Australia’s Lee Priest has watched the sport change drastically since his last time on stage. Like many other bodybuilding veterans, he believes younger competitors are overusing performance-enhancing drugs. In a recent IFBB AMA YouTube video, Priest gave his thoughts on roid rage and why athletes today aren’t competing often.
“Now, young kids they want it overnight, people think they can get big overnight, become a professional overnight, and sadly now, some do turn professional overnight because they’ve made it so easy to turn pro,” Priest explained.
During his respective IFBB Pro League tenure, Lee Priest challenged himself against competitors who routinely outsized him. In spite of that, Priest always displayed an exceptional level of muscle hardness, detail, and conditioning. He pushed several high-profile names in the sport such as eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, Flex Wheeler, and Dexter Jackson.
Priest’s career lasted decades. He returned in 2006 for a pair of shows at the NOC New York and PDI Night of Champions, where he found success in first place at both events. His final on-stage appearance came in 2013 with a victory at the NABBA Mr. Universe.
A bodybuilding enthusiast, Priest remains an ambassador for the growing sport. Whether it’s conversations about past cycles, training sessions with legends, or abolishing the 212 division, he never holds back when he has a strong opinion.
Lee Priest on Roid Rage: “You Want to Blame It On the Steroids”
Just like an angry drunk, Priest contends that roid rage is a byproduct of the person’s personality, not because they take anabolics.
“If you’re having roid rage, it’s because you’re a fucking asshole. It’s like there are people that drink, they drink, they become violent drunks. Some people drink and they become happy drunks. Steroids don’t give you roid rage. That’s you. You want to blame it on the steroids,” said Lee Priest.
“Not once did we discuss drugs cycles. There might have been on a big board or a bodybuilding.com board, maybe one subject about PED usage, but that was it. Now, fast forward 10-15 years or so, that’s all you cunts ever talk about. Now, I’m not saying all of you. But if you look at message boards, ‘I wonder what cycle he’s on. I wonder what gear he’s on. Tren this. Tren that.’ When I look at the people who are writing this, generally half of them don’t have the genetics, they don’t have it up here [the mind] or the heart.”
“They’re not willing to do what it takes. When I say do what it takes, that doesn’t mean take fucking drugs. Train fucking hard till you puke, till your sick. My whole life I never went to nightclubs, eat, slept, trained, got a job, and went to work till I got sponsors. Then, I didn’t have to work, I just had my sponsorship deals. Eat, sleep, train. If you want something that’s what you got to do.”
While some in the industry disapprove, Priest mentioned that drug cycles are now more talked about than ever before. In addition, Priest stressed that just because someone takes Ronnie Coleman’s cycle doesn’t mean they will achieve his physique.
“Things have changed. We’ve made it easier to turn pro, drug cycles are more talked about than ever before. Which to this day, I still can’t understand because I’ve said it hundreds of times till I’m blue in the face. Knowing what I take, what Ronnie took, what Chris Bumstead took, what anyone takes, how does that help you? You can take exactly what Ronnie took to if you want to be a freaky bodybuilder and never look like Ronnie.”
“I don’t know what the rush is. You see so many people who are taking drugs. We’ve all seen them, taking large amounts. Are they going to be Pro? No. Could they win a local show? No. I just wish there wasn’t so much emphasis put on drugs. When I was growing up you had the magazines, and all you saw was hardcore training articles.”
Why Aren’t Bodybuilding Competing More?
Priest worries that today’s bodybuilders have developed lazy habits. When he competed actively, he managed to participate at 11 competitions in one year.
“Some don’t do cardio, I don’t get it. Then, what do you do during the day? Nothing, you just sit around? Getting lazier and lazier. Back then, look at all the shows that so many Pros did. Most Pros did a minimum of three or four shows a year. My top number was 11 shows one year but now you got guys doing one or two, if that, some guys just do one.
How can you learn anything from doing one show? The only way you can learn your body is to keep doing shows and improving. Do a contest, train a certain way, take certain things, if it didn’t work and there’s a show in a couple of weeks, change it up a bit,” Lee Priest said.
In addition to Priest, Jay Cutler also discussed the prevalence of roid rage. The four-time Mr. Olympia states that he never experienced mood changes during his career, though was open to the possibility that it might affect others differently.
With athletes using gear excessively at younger and younger ages, Priest continues to voice concerns about the safety of the sport moving forward, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger.