Greatest Bodybuilder to Never Win Mr. Olympia Discloses the “Derogatory” Secret Behind His Stage Name ‘Flex Wheeler’

A nickname often sticks to you for a long time, and it becomes the trademark. Many bodybuilding icons, such as Big Ramy and Flex Wheeler, have taken their nicknames as their main name. While some of the bodybuilders might adopt the names for its catchiness, Wheeler had cited a weird reason for taking the nickname. His nickname was not made by him and the 4x Arnold Classic winner revealed the truth behind it.

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In a podcast by Rick Richey named the NASM CPT Podcast, Wheeler was the new guest who spoke about his life and career and answered about his nickname.

Flex Wheeler does not like his nickname?


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Rick Richey started the podcast by introducing the Hall of Famer and allowed him to talk about his life and introduce himself. The first thing Wheeler said was his real name, which is Kenneth Wheeler. He then spoke about his martial arts background and how he got into bodybuilding.

Then Richey straight away went into the main question about his nickname “Flex”. He asked, “Alright so this is let me ask the question is it true or not true I heard I read somewhere that Flex wasn’t a name that was given to you because of bodybuilding it was given to you for another reason.” 

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Wheeler immediately agreed and answered, “Yeah uh… Like there’s one story because of my flexibility…” His incredible splits on stage were a reason for the name, but there was another negative connotation as well. The IFBB pro said, “People making fun of me saying I am tiny I guess I always walked around you know like I’m a little big man …It was a derogatory name.” Even though the name did not have a good connotation for him, he revealed in the 1991 Nationals as to why he kept the name and the origins of the same.

Wheeler talks about the nickname’s origin


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Before the nationals started, Wheeler was standing backstage, talking to the interviewer about his emotions before going up on stage. She asked about his nickname and he revealed that “People used to tease me when I was younger”.

However, while growing up he realized that people started liking the name and he changed the meaning to a good one after he showed off his flexibility and martial arts skills on the bodybuilding stage. 


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He had also carved his nickname on his hair in the 1991 nationals! He was not afraid to flaunt it since he changed his identity and shut the haters. Wheeler’s confidence is something to admire and young bodybuilders of today still take cues from the 58-year-old. 

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Author: ZeroToHero

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