After his shock withdrawal from this years Mr. Olympia, the man many call the Blond Myth, Lee Priest, says he is far from hanging up his trunks. With the 2006 Arnold Classic looming large, Lee feels a spot in the top five will help to secure him notoriety as one of the most consistent, and well respected, professional bodybuilders of all time, though his more modest side would be happy with any kind of acknowledgement.
Indeed, it is Lee's self effacing view of himself in the grand scheme of things that has helped secure him the unofficial title of "People's Champion". Lee's many fans would love to see him triumph at the Arnold this time around, as they feel he has many of the qualities - physical and otherwise - that make a worthy spokesperson for a sport that is often in the press for all the wrong reasons.
Love him or hate him, as a bodybuilder Lee Priest always tries to tell it the way it is, and is not afraid to voice his opinion to assist any cause he feels is in need of support.
|LEE PRIEST SPEAKS OUT!|
Lee's perspective on competitive bodybuilding is refreshing in that he feels winning a show is in the hands of the judges, and he will be the first to congratulate anyone who beats him.
Bitching and backstabbing are not his strong points. Physically, Lee is one bodybuilder who commands respect. Rather than an assemblage of assorted freaky body-parts (indeed, his critics would say this of him), Lee's physique fits the new IFBB criteria for symmetry and proportion as much as it impresses with freaky size.
Arms, legs and shoulders any bodybuilder on the planet would be proud of coupled with a small waist and tiny joints lends a much sought after combination of mass with class. His other body parts flow nicely into this package, providing for the judges, and the fans, anxiety and motivation respectively.
A role model in more ways than one, Lee has shown that there is more to life than bodybuilding, and that two careers can be balanced with neither overpowering the other. As well as bodybuilding, Lee, with the backing of companies such as Bodybuilding.com, Twinlab and Muscular Development, has managed to successfully compete in drag car racing, this year winning Rookie of the Year and placing third in his first major championship.
Next year, Lee is making the progression to Jet Cars. He feels these faster vehicles will add to his increasingly expanding repertoire of racing skills, and make him a more complete racer - similar goals to the ones he has as a bodybuilder. Good placing's at the 2006 Arnold Classic and on the track will surely keep Lee busy next year.
Plying his trade at the Arnold is something Lee has done on five occasions, gradually placing higher as his physique has matured and improved (from seventh and ninth placing's in 1994 and 1995 respectively, to fourth place this year).
Click Image To Enlarge.
Lee Has Some Of The Best Arms, Legs &
Shoulders In The History Of Bodybuilding!
On Stage At The 2004 San Francisco Pro.
A high placement in 2006 would be a fitting, and justified, reward for a man who consistently brings to the stage an impressively packaged, well-conditioned, physique.
In fact, when Lee is on, few people can match him pound for pound, as exemplified by his win against the amazing Chris Cormier in Australia earlier this year. Watch for Lee Priest on stage and on the track in 2006.
[ Q ] Hi Lee. Are you training for a show at the moment, and if so how far into your preparation are you?
- Well, I'm not training for anything right now. I'm still training, but I'll start dieting for the Arnold Classic around December 8th.
[ Q ] And following the Arnold what shows will you be looking at doing?
- After the Arnold I might do the San Francisco, then after this is the Australian show, so I'll probably hit those three shows at the beginning of the year. After that I'll probably go racing.
[ Q ] What are you hoping to bring this time around to the Arnold? What kind of package can we expect to see?
- Maybe the same as last year but probably a little bit fuller. This year when
- for the
- , I was just as hard, but at least five pounds heavier. If I can get like that again I will be happy.
[ Q ] So in terms of conditioning you will be as shredded as you have been in the past, possibly more so?
- I hope so.
[ Q ] Who do you see as being your biggest competition at the 2006 Arnold Classic?
- I haven't really seen who is in it. I know Dexter's there and he's always a top competitor. I never count anyone out because you might think of somebody as being average, then the day of the show you see him and think "f*ck, what the hell did he do". He might show up in incredible shape.
Like I say, anyone can turn up in great shape on any given day and surprise you.
[ Q ] Are you going to predict where you might place?
- I would be happy anywhere in the top five. This will be my 13th year competing in the pro ranks, so if I can still make the top five or six in any given show I'll still be happy.
|Listen to Lee's comments on some Pro's egos! (mp3 - 44k)|
[ Q ] That is a lot of years in the pro ranks. Do you think over this time you have lost any passion for the sport? Are you still as motivated as you have been to get yourself to the stage you are at now?
- I have no problem as far as
- goes. Then there are things you see with the judging, like the fiasco at this years
I do still enjoy the training and get real excited about that and I still like the feeling of competing. As long as I'm still placing well and making money from it, I'll keep doing it.
|OLYMPIA EXPERIENCE VIDEO|
I'm at the point now where I will do a show if I enjoy the show. I don't like the Olympia, if I don't like the way it's run, I won't do it. Whereas the Ironman and Arnold are great shows. If I'm not excited about the shows, or I'm just doing the Olympia because I have to, I'm not going to come in my best shape.
As long as I go into the other shows looking my best I don't worry about the placing anymore. The judges know what they want and they have brought in all these new rules so there is nothing I can do.
[ Q ] Is there a possibility that you will compete at the 2006 Olympia?
- Next year I probably won't do it (the Olympia). Like I said, the Arnold is the number one show. After this year's shambles at the Olympia things are not looking good for that show if Robin Chang's running it.
When I pulled out this year, Twinlab was a major sponsor and was to pay $75,000, and I was to give out an award.
Robin Chang told the Twinlab representative that Lee Priest is not setting foot on that stage, and all this sort of stuff. They effectively said, "keep your money". If they can turn down sponsorship like that, what is happening?
[ Q ] Was there anything else that prompted you to pull out this year Lee?
- I just went over the contract a few times to see if it was worth signing. I had the backing of Muscular Development and found out that a couple of guys just before the show said that other guys were considering sitting out too.
The next day, on Sunday, I had quite a few guys tell me they were so disgusted with the way the show was put on, and the call-outs they didn't get, that they would not do the Olympia ever again either.
| Did You Know?
That the 3rd place winner did not get called out against the 1st and 2nd place winner at the Olympia this year? Hmm... That doesn't make sense.
If they don't change things soon, that show is just going to disappear. It might have been the number one show before, when it had a bit more prestige. It's because they wanted Wayne Demillia out, but at least the shows were run good under him. Now, since AMI took over, the Olympia this year and least year, it's the worst it's ever been.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Special Thanks To saucetradomous For Posting The Contract.
[ Q ] In your view, what changes need to be made for the Olympia to recapture some of its prestige, and provide a better outcome for its athletes?
- Just try to copy the way the Arnold Classic is run, and the way they treat the athletes there. It's not rocket science, it's basic little things like I have said before. Just give the athletes room where they can cook their own meals. Don't have us doing crazy stuff before a contest.
If athletes are getting ready for a major show they need to prepare for that show to look their best. Just the way they had the contest at one place and the Expo at another place.
No one was really happy about this. If you look on the internet boards, a lot of the fans who have been going to the shows for years are saying they won't go to another one unless things change.
The fans are the one's who put the money into the hands of the promoters, so if they are pushing the fans away, they are not going to have much left.
[ Q ] If what has been voiced by you and others is correct, why are the "powers that be" not doing what is best for the fans and the athletes?
- I have no idea. I know Jim Manion wanted the challenge round taken out, but AMI wanted to keep it in there, so they left it in. So Jim does try to change things, but when you have something like AMI calling the shots and running things, sometimes things just don't get done. There are a lot of egos involved. Too many Indian Chiefs I think.
[ Q ] Did you think the placing's were fair at this year's Olympia?
- They had that new ruling. It didn't effect Jay, and he is a blocky guy. Jay's stomach was sticking out, so I don't see where the points were deducted from Jay. And to have Ronnie win, but Badell win the challenge round. I didn't watch the show myself.
I have just seen the pictures online.
[ Q ] Do you think the places one through to ten were accurate, based on what you have seen and heard?
- It's hard to say because from what I hear guys like Darrem, Kris Dim and Johnnie Jackson weren't really compared to the guys who were placed in the top five.
Badell placed third but he was never compared to Jay Cutler who was placed second. If you are going to be in the top ten or the top six, you should be compared to everybody in the top ten or top six.
