All you need to know about Flex Wheeler in our Bodybuilder Hall of Fame
In the last few decades of professional bodybuilding, few people have proved as inspirational and iconic as Flex Wheeler. He has served as a bodybuilding legend to millions all around the world, as well as to our entire team here at Ultimate fitness Birmingham. In his long and varied career, he has competed at the highest levels and you can learn a lot by studying his extraordinary career.
Who is Flex Wheeler exactly?
Known widely as “The Sultan of Symmetry”, Flex Wheeler was one of the bodybuilding circuit’s most prolific and successful competitors during the 1990s and early 2000’s. He competed alongside many of bodybuilding’s greatest athletes and has easily earned a place in the bodybuilding hall of fame.
Born in 1965, Flex Wheeler was brought up in incredibly tough circumstances. As well as coming from a very poor family, he suffered from both dyslexia and suicidal tendencies, as well as child abuse. Such a tough life at both home and school would have likely broken most other kids, but not Flex.
His one outlet was sports, where he soon showed exceptional abilities in martial arts. This taught him incredible discipline, as well as awesome flexibility. Two traits which would prove key in building his successful career in bodybuilding. He first discovered weight training as a teenager and carried on this love for the rest of his life.
Entering the bodybuilding circuit
After graduating from school, he went on to become a police officer, whilst simultaneously pushing his body to the limits at the gym. After it became clear that a career in bodybuilding was where his true passion and capabilities lay, Wheeler quit his job and focused full time on training his body. He first competed in 1983 and went from strength to strength throughout the 1980s.
1989 proved a landmark year, when he secured a first place trophy at the NPC Mr. California Championships. In 1993, he placed second in the coveted Mr. Olympia competition, narrowly losing out to Dorian Yates. Unfortunately, Flex would never win Mr. Olympia; but he would go on to place second once again in both 1998 and 1999, both times losing out to Ronnie Coleman.
Through the 1990s, Wheeler competed at the highest level in competitions such as the Arnold Classic, France Grand Prix and South Beach Pro. He soon developed a name in the industry for his confident, almost borderline arrogant attitude. This helped to build up his image and Wheeler later attributed this persona as a coping mechanism for his internal insecurity suffered as a child.
Another attribute that helped him to build his name in the industry was his ability to perform a complete full body split. This incredible flexibility was developed through his prolonged love of martial arts and helped his routines stand out above fellow competitors. Even more remarkable was his comeback from a near-fatal car crash in 1994.
This could easily have left him paralysed but instead, he focused all of his efforts into slowly rebuilding his strength and capabilities before returning to the competitive circuit and performing better than ever. He finally stopped competing in 2003, three years after first announcing retirement.
- Height: 1.79 m
- Off-season Weight: 125 kg
- Competition Weight: 109 kg
- Arm Size: 58 cm (23 in)
- Leg Size: 80 cm (31 in)
- Chest size: 138 cm (54 in)
What are some of his biggest accomplishments?
Won the Arnold Classic 4 times (which was a record at the time)
Won the French Grand Prix and the Hungarian Grand Prix
A 5-time Ironman Pro winner
Has come in 2nd at Mr. Olympia 3 times
Came in 1st at The Night of Champions in 1996
Won the South Beach Pro in 1995
Arnold Schwarzenegger once referred to him as “One of the greatest bodybuilders I have ever seen”
Referred to by Ronnie Coleman as the best bodybuilder he had ever competed against
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Insane @ss workout last night with my lil homie @ulissesworld didn’t get done till after 4am in the morning at @ultimate_fitness_brm stay tune for incredible videos and pictures from @ulissesworld It was truly an honor to finally get to work and with this young professional Juggernaut !!!
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@ultimate_fitness_brm 📅 Mark your calendars 11&12.05.18 The one and only 4 x Arnold Classic Champion and IFBB hall of famer @officialflexwheeler will be attending our Ultimate Rooftop Launch Event and holding a one day training camp (11.05.18) and a series of one to one sessions (12.05.18) here @ultimate_fitness_brm 📷 Photo opportunities also available with Flex photographer @punk1965. Don’t miss out on this amazing experience only at UFB. Limited spaces left, book now (DM) to avoid disappointment. #bodybuilding #arnold #champion #onceinalifetime #ifbb
Life after professional bodybuilding
Even after retiring, Flex continued to compete sporadically in competitions throughout the 2000’s. Most notably his 2017 appearance at Mr. Olympia in which he placed 15th in the Classic Physique division. He has played a large role in helping to train future bodybuilding greats, as well as serving as Director of Media and Public Relations at All American EFX.
With more time on his hands, Flex Wheeler refocused much of his attention towards his lifelong love for martial arts. Recently, Flex Wheeler made a guest appearance here at ultimate Fitness Birmingham prior to his partaking in BodyPower Expo 2018. He makes regular appearances at bodybuilding expos all throughout the world.
His Instagram page is a great way to stay up to date with his upcoming attendances. In coming years, it’s likely he will be focusing much of his attention on 2 companies he has launched. One being the Back Widow, which is a specialist training tool for those looking to achieve far more out of their back workouts. The second is Flex Foods, which are tailored meals that he has designed and sells in partnership with The Vertical Diet.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BodyPower Expo, we are excited to announce that the legendary Flex Wheeler will be visiting us all here at Ultimate Fitness Birmingham! The BodyPower Expo is the biggest indoor expo in the UK and is taking place at the NEC Birmingham this year. As always, it is expected to draw in bodybuilding legends from all around the world.
Though he finished competing back in 2003, Flex Wheeler has remained passionately involved with bodybuilding ever since. He has helped numerous other bodybuilders progress in their careers and has paid close attention to his own performance in the gym. In fact, he went so far as to compete once again in Mr. Olympia in 2017 at the age of 51.
More impressive is the fact that he came in 15th place, which is nothing short of remarkable! As well as this, he has been passionately involved in martial arts and participated in an exhibition fight at the Arnold Classic back in 2005. He has accomplished all of this whilst also battling severe kidney problems for a number of years.
Dates to keep free
Flex will be visiting Ultimate Fitness Birmingham from the 7th through to the 10th May. Be aware that he will be available outside of Body Power exclusively at Ultimate Fitness Birmingham only.
How can you get involved?
Between the dates listed above, Flex Wheeler will be holding a no-holds-barred two-day training camp exclusively here at Ultimate Fitness Birmingham. He will be actively involved in the gym, leading both group and one-on-one training sessions. This really is an opportunity not to be missed. These will be available to members and none members, more details to follow.
Few other bodybuilders are as infamous as Flex Wheeler, and you don’t earn the title of “Sultan of Symmetry” without knowing your stuff. We encourage all members to book into one of these sessions as early as possible, as we expect spaces will fill up fast. You can do so by emailing us directly at [email protected]
Remember, meeting Flex Wheeler face-to-face and receiving personal fitness advice will be available exclusively to members of Ultimate Fitness Birmingham. We are passionate about providing our members with the ultimate workout experience. So, if you are not yet a member, then come on down and sign up for your chance to get to meet Flex Wheeler in May. Give Flex Wheeler a follow on his social media