Australian bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest rose to the highest level of competition during his days of competition. He presented insane arms and granite conditioning on par with some of the freakiest mass monsters of the Men’s Open class. In a recent episode of IFBB AMA, Priest shared his diet philosophy for contest preps.
Lee Priest first made a name for himself with his impressive muscle mass, size, and detail in the IFBB Pro League in the 90s. Hailing from Australia, he dominated the national circuit before making his way to the most elite fitness showcases in the world, such as the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia contests.
Priest proved to be one of the most disciplined athletes in the sport with six Mr. Olympia appearances against Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, and Chris Cormier. His longevity saw him enjoy an illustrious career that spanned over two decades with his final outing resulting in a win at the 2013 NABBA Mr. Universe.
Since stepping away from competition, Priest has turned into an analyst known for his candid takes on controversial issues. In Nov. 2022, he opened up about gaining 20 pounds of solid muscle by taking Deca (Nandrolone) as a teenager. He credited daily training and proper nutrition for helping him retain muscle mass after coming off his steroid cycles.
Priest gave fans a look into some of his favorite exercises to build jacked forearms earlier this year. To much surprise, he revealed he did not train the muscle group and believes his genetics boosted the growth.
Lee Priest sparked debate about eliminating the Men’s 212 division five months ago. Given the rise in talent from the division, he theorized the elite competitors would be able to hold their own in the Open class and suggested dissolving the category.
As far as training goes, the 50-year-old offered tips on maximizing the preacher curl to get bigger biceps and optimize the pump. Priest laid out the ideal rep ranges along with different techniques and equipment to utilize for maximum gains.
Priest continues to train regularly in his later years. He reflected on the differences in his training and diet plan over the years from when he was competing in his 20s to now. He revealed not much had changed in his regimen except for some workout modifications.
Lee Priest shares diet philosophy in contest prep
In a recent YouTube video, Lee Priest shared his thoughts on the dieting philosophy he used while in prep for a contest.
Priest believes switching to a clean diet after consuming whatever he wanted helped him lean out very quickly. He followed a strict diet for at least 16 weeks and would get in stellar shape about four weeks out from a show.
“The thing was I’d go from eating anything I wanted like sh*t food and come Monday I’d go strict on my diet,” said Priest. “I’d go straight to chicken breast and rice and cardio an hour a day, I got the three hours but the first two weeks of my diet I was that sick because here I am eating fats and sugars and everything.
“Now, I just go super clean. My body would just go into this f**king rebound where I just cut all the bad food out, fats and sugars, two weeks I’d be sick until I started getting into the diet but I always dieted 16 weeks minimum. My first two weeks, people were like oh you lost a bit of weight because I cut out all the preservatives and the sodium. I’ll drop about 15 pounds in two weeks just from water.
“My face would be [shrunken], go in a bit. Almost like I just dropped water weight and then it would slow down. I was always ready about 12-13 weeks and then I did all my photo shoots before the contest so I’d get in shape pretty quick once I turned it on.”
Lee Priest admitted he’d find it more challenging to stick to a diet if he went into prep lighter.
“One year I started my diet I only got to like 250 and mentally hit was harder because if I’m 285, I’m a fat pig I figure f**k Lee, you’ve got to train hard, you’ve got to diet strict, gotta do cardio. When I started with 250 I’m like I’m already 30 pounds ahead I can take it easy. So, I found it actually harder getting ready when I was lighter. When you’re heavy, you got motivation to get in shape.”
He gave his take on eating fruits while in prep for a show.
“I did a lot of [s**t loading]. When I came to America, I didn’t do. But I did it through my whole career. I ate a ton of fruit and now I hear some bodybuilder saying they’re starting to have fruit in the diet I’m thinking I always did that. Because when I went to America people were like, can’t have fruit, it’s got sugar in it. I’m like, I’m training twice a day. I’m doing two to three hours of cardio. I don’t think having a couple of apples is going to do anything to me.”
Lee Priest expressed his willingness to take on bodybuilder Jay Cutler in a guest-posing appearance in light of the upcoming 2023 Masters Olympia. He suggested hosting a Golden Era seminar where he could engage in a friendly battle with the four-time Mr. Olympia.
Earlier this week, Priest called for a superhero showdown with bodybuilding icon Kai Greene to entertain fans, which would surely bring back some fond memories for all parties involved. His latest offering will certainly add more clarity for competitors on how they can improve their diets while in contest prep.