You can't just say "there's Ronnie and Jay at one and two" and not compare them to everybody else, because Jay might look good standing there by himself, but if he is standing next to Gustavo Badell he might look different.
[ Q ] If you had of competed this year Lee, what kind of placing do you think you would have received?
- Well, I did a photo shoot the day before the Olympia and Hany Rambod had the Polaroid's from the photos. People who have seen them said if I had of been in the show, I would have been fourth or fifth at the lowest.
[ Q ] It came as quite a shock to many fans on hearing you had pulled out. Were there any other reasons for withdrawing from the competition?
- People are saying I wasn't in shape, but when they saw the photos that came out a day before or a week before they could see I was in good shape, so that had nothing to do with it. There were no health issues involved.
It's like what happened before, when I did that big article (when I pulled out the year before) - I said at this time "f*ck the Olympia, I'm going to do the Arnold", and I went over the contract and decided that I can't go against what I believe in and I can't do what is not right, so I didn't do it.
[ Q ] Among your fellow pros, who would you regard as a good person, or a friend?
- The ones I've always talked to like Kris Dim, Darrem Charles (
- ), Johnnie Jackson (
- ) and David Henry are nice, but it's not like we're friends as far as seeing each other all the time.
| Did You Know?
David Henry won the 2005 Wildcard Showdown, giving him a place to compete at the Olympia. (He placed 14th at the Olympia)
If we meet up at shows and things like that... we talk. There are a few who I won't mention who have egos and think they're above everyone else.
It always amazes me how they get that way. It's bodybuilding. They always try to do or say the same things. If I beat you onstage big deal, if you beat me big deal. We are out there doing the same thing.
Just because I beat you that's not my fault. It's the judges that place us there. On any given day, anyone can beat anyone.
[ Q ] Why doesn't bodybuilding have the same level of camaraderie it once had?
| What Does Camaraderie Mean?
Chumminess: the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability.
- People say "well there's money now", but getting paid isn't a good reason to push people aside. The money isn't going to be there forever.
When you start coming back down and want to have some people to talk to and you have pushed them all away and alienated yourself it's just sad.
If you look back at the old days with Arnold and all them. They hung out together and trained together. They were centered around California, which is now where a lot of the pros are. Now you see all the sh*t talking between people in the magazines. It just gets out of hand.
[ Q ] What would you consider to be some of the more positive aspects of being a pro bodybuilder?
- If you can make it to the pro level and get a good contract, like anything in life where you can make a living from doing something you love doing, that is good.
Not having to work a nine to five job and getting to travel the world meeting people and fans are also advantages.
Sometimes you might get some letters from people saying you have changed their life, who could have been heavy, or could have had some medical condition which your advice has helped them overcome. Something like that can make it all worthwhile too.
There are some bad aspects as well. Especially at contest time, when you are dieting and your carbs are low and you hate everything in life (laughs).
[ Q ] The dieting isn't the easiest thing. What keeps you focused on this aspect of preparation?
- The training I love and the
- I don't mind, but with the diet towards the end when the carbs get low and the body fat gets lower your brain doesn't function as well. This is when you start getting stressed out.
If it is towards the end of the year you get stressed out because you are getting ready for a show, and how well you do in that show could determine whether you get re-signed that year.
If you don't get re-signed to your contract you start thinking, well where am I going to get my next check from and how am I going to live and survive.
[ Q ] So there are more added pressure on pro's competing today compared to those competing in earlier eras?
- I think there is, with contracts and things like that, because with a lot of guys now, that's what they do and they don't have jobs to fall back on.
With me, I left school at 14 because I had a job back then. I started training when I was 13, so I have been doing it now for 20 years pretty much.
I'm sure I could get another job, but when you put 20 years into something it is something I would like to continue doing well. If I lose a contract it is like "what do I do now, go back and get a degree?"
[ Q ] What are you looking at doing once you retire Lee?
- I would like to do the racing. A driver I've done a show with, Derek Snelson, is putting on another show in Boise. He races a jet-car with Warhawk Motor Sports and Richard Smith out at Bend, Oregon.
