Flex Wheeler, nicknamed the ‘sultan of symmetry’, is one of the greatest bodybuilders from the 90’s and 2000’s.
He is labelled by some as the ‘uncrowned Mr Olympia’, having never won a sandow trophy. Despite this he was recognized for his bodybuilding talent in the Arnold classic, winning the competition 4 times.
In this article we’ll reveal 5 things that you didn’t know about one of the most aesthetic bodybuilders of all time.
Flex Has a Myostatin Deficiency
How did Flex build such huge muscles, whilst maintaining such a tiny waist? Even Arnold described him as one of the greatest bodybuilders he’d ever laid eyes on.
The cause for such an impressive physique is Flex’s DNA. He has what’s known to be a myostatin deficiency. Myostatin is a protein which inhibits muscle growth, thus severely low levels of it results in abnormal muscle mass.
He also has the most severe form of this condition, with it mainly affecting the ‘exon 2’ gene. People who suffer from this often build twice as much muscle compared to the average person.
Has Faced Major Setbacks
Some say Flex did not fulfill his genetic potential, with people suggesting he didn’t work as hard as his rivals. However, what many people don’t know is that Flex has battled many demons throughout his life, such as being molested as a child resulting in suicidal tendencies and developing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (a rare kidney disease).
He also was fortunate to be alive after a severe car crash in the early 90’s which broke his neck. Whilst in more recent times Flex faced the tough reality of having his leg amputated (due to a lack of circulation).
When taking into account the many setbacks during his life, perhaps just reaching the Mr Olympia stage in itself was an exceptional achievement for Flex.
Flex is a Christian
After all of his setbacks InsideBodybuilding.com reports that Flex found God. In his earlier years he was known to be cocky and arrogant, however those who personally know Flex say he is a kind and humble soul now.
Flex’s faith was repaid when one of the congregation members from his church gave up their kidney, effectively saving his life. Flex also attends church with fellow 80’s bodybuilder Mike Christian.
He’s Beaten Ronnie Coleman
Flex Wheeler has beaten Ronnie Coleman in the Arnold Classic. Although he never defeated him in the Mr Olympia, with Ronnie’s size being too overwhelming, Ronnie describes Flex as his greatest ever competitor. The two legendary bodybuilders remain good friends to this day.
Lost Millions of Dollars
When it came out that Flex had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, his sponsors immediately dropped him. This meant Flex lost millions of dollars, was forced to leave his mansion and give up his luxurious lifestyle (whilst effectively becoming homeless).
Everything he’d worked for over the years was taken away from him in a flash, facing him with a psychological battle; as well as a physical one.
Flex has lived a very interesting life with many ups and downs, however the Sultan of Symmetry will correctly be remembered as one of the greatest bodybuilders who ever graced the sport.