Lee Priest


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Interview with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Lee Priest

By Trevor Smith

QUESTION, WHEN THE WORD HARD-CORE IS MENTIONED LEE PRIEST’S NAME IS NOT TOO FAR BEHIND. AT 5’5’’ AND AN OFFSEASON WEIGHT BETWEEN 285-300LBS (STILL SHOWING ABS!!) ONE COULD EASILY ARGUE THAT POUND FOR POUND; LEE PRIEST IS THE BIGGEST MAN IN THE SPORT. I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIT DOWN WITH THE MAN KNOWN AS "THE BLOND MYTH" AND DELVE DEEP INTO HIS THOUGHTS ON BODYBUILDING COMPETITION, NUTRITION AND TRAINING.

LEE I HAVE TO TELL YOU, SEEING YOU EVERY YEAR COME IN SHREDDED AND HUGE AND STILL PLACE BEHIND PEOPLE LIKE DILLET AND RAY MAKES ME LOSE ALL HOPE THAT BODYBUILDING WILL EVER BE A TRUE SPORT. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHY YOU GET PLACED BELOW SOMEONE LIKE SHAWN RAY WHO HAS NOT GAINED SO MUCH AS 5 POUNDS OF TISSUE SINCE FIRST TURNING PRO BACK IN 1987. I MEAN, IF WE TOOK THE TOP BODYBUILDERS FROM 1987 AND HAD THEM SOMEHOW COMPETE TODAY, NOT ONE OF THEM—EXCEPT FOR LEE HANEY---WOULD BE ABLE TO COMPETE AT EVEN LOWER CALIBER PRO-SHOW. BE HONEST AND SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

I don’t know? Some people say it’s the height thing with me only being 5’5’’, but Shawn is only 2 inches taller than I am. They say he’s got the perfect symmetry, and I really don’t feel my symmetry is any better or worse than his is, but mass wise I have a lot more mass than Shawn does.

I also think, with Shawn, since he’s been around so long, he walks on stage and automatically gets placed in the top 5. The same thing happens with Flex. Now with Flex he almost always deserves it, but on occasion he has come in less than sharp and still gets placed high, hell sometimes he even wins. Remember the Iron Man a few years ago when Aaron Baker looked insane and he lost to and out of shape Flex? I honestly think the judges are too lazy to sometimes even look up to see who is actually in shape and who isn’t. If an unknown comes along, like Marcus Ruhl, and he is the best on that day, he should win. Yet they place guys who are known and not in shape ahead of him, and this poor guy is left wondering what he has to do to get a fair deal. Again I think it goes back to the judges being too lazy, they know someone like Flex is entering a show and they automatically place him in a top spot before they ever even see what he looks like.

THIS IS TRUE, BUT THE BIZARRE THING WITH SHAWN IS THAT HE IS NOT IN THE LIMELIGHT ALL THAT MUCH, ALL HE DOES IS ONE SHOW A YEAR.

I guess we just have to put it under the category of the Bermuda Triangle or Rosewell…..No one is really quite sure why these mystical events occur, but they do…

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THIS OFFSEASON AND UPCOMING CONTEST SEASON?

For the offseason….EATING! Actually I only have 2 months left before I start my contest prep for the NOC

ARE YOU GOING TO DO A MASS COURSE BEFORE THAT?

I don’t know….don’t push me (laughing) Have I got enough time to do one?

WELL YOU HAVE 8 WEEKS BEFORE YOU START YOUR CONTEST PREP AND THE MASS COURSE WOULD ONLY BE  4 OR 6 WEEKS….

I might then….I might…If I am a good boy, I might….Then I’ll do the NOC and Mr. Olympia. So if I have time I will do the mass course you map out for me, then I will go into pre-contest for the NOC. Then I have about 2 months off and then start dieting again for the Mr. Olympia.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY OF EATING IN THE OFF SEASON FOR LEE PRIEST. JUST YESTERDAY, I WAS SENT AN ANONYMOUS GOSSIP COLUMN THAT CLAIMED YOU WERE SPOTTED EATING 2 LARGE PIZZAS BY YOURSELF. BUT I THINK YOU ARE A SLIGHTLY MORE RELIABLE SOURCE ON THE MATTER

Well seeing how I don’t like pizza all that much, that story is pretty much shot. When I go to a place like McDonald’s I’ll typically order 2 hamburgers, small fried, a shack and 6 chicken nuggets. I never eat large amounts at any one sitting I just eat what I want all throughout the day, constantly picking at food.

WHAT ARE YOU WEIGHING RIGHT NOW?

Well I just got over stomach flu last week, which made me lose 12 lbs., so I’m currently 242. Getting back to the ridiculous claims about people seeing me eat in a restaurant, I’d love to know who they are seeing because I rarely go out to eat. To me it’s hit the drive through and go home.

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING LIKE?

Well, I normally like to keep it heavy if I can, unless I’m injured and have to go light which I hate. I like to do between 6 and 8 reps per sets and a minimum of 16 sets per bodypart, sometimes 20 and for legs even more….but that’s because I’M AN ANIMAL (jesting and laughing ).

WHO ARE SOME OF THE BODYBUILDERS OUT THERE THAT IMPRESS YOU

I’ve always liked the freakier types of physiques. Tom Platz, Phil Hill, Eddie Robinson, Mohammed Benazzizia and of course Dorian. I really liked Dorian because of his work ethic. You could see that he busted his ass when he trained. The guys today give you every excuse in the world not to train and use nothing but machines. Although bodybuilders don’t get a lot of money, the money they do get often makes them lazy. If you look, you can see that some of the pros looked better and trained harder when they were amateurs fighting to win a pro card.

WELL EVEN ARNOLD WAS NOTORIOUS FOR TRAINING 3 MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR AND THEN NOT TOUCHING A WEIGHT FOR THE REST OF THE TIME, AND IF YOU SEE PICTURES OF HIM IN HIS "OFF SEASON" HE’S A SCRAWNY AND SOFT 200LBS.

Right. I can respect Arnold for what he accomplished, but to me I really admire and respect someone like Dorian because he always worked hard and busted his but in the gym every day. Now days, I see some of the top pro’s training and it’s a joke. As soon as the set starts to become uncomfortable they stop. They never push themselves to the point of real pain or discomfort. You never see them crawling out of a gym after training. They look like they just woke up from a nap. It’s sad to see when someone has genetics 10 times better than Dorian, but trains 30 times less hard. They are satisfied with less than their best. To me, my best is all that matters….I would be disgraced even if I won the Mr. Olympia and new I only gave it 70% my best. There’s no honor in that.

HOW DO YOU FEEL DORIAN WOULD FAIR AGAINST RONNIE COLEMAN NOW?

I think Dorian at his best (1993) would easily beat Ronnie. Dorian might not be as symmetrical as Ronnie, but all over he was more complete and in better condition at his best.

LAST QUESTION: ANY PREDICTIONS FOR THE COMING YEAR?

Yes…Lee Priest will get screwed no matter what he does and I guarantee no matter how I look at the N.O.C. there will be someone there they place ahead of me.

THANKS LEE, YOU ARE DEFINITELY MY VIEW OF WHAT BODYBUILDING SHOULD BE ABOUT AND IT WOULD BE GREAT TO SEE YOU GET THE PLACINGS YOU DESERVE.


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