It's like jet funny cars. Next April I'm going to go up and get on the pad with one of the jet cars and get my license. And then I might race jet cars a few times next year, so that will be fun driving one of those things.
So If I get out of bodybuilding I might get into the racing if the sponsors are still there and I had a ride.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Lee Next To His Twinlab Sponsered Car.
Right now, I still feel I have a few years left in me, knock on wood. It's one of those things you take year by year, day by day. I don't really plan ahead. I just take things as they come.
When I started training, I did it just for a hobby, and then it turned into my career in life. Same with racing. This year I got third in the championship and won rookie of the year.
If something comes of that, great. If it doesn't, well I will use it as a hobby, something outside of bodybuilding so I'm not thing about bodybuilding 24/7 and going mad.
[ Q ] So what is new as far as your racing is concerned?
- Well, this years over now. Like I say, I got rookie of the year and finished third in the championship. My team mate Tom finished first so that's good.
Next year I will be going to get my license in that jet car and could be racing quite a few races in this car next year. If you haven't seen jet cars run they go real quick off the start, and then you turn on the afterburners.
[ Q ] So how do the jet cars compare to the ones you are racing now?
- They are a lot quicker. Now I'm running in the eight second mark normally, and the cars run about 180, sometimes 160 depending on the track.
Click Image To Enlarge.
That Is Tom's Father, Tom SR. Helping In Memphis At The Million Dollar Race. I Also Want To Thank Tom, Tom SR., Brian & Gina (Tom's Wife) For All There Help And Support And Of Course Twinlab, Bodybuilding.COM, Lucas Oil & Toyo Tyres (Best Tire To Race On).
The jets cars run in the five second bracket around 270 to 280 miles an hour. There are a lot of differences because inside the jet car there are different things to ignite, afterburners and stuff like that.
Things are going to be totally different and that's why I will be going up to Oregon and the car will be chained down to a pad when I first hop in it and start learning all of its controls.
[ Q ] What is the scope career-wise, racing jet cars?
- If you had the sponsors it would be good. If you could get the races and do a lot of exhibitions you could make money from it. It could also lead to other things like getting in a top fuel ride if you are marketable. Anything's possible.
You could get picked up by anyone if they think you are running well and word of mouth gets around. It's one of those things you do, and suddenly you can't stop it and you go with it.
[ Q ] I suppose racing is something you can do into your forties, after bodybuilding.
- There are a lot of drivers out there in their fifties and still racing. If you pass the physical you can race.
If there are any problems where you can pass out, you can't do it. It's one of those things, like bodybuilding too. If your body is holding up you can do bodybuilding into your late forties.
[ Q ] Does having a larger bodyweight pose any problems in the car?
- Not really, because you all have to be weighed the same. If in NASCAR someone's lighter they will add weight to the car to make everyone the same. If someone's heavier they will take weight out of his car, so everyone's running the same weight.
[ Q ] What sort of sponsors have you managed to attract?
- This year was pretty good. Bodybuilding.com with Russ has been on board ever since I started racing years ago on the road courses. This year, with the drag racing, he has helped out a few times. Muscular Development is another sponsor. Next year, Twinlab are going to sponsor me for the whole year, so the dragster will have Twinlab all over it.
I'm getting some nice race shirts done up with Twinlab, Bodybuilding.com and Muscular Development on them, so they should look really good. It's funny because I go to all the racetracks and it's surprising the number of people there that know who I am. My friend Rod Fuller who races top fuel would be signing autographs and people would be coming up to me.
He would say,
It's a good crossover sport because generally people who are into muscle cars tend to be into bodybuilding and there are a lot of fans out there who are into both.
Like I said, when I'm at the track I get recognized a lot. It is good marketing for companies who would like to come on board and sponsor because it's good having an athlete who is doing two types of sport.
[ Q ] What sort of involvement has Bodybuilding.com had in your recent successes on the track?
- Like I said, Russ and Bodybuilding.com have come on board and have given me some sponsorship money to get to the race, and enter. The last one I did for Bodybuilding.com was the Million Dollar Race in Memphis, which is the biggest bracket race in the country. It's like the Indy or Daytona 500 of bracket races because when they put that million dollars up, we had something like 400 races.
