William Nathaniel "Bill" Phillips
is an American
entrepreneur and author. He is best known as the author of the best-selling fitness book Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength
. Bill and Shawn, his brother, made a video called Body of Work
which was filmed on location in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also the author Eating for Life
, founder and former editor in chief
of Muscle Media magazine (now defunct) and the former CEO
, a performance nutritional supplement
company. According to Phillips, his Body for Life program has helped countless people lose fat and increase strength as well as tap into a source of mental energy. Bill is releasing his new book "Transformation: A Path from Physical to Spiritual Health" on November 18, 2008.
Born in September 1964
, Phillips was raised in Golden, Colorado
, where he lived with his father Bill (often referred to as BP), mother Suzanne, sister Shelly and brother Shawn. He started bodybuilding
, then moved to Gold's Gym Venice beach
(known as the Mecca
of bodybuilding) in 1983, remaining until 1986, a period during which Phillips admits to steroid use. After not succeeding as a bodybuilder, the 21 year-old Phillips moved back to Colorado and began his publishing career.
On November 11, 2005, Bill married Amy Molen, an anorexia survivor and a success story from his documentary.
Phillips' soon to be flourishing publishing empire, Mile High Publishing
, began with a small newsletter teaching bodybuilders how to use anabolic steroids
. The newsletter was written and printed in his mother's basement. Funded with $185 he and his brother had made from mowing lawns, its original name was The Anabolic Reference Update
Muscle Media 2000 ("MM2K")
, Phillips moved out of his mother's home and dramatically changed the publication's format and its name to Muscle Media 2000
(usually referred to as "MM2K"). The magazine grew rapidly in popularity, partly because of its frank discussion of the underground aspects of bodybuilding such as the use of and even how-to smuggle steroids, and columns by controversial writers such as The Steroid Guru Dan Duchaine
, and Editor-in-Chief TC Luoma
. At the time every other bodybuilding publication was completely devoid of such "taboo" subjects.
Phillips also stated that MM2K would independently laboratory test every prospective advertiser's supplements and ensure they met nutrient label claims before he allowed their advertisements in the magazine. Such assurances and the new-found candid way previously taboo subjects were openly covered appealed strongly to many bodybuilders, and accordingly Phillips gained their trust.
Muscle Media web site (Out of date).
In MM2K Phillips highly endorsed MET-Rx
(a meal replacement supplement
), and this relationship with readers helped it become the highest selling bodybuilding supplement ever at that time.
Phillips and Connelly had an agreement that distribution of MET-Rx would be controlled, and that they would not sell it to retail outlets in order to keep supply low during the period of high demand created by the advertisements in Muscle Media 2000. Connelly however, had other ideas and began selling it to mainstream distributors and department stores. Phillips believed this move lessened its appeal to bodybuilders, and destroyed the "mystique" of the product. The two parted ways, and as part of the settlement, Phillips was legally bound not to mention the name of MET-Rx in his magazines (thereafter he would refer to it as "the leading brand"). But by then Phillips had his eye on another venture that would eclipse MET-Rx altogether - EAS.
Phillips acquired Experimental and Applied Sciences (EAS)
from founders Anthony Almada and Ed Byrd in 1996
. He promoted the company's products through heavy editorial-style advertisements in MM2K, and led by flagship products like Myoplex (a MET-Rx copy), Phosphagen
this would eventually put him at the forefront of the nutritional supplement industry for more than five years.
By 1995 Phillips was a multi-millionaire, and was well known in celebrity and sports circles. Athletes like José Canseco would contact Phillips for advice on steroids, and he also consulted with celebrities such as Jerry Seinfeld, John Elway, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore. However it was that year that he had a medical scare when a tumor in his jaw and neck was discovered. Phillips promptly proposed to then-girlfriend Ami Cusack. The tumor turned out to be benign, and was removed from around his salivary gland. Some employees at the time of MM2K later noted in Testosterone Magazine that by that time Phillips had become rather eccentric. Reportedly, after the tumor was removed, he returned to "hanging up survey sheets from MM2K that showed Bill was our most popular writer. Each one had the words, 'Bill knows his audience!' written on them." Soon Phillips and Cusack's wedding was postponed and Phillips was regularly seen at strip clubs and in his magazine with fitness models and Playboy bunnies.
Phillips was eager to expand his empire beyond the bodybuilding industry. MM2K changed from targeting the hardcore bodybuilder to the more mainstream exercise participant, and the July 1997 issue saw the magazine redubbed simply as Muscle Media
. While Muscle Media 2000
at its peak had a distribution of 500,000 copies per issue, the change in direction alienated many traditional readers, and sales numbers reportedly declined sharply afterwards. Publication finally ceased in 2004 after the EAS company was sold a second time.
High Point Media
, Phillips sold his majority interest
in EAS (though he remained on the Board of Directors
for a number of years afterward) to a private equity
firm and concentrated on his writing and on promotion of his books through his publishing company, High Point Media
, he completely sold his remaining interest and is no longer involved with EAS.
Phillips' more recent work, Eating for Life: Your Guide to Great Health, Fat Loss and Increased Energy!, offers his plan "to help inspire and guide even more people to improve their health and lift their quality of life to new heights." His forthcoming book "Transformation: Now and for LIFE" is scheduled for release in Spring 2008.
In February 2006 Phillips announced his "Great American Transformation Experience" (GATE) with a goal to transform America's fitness from world's worst to first within 10 years.
Phillips has also received many honors for his work, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation
's highest award. He was also honored by Paul Newman
and by John F. Kennedy Jr.
as one of America's most generous business leaders. The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce
honored Phillips in January 2000 as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans
. Phillips was also chosen to help carry the Olympic
torch on its relay across the United States for the 2002 Winter Olympics
in Salt Lake City
Phillips' older brother Shawn has also featured with him in the Body for Life videos and DVDs.
Bill Phillips books
- Phillips, Bill. Anabolic Reference Guide. Mile High Publishing, 1991.
- Phillips, Bill. Sports Supplement Review. Mile High Publishing, 1997.
- Phillips, Bill. Body-for-LIFE: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength. HarperCollins, 1999. (ISBN 0-06-019339-5)
- Phillips, Bill. * Phillips, Bill. Body for Life Success Journal.'' HarperCollins, 2002. (ISBN 0-06-051559-7)
- Phillips, Bill. Eating for Life: Your Guide to Great Health, Fat Loss and Increased Energy! High Point Media, 2003 (ISBN 0-9720184-1-7)
- Phillips, Bill. Transformation: A Path from Physical to Spiritual Well-Being Coming 2008
News and Tidbits (Phillips Acquires EAS). Muscle Media 2000. 1996 (August) 52:20-7.