6x-Mr. Olympia qualifier and bodybuilding legend Lee Priest has shared his two cents about the new era of bodybuilding and how it compares to the old school era that he belongs to. According to Lee Priest, the new era lacks activity, and reform to the judging system would restore a healthier atmosphere in bodybuilding.
Lee Priest recently endured an arduous journey of rehabilitation. The legendary bodybuilder went under the knife for extensive neck surgery just a few weeks ago. This was a result of his 2014 car accident that left Priest with some serious health repercussions. Despite the setbacks, Lee Priest remains a pillar of knowledge in the bodybuilding community and always has great insight into the sport.
Speaking on the Sam’s Fitness – Gym Equipment podcast, Lee Priest was critical of the way judges score and the lack of activity bodybuilders have shown in the new era.
“It’s just one of those things where, to me, the judges could fix it because if they don’t like a certain look, don’t reward that look. Lee Priest said. As long as you keep rewarding that look, then people will be like, ‘well that’s how I have to look to win shows’.”
Lee Priest On Activity Or Lack Thereof In The New Era
Lee Priest underlines the importance of changing the way judges view competitors, or unhealthy builds will continue to dominate the podium at competitions like the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia.
“If you suddenly put those guys that look like that down lower, and the guys who look symmetrical look more healthy, and that, put them in top places, the other guys will be like ‘oh fuck I got to change what I’m doing’. But as long as you keep putting the big looking ugly ones where you want to put them, people will be like ‘that’s what I’m going to chase to be number one” Lee Priest said.
Since bodybuilders are competing less often throughout the year nowadays, it stands to reason their physiques and/or performances may suffer. Priest asserts that bodybuilders will increasingly improve their craft the more they participate in competitions.
“I think too, I think back then guys competed more. Which was almost something different. So you know the more you do something, the better you get. Lee Priest continued. So like you see in boxing now, there was so many times when Tyson was fighting. He had like sometimes ten or more fights a year. Now, one heavyweight guy might fight once or twice a year, and they’re not as good.”
“Same with bodybuilding. Priest said. If they competed more along the year you get more good at it. With you know, pushing more drugs that would affect you but back then it never affected people. We competed at least three or four shows minimum. Now some guys, once they qualify for Olympia, and they’ll do one show a year and that’s it. So, the whole year they are just eating, sitting around, training hard, doing whatever.”
After drawing a comparison to boxing, Lee Priest believes consistency while practicing a craft is essential to achieving success. With more activity and changing the way judges view physiques, Lee Priest is adamant those two steps would provide positive and effectual change to the bodybuilding community.