There were nine rounds to go and I made it to five rounds. When I first came out they were going "here's this guy, a bodybuilder, doing this for fun". But then after the first two wins, it was like, "sh*t the guy has brains too". The day before we had 400 races and I made it down to the top 25.
In The Million Dollar Race I made it to the fifth round. It was my first year in, and I am racing guys who have been in the sport for 15 to 20 years. Basically these are the best bracket racers from around the country.
[ Q ] Does the Bodybuilding.com logo on your car attract a lot of interest?
- People always come up and ask about it. I've also got Muscular Development on there. Normally, a lot of car racer's have Lucas or Valvoline Oil. At a national race two weeks ago in Vegas we left all the Twinlab decals on the car and people were coming over and asking if they were a new sponsor.
The big companies will try to draw your sponsors away, so we are all interested in the Ripped Fuel decal on one side of the car and Nitric Fuel down the other side and Twinlab all over it. They are all thinking, "I wonder if I can get them."
[ Q ] Is there any kind of fighting between the racing teams over sponsors?
- Yes sometimes. I think so. If you can get locked in, like Budweiser, for a long time and you do well, they will stick with you. Sometimes you might get a sponsor for the first four races and then for the next four you might try to get a different sponsor. It just depends on how much they are going to put up money-wise and how long you keep their logos on your car, suit, shirt and helmet.
If someone comes on board for a whole year that is good because you don't have to keep changing decals. Anyone at any given time (who can help you go race) is good.
[ Q ] It seems you have bright future in racing.
- Hopefully. It's one of the things I like, and it's like bodybuilding in that you have to be so focused on training. The focus I have gained from bodybuilding during years and years of dieting and training has traveled over into racing, where I can focus on that type of thing.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Racing & Bodybuilding:
They Both Require Focus.
[ Q ] What would be your most memorable occasion in racing so far?
- Finishing third in the championship in my first year. That was good. I only missed out on second place by 12 points. It's one of those things where there are 12 races and they throw out the points of your worst two races. I think in two of my races I lost first round; the points were only 30 for each round.
They let go of 60 points of my two lowest scoring races, and then the guy who was second missed two races so he had two zeros, so that is what they threw out. So he didn't get any points thrown out but I had 60 points thrown out, and he ended up beating me by 12 points.
I did win my first race. Tom, my teammate, won on the Saturday and I went to the semi-finals and the next day I won the finals. A month ago in Vegas I went to the big gamblers race and there were 80 cars out there. I won on the Friday night and on the Saturday night I was in the finals again and finished runner-up.
In this race, I went red by two-thousandths-of-a-second, and the guy beside me went red by a lot more, but because his car was running faster than mine, I had a head start. So because I went red first, he wins, even though he went red by a lot more than me. To finish first one night and get runner up the next was fun though.
[ Q ] There seems to be more to this racing than people might think. Tell me more about how it works.
- Exactly. With bracket racing (editors note: also known as handicap racing) it is not first one across the line that wins. It is like you put a number in (a dial in number). Say you want to run 8.20. The guy beside you could be running 10 seconds so he will leave before you.
You will have to wait a bit and then when you chase him down and get beside him or get your nose in front of him, he will start backing off the gas a bit. You want to go across the line first but you don't want to take it by that much that you break out.
| What Does "Break Out" Mean?
Should a driver go quicker than his/her predetermined "dial-in" it is a "break-out," and grounds for disqualification.
Like I said, if you are running 8.20 seconds and you suddenly run 8.19 seconds, you lose because you are too quick. So you have to get as close to the number as you said. Your reaction time comes into play as well.
To Learn More About Bracket Racing Click Here.
[ Q ] Bodybuilding or racing? What sport do you most enjoy right now?
- I like bodybuilding training but I like the racing too. With the racing it can be more of a mind game. When you are against somebody, it is you or him; only one person can win.
If you win great, if he wins great. There is no subjectivity like with bodybuilding. With racing they have laser timers so if you win you win. There is no discrepancy about it.
I have always really liked the racing and never really had many opportunities in Australia to do it, so when I came over to the U.S. I slowly gotten into it.
Muscular Development I think will be having a big story in a month or two about the Million Dollar Race that Bodybuilding.com sponsored in Memphis. Flex Wheeler came out and took thousands of pictures, so it should be a good story.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Flex Wheeler & "His" Awesome Car.
