Australian bodybuilder Lee Priest is discussing the highly anticipated return of the Masters Olympia competition this August. In an interview with RxMuscle, Priest shared that his chest atrophy is preventing him from returning and talked about who might win the contest after an 11-year absence.
Competing from the 1980s to 2000s, Lee Priest developed a solid reputation for his work ethic, huge arms, and freaky conditioning. Even though he was unable to procure an Olympia title, he pushed some of the best names in the sport for years, including bodybuilding legends Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler.
Before calling it a career, Priest won his last three shows (2006 NOC New York, PDI Night of Champions, NABBA Mr. Universe) and remains vocal about the sport. From conversations about steroids to intricate training details, Priest still relays much of his bodybuilding knowledge with his fanbase today.
This also isn’t the first time Lee Priest weighed a Masters Olympia return. The subject was brought up last year when he mentioned he would come back if the organizers made the contest age cap 50 and over. However, putting age aside, Priest is now unsure if he’d take on the contest due to atrophy in his upper chest.
Lee Priest Talks of Chest Atrophy, Possible Nerve Damage, & Masters Olympia Comeback Probability
Speaking with Dave Palumbo, Priest shared details about his chest atrophy and revealed that doctors have offered to fix the issue with an implant.
“Well, like I said, if this atrophy here, mainly the chest, the arms like I said are coming back pretty good but if the chest bit here came back, I’d definitely do it. Yeah. At the moment, they were talking about they could do a fuc**ng thing to the chest, you know the pop-up pump where it looks like there’s a chunk out of the chest. They can’t inject fat.
They talk about fat injections, because if you diet down, the fat just disappears. Then, they talked about, they could make an implant that looks just like this side, but it goes under the muscle, so they got to detach the fuc**ng muscle and put it under. I said that would be my luck, being over 50 getting an implant; I die over the table. They would be like that vein son of a bitch, he had to get a chest implant and it fuc**ng killed him, what a dick head,” says Lee Priest.
According to Priest, if he got the chest implant, doctors told him it would stay in place.
“Yeah, they said it [implant] would [hold in place],” says Priest. “A lot of just normal guys who are thin looking guys that have had chest implants and biceps implants. I’m thinking, really, these guys if they would have went on some sort of good diet and did the training, they could look the same.”
Having torn his bicep and pec muscles, Priest is unsure why his arms recovered but not his chest. He added that his chest atrophy would be more apparent on stage if he leaned down.
“I don’t know, must be the nerve thing. Because the nerve thing, this part of the chest here, here’s my whole here, but [right upper pec] in this section here it’s gone. It’s like a dog took a bite out of it. You could probably hide it on most poses. If you did a most muscular, you would see it. Standing there relaxed, you can see it more because you’re not doing anything. You can always hide it in the side chest. Being leaner it’s going to stand out a lot more when you diet down.”
Priest’s 2023 Masters Olympia Frontrunner? Victor Martínez
When assessing who could possibly win the Masters title later this year, Priest named Victor Martínez.
“A guy who could win it, seeing how he looks now, is Victor Martínez. He looks really good. You know, Dexter if he came back out. Okay, well I’d say Victor could. What’s his name, the thing I like about it is, it should be over 50 and you can’t have competed for at least three or four years because you can have someone like Kamal who could do the Open Olympia. The Masters Olympia should be at least, you got to be over 50 and you haven’t done a pro show for at least three years.”
In addition, Priest said Kevin Levrone, Berry DeMey, and Jay Cutler would be ideal participants for the show’s return.
“Kevin [Levrone] might do it,” added Priest. “You know who could actually do it because he looks great and if he got back on a bit of gear [Lee] Labrada. He still looks pretty good. You know who looks good, I follow him on Instagram, and is in good shape still, Berry DeMey.”
“Jay could because he’s going to be 50 in August,” says Priest.
Despite the requests of fans, four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler made it clear he won’t be returning to a bodybuilding stage. Talks of his comeback circulated online a few months ago after the 49-year-old’s physique went viral in a posing session with fitness influencer ‘Lexx Little.’ Cutler stressed that he was getting back in shape for a ‘fit for 50’ challenge and plans to stick strictly with testosterone replacement therapy, no Trenbolone.
Lee Priest wouldn’t completely rule out 2023 Masters Olympia but emphasized that he won’t consider the show until his chest atrophy is addressed appropriately.