Interviewed and edited by Ryan DeLuca.
May 17th, 2001
Ryan789: Lee, what contest are you currently preparing for? The 2001 Mr. Olympia?
Lee Priest: Yes, I start dieting in August for the show.
Ryan789: Great! I will be there to watch
Lee Priest: Good! You can boo when I get screwed.
Ryan789: Everytime it seems you get the shaft, everybody in the audience boos. How do you keep your motivation?
Lee Priest: Yeah, that makes it worth the effort... hearing them complain at the judges. It's hard. Sometimes I feel I get screwed but then I think, "Hey, it's fun. Just have fun and don't take it too serious."
Lee Priest: In 1986, I did my first show. I was 13 and won 3 shows that year.
Ryan789: Wow! Not a bad start... =)
Lee Priest: I plan on competing until it's not fun anymore. I'm into driving stock cars lately.
Ryan789: What class stock cars do you race?
Lee Priest: At the Californian Speedway. They are Winston Cup cars.
Ryan789: What are your plans for stock car racing?
Lee Priest: Not to crash. I'm just doing it for something different and see what happens.
Ryan789: Do you feel that Ronnie Coleman is unbeatable by the current pros?
Lee Priest: Anyone can be beaten but with politics and him being Mr. Olympia, it will be hard.
Ryan789: (By the way, I have a picture of me shaking hands with you in the Prolab booth at the 1999 Mr. Olympia)
Lee Priest: Was I in a good mood or was I hungry at the time?
Ryan789: You were in a good mood... haha. Are you friends with any of the current pros?
Lee Priest: Yeah, just to talk to. Outside of the gym and competing we just keep it to ourselves.
Ryan789: Lee, how is your relationship with the IFBB nowadays? Have your feelings changed about the politics of bodybuilding?
Lee Priest: No, still the same. I just can't afford to say it. Costs me too much.
TXMarc (Lee's Friend From Texas): NO MORE FINES, LEE!
Lee Priest: I'll try not to but you know me.
Ryan789: Are you still sponsored by Prolab? How is that going?
Lee Priest: Yes. It's OK, but since they were bought out things are so-so. That's all I can say without losing my job.
Ryan789: I understand, big changes at Prolab lately.
Lee Priest: Yes, Prolab was sold to Natrol.
Ryan789: Our visitors would be very interested in knowing what supplements you currently take for the best gains.
TXMarc: That's the truth!
Ryan789: Back to the Mr. Olympia, do you think you will come in even bigger and better this year?
Lee Priest: Hope to but I just diet and train and see what happens.
Ryan789: Can't wait!
Lee Priest: I've been told that I'm going to die a lot this year so I have something to prove. In this sport, you are healthy one day, get sick and then you are dead.
TXMarc: Ryan, he was told that when he first came in here.
Ryan789: People are telling you that you are going to die? Who says this to you? And why?
Lee Priest: I'm OK now. My body was just run down from travel, dieting, training... so I got sick. It happens. I am human, I think.
RyanD789: That's terrible. Have you made a full recovery? How has it affected your training?
Lee Priest: I couldn't train heavy for awhile but I'm getting back into it now. Shit, it hurt.
TXMarc: His house looks like a cartoon.
Ryan789: Haha! Why does his house look like a cartoon?
Lee Priest: Because I'm an idiot.
TXMarc: Most everything is in Superman colors. Blue, yellow, red.
Lee Priest: Toys everywhere.
TXMarc: He collects Superman and Nascar stuff and Cathy (his wife) collects M & M and Barbie stuff
Lee Priest: That's only half of it.
Ryan789: How is married life?
Lee and Cathy Priest
Cathy - 2000 Ms.Olympia 2000, Lightweight, 4th Place
Lee Priest: Great, we get along perfect. She is with my all the time. She says hi.
Ryan789: What are her plans for the near future?
Lee Priest: Having a baby. We have a little dog she takes everywhere for practice.
Ryan789: Congratulations to you both!
Lee Priest: Yorkshire Terrier and I have a German Shepherd and Staffishier Terrier. And four cats!
TXMarc: Ryan, that's another thing they collect animals too.
Ryan789: Four cats! Geez! The biggest dream for a bodybuilder is to win the Mr. Olympia. How bad do you want to win it?