[ Q ] Getting back to bodybuilding Lee, what is your current approach to dieting and how has this evolved over the years?
- I have always done the same thing when it comes to dieting. It is pretty basic. You know what foods have fats and sodium in them. I just stick to the plain old oatmeal, chicken breasts, fish, rice, salads and
- mixed with water. If you just stick to the basics you can't go wrong.
|Stick To The Basics|
People try to make it to scientific, try and weigh things out, and add this and that. If you just keep it basic, do your training and cardio, you can't mess it up. Don't listen to so many people. You have people at the gym saying do it this way or do it that way. You get one person listening to someone and changing their approach only to look like crap.
If you find what works, stick to it. The only thing you might have to adjust over the years is various aspects of diet to accommodate metabolic changes. I think my approach pretty much works for everybody. That's why I tell everybody that when it comes to training and dieting, stick to the basics. It's not a scientific sport. If you stick to the basics it will work.
[ Q ] What about supplementation? Can this get too scientific in your view?
- Well, when I'm dieting for a contest I take more supplements. Glutamine, protein powders, and multi-vitamins are essential around this time. I'm limiting my food so at this time I have to take in other sources of vitamins and other things I'm going to be missing. Normally in the off-season, I just stick to a good protein powder and multi-vitamin. I'm eating enough food at this time that I don't need to go crazy on the supplements.
[ Q ] What kind of protein do you prefer pre-contest?
- I take a good whey protein about two to three times a day when dieting. Also at this time I take:
I take the Ripped Fuel when I feel a bit down because it doesn't make me feel as jittery, so as a boost I take some of that. Just basic stuff like that. Hopefully it is working. If my piss is bright yellow I sort of know it isn't.
[ Q ] Are there certain types of supplements to stay away from pre-contest?
- I think the Twinlab one is good for gaining and maintaining size. Also, sometimes I will use the
- because it is low in carbs.
It a matter of just finding one that works best for you. I could say what works best for me, but for another person this could cause their stomach to swell out and they might be sitting on the toilet for two hours. I'm the same way.
There are some protein powders that I've taken before where my gut swells up. There are a lot of different protein powders because there are so many companies around and a lot of competition.
What happens is that there are a lot of protein powders that are pretty good. Just find one that you like the taste of and that doesn't upset your stomach, and stick to it.
[ Q ] I understand you are shooting a video at the moment. How is this going, and what can we expect to see in this one?
- We are trying to get a bit more racing and outside stuff in it. I didn't compete in the Olympia so there probably will be more filming leading up to the Arnold.
I have a friend out here who owns a movie factory and we are going out there to take some footage of gun shooting, because he has Uzi's, 50 caliber guns, and M16's like the one on Rambo. We'll take them out to the fields and blow a few things up.
[ Q ] Have you decided on a name for the video yet?
- I have some of those suggestions from the discussion boards, but still haven't come up with a name yet. I don't want to use the
I want to use something that is a little more catchy or basic.
| Help Lee Name His DVD?
Lee Priest is doing a new DVD and wants your suggestions for the name of it. Click here to give your suggestions.
[ Q ] Is there going to be much training or nutrition content on this video?
- There will be a bit of training, like normal, but I'm not going to go over and over it because training is training. Normally people get these videos and watch a bit of it. Then they speed through the training, whereas people viewing my last video liked a lot of the out-takes at the end and a lot of the general lifestyle stuff.
People want to see what you do outside the gym. We all pretty much know how to squat, we know how to bench and curl. After a while it becomes pretty monotonous watching it.
This is why I'm looking at putting more general stuff like the racing, and outside with the guns. It could be walking the dog. It could be me going to McDonalds. Just to show we do stuff outside of bodybuilding. Not just in the gym, moaning and groaning. How many times can I show you how I train biceps. We all do biceps the same way.
[ Q ] What other projects do you have planned?
- I have had some t-shirts out but I'm sold out of them. There will probably be some new T-shirts for the Arnold Classic. People liked the old one with the cross on it and the Priest logo. I might go back to that basic type T-shirt.
[ Q ] Is there anything else that keeps you motivated after all these years in bodybuilding?
