About Flex Wheeler
Flex Wheeler, began his career training when he was a teenager initially with martial arts in mind. However, his natural development persuaded him to pursue bodybuilding. Despite this, he is on record as regarding himself as a “martial artist first, a bodybuilder second.” It also accounts for his remarkable flexibility in a physique so large. Even so he has been described by Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of the greatest bodybuilder he ever saw.
After a short career as a police officer, Wheeler focused full time on becoming a professional bodybuilder, taking the nickname ‘Flex’. He competed for the first time in 1983 but it was not until 1989 that he secured a first place trophy at the NPC Mr. California Championships. Since then, he has placed second at the 1993 Mr. Olympia, narrowly missing a win (something he was to repeat in 1998 and 1999). He is a 5 time Ironman Pro winner, 4 time Arnold Classic, and has enjoyed victories in the France Grand Prix, South Beach Pro Invitational, Night of Champions and Hungarian Grand Prix.
Flex has the best IFBB pro debut in the history of the sport of bodybuilding in 1993 with 4 wins Pro Ironman, Arnold Classic, German Grand Prix, French Grand Prix and 2nd in his first Mr. Olympia.
In 1994 he was involved in a neat fatal car accident that could have left him with lifelong paralysis. He started from scratch again, returning with remarkable speed to the top ranks of the sport.
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, not self-inflicted. Wheeler announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding in 2000, but continued to compete until 2002. He received a kidney transplant in 2003.
Flex was added to the Guinness Book of Records in 2000.
Since retirement Wheeler has focused again on martial arts, his specialism being Kemp-Kwon-Do, a variant of Kempo and Tae Kwon Do. He participated in a championship match at the 2005 Arnold Classic.
In 2007, Flex was interviewed by freelance journalist Rod Labbe for Ironman Magazine’s LEGENDS OF BODYBUILDING series entitled “Yesterday and Today,” which covers his extensive career and reveals how a Legend can conquer adversity and triumph against incredible odd.
Flex is a partner and currently serves in an executive position as Vice President/Director of Media and Public Relations for the Sports Nutrition Company MEX. Flex has his own product line with MEX called “Flex Wheeler Pro line.” Additionally, he manages their sponsored athletes and can be seen in numerous advertisements for his company.