Lee Priest: I've never wanted to win a show. I just do the best I can. Winning would be nice but I just would like to get what I deserve. As long as I know I have done my best, that's all I can do.
*Bodybuilding.com Writer Big Cat enters the room.*
Big cat: Do you feel that people like you and Ray are ever going to get a fair shake? Or is it just honor placings?
Lee Priest: No, they always look to the bigger, taller guy. But what the hell, the growth ain't working.
Ryan789: How do you feel about Mike Mentzer's HIT workout program?
Lee Priest: Don't like it. Seems like you can get injured too easily.
Ryan789: Do you follow the Weider training principals?
Lee Priest: No, I follow what my body tells me. It's your best judge when it comes to anything. I go heavy when I can and low reps. Sometimes I go lighter and do 10 - 12 reps per set.
Ryan789: Bodybuilding may soon be an olympic sport. How do you feel will that affect bodybuilding?
Lee Priest: It will be interesting.
Ryan789: Lee, Big Cat is a writer for us. He is developing a new workout program called I.C.E.
Lee Priest: What's that stand for?
Big cat: Intensity, Consistency, Efficiency. The golden rules of the Iron Game.
Lee Priest: True. Actually, it's just drugs. Just kidding...
Ryan789: Big Cat's program is based on listening to your body.
Lee Priest: Your body is your best guide. I speak to Tom Platz a lot and he says the same.
Ryan789: What are your feelings regarding steroids?
Lee Priest: I have never lied about what I use. That's what ticks me off. I tell the truth and no one believes me.
Big cat: I believe you. I know you're not natural, but I know you don't use as much as most. Is your recuperation that good? What are we talking about? Stack one product? Two?
Lee Priest: Offeason: Deca and Para, 2cc each for 6 - 8 weeks. That's it.
Big cat: I mean you and Shawn Ray are the only ones that still have the natural look.
TXMarc: People have said that Lee uses over $30,000 in juice a year.
Lee Priest: I wish I had $30,000 to spend. Spend $30,000 and make $10,000. That makes sense.
Big cat: Yeah, you need a Weider contract to do that.
Lee Priest: He doesn't pay much. $24,000 up to $125,000 if you're good. I used to get $3,333.33 every month. Big deal.
TXMarc: A lot of the Weider contracts are about to be cut (again).
Big cat: Damn, that's not too much for a pro athlete...
Lee Priest: Yep, we don't get paid for anything but promoters do... like boxing.
Big cat: Yeah, I mean Kovacs must pull a lot of G's, he does well over $30,000 in steroids. He hasn't competed since 1997.
Lee Priest: No one will stick together. We need a union.
Big cat: Yeah, that's what I want to know. What does FLEX pay for an article or a feature?
Lee Priest: Nothing for interviews or covers. Fitness girls get about $300. We pros get zip.
Big cat: Ok, I see how you don't get paid for covers, but for interviews?
Lee Priest: Nothing. They say it is for publicity.
Ryan789: Publicity for what!? You can't get paid anywhere anyway. Lee, our site gets more readers than Flex magazine each month! We could promote you big time.
TXMarc: That's awesome, Ryan.
Big cat: I'll vouch for that, you should see the emails I get since I started writing for Bodybuilding.com.
Lee Priest: That would be good.
Lee Priest: It's a great sport and should be out there more. Mags are so negative towards us a lot of the time.
Ryan789: What do you feel about using props on stage while posing?
Lee Priest: Fitness girls get props. Could make it interesting for the crowd at night.
Ryan789: More fun for the audience... more ticket sales.
Big cat: What do you mean Ryan? Can you see Lee with pompons?
Ryan789: Maybe judge like 10% on presentation. Something artistic like a sword. Or something funny like a posing magic show. Maybe just some sunglasses or something that goes with the theme of the song they are posing to.
Lee Priest: The scores are done by the time we pose. Hell, they are done before the show starts.
Big cat: How about we get it back to the days of old and judge on symmetry and shape. You know, instead of GH bellies and unhealthily low BF percentages. Maybe symmetry again?
Lee Priest: I don't know. They say I have no symmetry.
Ryan789: You were fined big time by the IFBB a few years ago... Why the big fine when they don't hardly PAY anything.
Lee Priest: I asked them the same thing. $12,000 in total. What a scam! Each year each pro pays $175 for his pro card. If late, they pay $350.
Big cat: So much for earning a pro card.
Lee Priest: YEP
Lee Priest: At the last Mr. Olympia, in the memo section on the check it says "$6,000 deducted for fines."
Ryan789: Lee, real quick, is there anything here that you don't want us to post on our main site? Just to be sure...
Lee Priest: POST IT ALL.
Ryan789: Lee, what would you say to a teen bodybuilder who is interested in becoming a pro someday? Would you urge him to do it?
Lee Priest: What would I say? Don't. Take up golf or football. More money. No, actually I would tell him to think long and had and be honest. Do you have the body to go all the way? Are you willing to do what you have to do to get there? If not, just train, have fun and be healthy.
Ryan789: Do you see a future in Nascar for you somebody?
Lee Priest: Hope to. My wife likes me driving. I got 2nd out of 16 my first time in the car.
Ryan789: Do you know if your newborn will be a girl or boy?
Lee Priest: Don't know, but probably short!
Ryan789: Let's say you have a boy and at 18 he wants to take steroids. What do you say?
Lee Priest: I'll tell him the good and the bad and hope he can make up his own mind. I think drinking is worse myself.
Big cat: Have you had any ill effects from your use?
Lee Priest: No, just loss of money.
Big cat: Oh yeah, how is Cathy doing. Must be rough with the rule change in the women's.
Lee Priest: Cathy is sick from the bullshit in women's bodybuilding.
Ryan789: Lee, I have always admired your great sense of humor. Are most pros stuck up?
Lee Priest: Yep, their shit don't stink.
Ryan789: Lee, any new pros that you think have a chance to be a champion?
Lee Priest: With the judging, anyone but me can be a champion.
Ryan789: Lee, do you go online a lot? What other sites do you check out?
Lee Priest: Yes, AOL Chat and Getbig.com just to read what I'm up too. It's fun but my wife gets mad though.
Ryan789: LEE, pro bodybuilders are famous but not as famous as some other athletes. Do you get recognized in public a lot?
Lee Priest: Yes, I do, which is surprising. At an airport I went to Krispy Kreme, Carl's Junior and Mrs. Field's and they all knew me. No joke.
Big Cat: You do eat at the good spots!
Lee Priest: I eat anywhere offseason. Dieting I stay home where it is safe.
Big cat: How did you get into Bodybuilding? I mean you look OK. I got in cause I'm ugly, and by the looks of it so did most pros
Lee Priest: Bad luck. My grandfather got me started.
Ryan789: Ever thought about quitting completely and doing something else?
Lee Priest: Everyday, but hey, here I am. Just like every job some days you like it, some days you hate it.
Another chatter: Do you actually use all Prolab stuff?
Lee Priest: Not all. Some.
Ryan789: Do you ever have to pay for supplements? Or do they give them to you free all the time.
Lee Priest: Not Prolab supplements but others brands, yes.
Ryan789: How much do you spend on supplements per month?
Lee Priest: Competition time about $200 - $300. Mainly protein. 400 - 500 grams per day. About 2 grams per pound.
Big Cat: On average how long do you spend lifting per workout?
Lee Priest: 1-2 hours.
Big cat: How long do you diet for a show. I hear you get up pretty high when bulking.
Lee Priest: I diet about 12 weeks but I am ready in 9 weeks. My contest is weight is 215 at 5' 4". Magazines have me at all weights.
Lee Priest: People think because I am a pro that I know a lot but I only know what works for me. I'm very basic in terms of training, dieting and brains I think. I've always done it myself.
*END OF CHAT*
MORE EXCLUSIVE LEE PRIEST PICS!
Pic #1 - Cathy and Lee with their wedding cake.
Pic #2 - Lee posing in the Prolab booth.
Pic #3 - Another pic of Lee at the race track.
Pic #4 - Lee's birtday. Getting more toys...
Pic #5 - Lee's entrance at his wedding.
Pic #6 - Inside Lee's house with Aaron Baker, Marc Salvato and his wife.
Pic #7 - Lee with his Japanese Fan Club.
Pic #8 - Lee on the streets of New York.
Pic #9 - Tom Platz, Cha, Lee, and Marc.