Flex Wheeler was born on August 23, 1965, in Fresno, California
Like Levrone, Flex Wheeler is inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He earns that distinction by sculpting one of the most aesthetic physiques, and one thought by many to be the best never to win a Mr. Olympia title.
In seven tries as the Olympia, he was runner-up three times – in 1993, 1998 and 1999 to Dorian Yates, then Ronnie Coleman, twice. Many still argue that Flex should have won the title atleast once.
His placings in the Mr. O yielded an average of fourth. His overall pro record shows he placed top five in 29 of his 33 events.
Flex Wheeler was born August 23, 1965, in Fresno, California, and took up weight training as a teenager. After some early AAU contests, including a medium-tall class victory at the 1985 Teen Mr. America and a heavyweight win at the 1985 Governor’s Cup, he switched to the NPC. He snagged fifth place among the light-heavies at the 1989 Nationals, and a second place among the heavyweights two years later at the same contest.
In 1992, he won the heavyweight and overall at the NPC USA and earned a pro card, which he cashed in for four consecutive pro wins right out of the gate in 1993 – a feat matched only by Mike Francois the following year. Wheeler won the Ironman, the Arnold Classic, and the French and German Grand Prix contests within the span of exactly one month.
By the time of his retirement, a decade later, he had won 16 of his 33 pro contests (from age 27 to 37).
While Wheeler had the reputation of being arrogant and overconfident, he attributed this to a need to compensate for his introversion and insecurity as a child and young man. In 1994, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident that could have left him with lifelong paralysis. Falling back into depression again, he started training from scratch, returning with remarkable speed to bodybuilding’s top tier. In 1999, Wheeler discovered that he had Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a form of kidney disease. Despite press speculation as to the cause of the failure, Wheeler pointed out that the condition is hereditary. Wheeler announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding in 2000, but continued to compete until 2002. He received a kidney transplant in 2003.
Wheeler once revealed that both the highlight and lowlight of his career occurred in 1996 when he won the Night of Champions and lost the Arnold Classic to Kevin Levrone. A highlight of his personal life occurred a year later; since June 28, 1997, he has been married to Madeline Ann Love.
Off-season Weight: Around 245-255 lbs
Competition Weight: Around 230-235 lbs.
Arm Size: 57 cm (22 in)
Leg Size: 80 cm (31 in)
Chest size: 142 cm (56 in)
1985 AAU Teen Mr. America 1st (MT)
1989 NPC California Championships 1st (LHW)
1989 NPC Nationals 5th (LHW)
1990 NPC Junior Nationals 2nd (HW)
1991 NPC Nationals 2nd (HW)
1991 NPC USA Championship 2nd (HW)
1992 NPC USA Championships 1st (HW and Overall)
1993 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 1st
1993 IFBB Arnold Classic 1st
1993 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
1995 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 1st
1995 IFBB Arnold Classic 2nd
1995 IFBB South Beach Pro 1st
1995 IFBB Mr. Olympia 8th
1995 IFBB Grand Prix Spain 5th
1996 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 1st
1996 IFBB Arnold Classic 2nd
1996 IFBB Night of Champions 1st
1996 IFBB Canada Pro Classic 2nd
1996 IFBB Florida Cup Pro 1st
1996 IFBB Mr. Olympia 4th
1997 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 1st
1997 IFBB Arnold Classic 1st
1997 IFBB San Jose Pro 1st
1998 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 1st
1998 IFBB Arnold Classic 1st
1998 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
1999 IFBB Grand Prix England – 2nd
1999 IFBB Joe Weider’s Pro World 2nd
1999 IFBB Mr. Olympia 2nd
2000 IFBB Mr. Olympia 3rd
2000 IFBB Hungarian Grand Prix 1st
2000 IFBB Arnold Classic 1st
2000 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 2nd
2002 IFBB Mr. Olympia 7th
2003 IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational 3rd
Official website: teamflexwheeler.com
Flex Wheeler IFBB Pro by Evolution of Bodybuilding | Bodybuilding Archives | Mr Olympia History