- This big pile of bills sitting here on my counter. If I think I've had enough, I look at the bills and say "Oh sh*t, I better go and train again". I have never needed much motivation when it comes to training since I've been doing it since I was 13. I've pretty much done it my whole life, and I'm 33 now.
So I have been doing it for 20 years. To me it is like breathing or walking. I have days too where I think I don't want to do this, but it's like anything I guess. Some people have jobs they love where some days they don't want to go to work. There are days where I say "that's it, I'm finished with this". There are others where the workout might suck, you're aching everywhere and the joints are all sore, and you say "why do I do this". Everyone gets days like that.
[ Q ] Have you ever taken a break from the sport?
- I've never taken so much as a week off. I think in 20 years of training if you added up all the days I've taken off it probably wouldn't even be three-months worth. I'm one of those people who like training all the time. I might train 20-days-straight without taking a day off.
Though if I had to train back tomorrow, and I woke up feeling like it would be a crappy workout, I would just take the day off, or train another body part. I would much rather take the day off than go to the gym and go through the motions and have a sh*t workout.
[ Q ] What about cutting back on sets and/or reps? Do you subscribe to this?
- No. Not unless I have a slight
- . I'll change up the training then. Then there are days when I just want to go real heavy. The weight will feel really light and I will have to add more to get a better workout. There are days when the warm-up weight feels really heavy. It's best just to listen to your body - the body knows.
- Some guys bench three plates one day, and the next time they go to train chest they can only do two-and-a-half. These guys will often think that if they did three plates one time, they need to do it again, but if the body is not ready they end up injuring themselves.
If you feel strong go for it. If not, don't push it. Do something else. It's better not to push it than get injured - you will have to take a lot of time off then.
[ Q ] Good advice. You have had a pretty good run in bodybuilding Lee? What is left for you to accomplish?
- Well, I don't really have any goals. I'm not going to win the Olympia because I'm realistic and know I never will. As long as I can go out there and motivate people who are training I'm happy. I've always had a good fan following so I hope to give something back as far as training and dieting advice goes.
Doing the best I can in bodybuilding is my main goal. If I do well, good, if I don't, oh well. As long as I can keep doing well, I will keep going. When I go to the Arnold, I hope for a top five placing. Accomplishing this would be great.
If I won the Arnold that would be great too, but I'm not one of these people that will say "I'm going to win" and if I don't say "Well, that contest sucked". I'll do the best I can and what ever happens, happens.
[ Q ] Is there anything that hasn't yet been publicized that you would like to share with your fans?
- I got engaged the Tuesday after the Olympia to Adela and we just bought a new house that we will be moving into in a few weeks.
[ Q ] Where is your new place?
- In Austen at a nice new place called the Hidden Lake. They're building a big three-mile lake just at the back of the house. There is a nice little community there, nice and quiet. Where I live now is about eighty miles from there. The new place is surrounded by more countryside. I've never been one to party and go to clubs. I've always been more of a homebody type. Go out to a movie, go out for dinner - that's about it.
[ Q ] Are you going to set up a home gym?
- Probably not. There are so many gyms around the area, but we will be having the usual cardio equipment.
Adela has a lot of gym equipment so we are going to ask the Home Association if they could use the equipment to build an 800-900 square feet of gym area for the community. We have about $60,000 worth of gym equipment they could put in there if they agreed to this.
[ Q ] When you do retire from bodybuilding, how would you like to be remembered Lee?
- I'll be happy if people just remember me at all (laughs). Some people might remember me for my arms. Other might remember me for being down to earth and honest. I've always tried to be honest in this sport and tell it like it is. I'm sure people might remember me as a di**head or an a**hole. I could be remembered in a lot of ways.
[ Q ] That could be both good and bad.
- It depends on who you ask the question to.
[ Q ] In terms of your physique what would you like to be remembered for?
- Maybe just for being one of the best, short bodybuilders out there. You had Franco and the like back in the day, so if I can be remembered as one of the best short men that would be good. Like I say, if they can talk about me when I'm gone and retired, I would be happy just to be mentioned.
[ Q ] Thanks for the interview Lee. All the best for the Arnold.
- Thanks David.
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