic 1997;
- 1st – San Jose Pro Invitational 1997;
- 1st – Ironman Pro 1998;
- 1st – Arnold Classic 1998;
- 2st – Mr. Olympia 1998;
- 2st – Mr. Olympia 1999;
- 1st – Arnold Classic 2000;
- 1st – Hungarian Grand Prix 2000.
By the way, Wheeler’s 1993 debut on the professional scene, marked with four in a row victories in major competitions and silver in the main bodybuilding competition, was the loudest after Dorian Yates. With the latter, hardly anyone will ever be able to compare in the number of awards won at the start of a career.
Flex Wheeler behaved like an overly confident and even arrogant bodybuilder. Therefore, he was never the favorite of the public. On the other hand, the judges, incl. admired the flexibility the athlete gained through martial arts training. Weighing under 120 kilograms on stage, the Flex has always been surprisingly agile.
Fun fact: Flex Wheeler has received the nickname “The Sultan of Symmetry” from fans and competitors alike, which alludes to its harmoniously developed musculature.
Relatively recently (at the end of 2016 – beginning of 2017), the athlete announced that he was going to return to the stage for a while to try himself again at “Mr Olympia”. We will soon find out what he can do. Judging by the instagram, he is preparing hard.
Flex Wheeler Workout
Flex Wheeler is an ectomorph in physique. In order to maintain maximum muscle relief with a high body weight, he had to train intensively almost 365 days a year. At the same time, he was never a conservative in training: if the situation required it, he could experiment, adding / reducing loads in order to get optimal results.
The Flex Wheeler workout program, best known to the public, is a 5-day split, in which training was carried out on the first day with a priority on the chest and shins, on the second day – on the back, on the third day – on the shoulders and shins, on the fourth day – on legs, on the fifth day – on hands. Accordingly, the sixth (and sometimes seventh) day, as a rule, was set aside for rest, and on the seventh (or eighth) day, the training cycle began again.
One of Wheeler’s pride in his own body has always been his shoulders, the basics of which he introduced with his old trainer Charles Glass. Flex shoulder muscles still look impressive today.
- Seated Barbell Shoulder Press – 4 sets x 10-12 reps;
- Barbell Front Raise – 3 sets x 10-12 reps;
- Dumbbell Side Raise – 4 sets x 10-12 reps;
- Barbell Upright Row – 3 sets x 10-12 reps;
- Dumbbell Bent-Over Raise – 4 sets x 10-12 reps;
- Rear Delt Fly Machine – 3 sets x 10-12 reps.
This is an “average” set of exercises, because the training program of a professional athlete never stands still, but is regularly improved in order to correspond to the current situation.
One thing is for sure, Flex Wheeler has always loved exercises like the barbell raises and the Smith machine press. The first was introduced to him by Charles Glass, who coached Flex in the early years of his sports career. Exercise is great for pumping the middle bundle of the deltoid muscle. The bodybuilder came to the second himself, and calls it one of the best ways to purposefully pump deltas.
Training Flex Wheeler, like any professional athlete, is hard work, in fact, work with a high risk of injury. Wheeler is a direct confirmation of this, because more than once he ends up in a hospital bed.
Did Flex Wheeler Take Steroids?
Flex Wheeler has been doping for 18 years. He started out as an amateur and finished only after completing his professional performances.
Flex Wheeler has practiced steroid cycles on its own initiative. The athlete’s first cycle took place at the age of 18, when he switched from martial arts to strength training. Flex never thought it was doing anything bad by using anabolic steroids, because many of his colleagues have resorted to them. In this, Wheeler differs from most bodybuilders of the past and present, who are embarrassed by the fact of doping in their biography.
Which Steroids Did Flex Wheeler Take?
There is no definite answer to this question. Although the athlete does not hide the fact that he used sports pharmacology, he does not openly advertise it. Its key drugs are believed to be Testosterone, Trenbolone and HGH, alternated / combined with Oxymetholone, Stanozolol and Insulin for maximum results.
There are also rumors about Synthol. Allegedly, this, to put it mildly, is not the most advantageous in terms of the ratio of effectiveness and harmlessness, a steroid substance regularly entered the pharmaceutical diet of a bodybuilder.
More interesting is the question of whether Wheeler’s kidney problems were associated with his use of anabolic steroids. Many bodybuilding fans believe – yes, however, Flex himself has repeatedly stated that he inherited the diseased kidneys from the guardians. Whether it is true or not, we will hardly ever know. Maybe the athlete is lying, or maybe his ailments really manifested themselves not because of doping.
It is interesting how Flex Wheeler today answers what steroid drugs he took during his sports career: “I will not discuss this, because I perfectly understand the consequences of my own words. be like Flex. I won’t take that responsibility anymore.”