Lee Priest led a bodybuilding career spanning different eras and has picked up coveted techniques along the way. In a recent IFBB AMA YouTube video published on November 7, 2023, Priest revealed his quad-popping leg extension strategy learned from Tom Platz.
“Leg extensions I hate. Yeah, leg press you get a good pump, you put lots of weight on, they burn, squatting too, it takes your breath away, you’ve got to exert all your energy, they’re hard and your legs burn but nothing like extensions,” Priest shared.
During his illustrious bodybuilding tenure, Tom Platz made a name for himself in the golden era. Boasting some of the best quads in the history of the sport, Platz is a beloved figure in the community whose devotion to training and nutrition saw him reach incredible heights. He shared the stage with names like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Samir Bannout on his way to crafting an unforgettable legacy.
Priest also left behind a decorated bodybuilding career. As one of the original ‘Giant Killers,’ Priest routinely competed and found success against bodybuilders who out-sized him. Now in retirement, he remains committed to the sport’s evolution. And most recently, took it upon himself to explain how he performed leg extensions alongside Tom Platz.
Lee Priest Shares Tom Platz-Inspired Leg Extention: “Constant Tension All The Way Down”
When it comes to taxing the quads, Priest said there’s nothing more painful than leg extensions to failure and assisted failure.
“If you do extensions properly, they are probably one of the worst. It feels like someone’s got a hot knife and they are dragging it up your quad, cutting into your fibers, and then you get off the machine, I’m sure you’ve all done it, you can’t get your legs out quick enough and when you get off you just walk in circles like, ‘Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,’ but sometimes when it hurts that bad you can’t even say fuck, you just [hold your breath]. Then your training partner is talking to you and you’re in that much pain you can’t even compute what they are saying because it fucking hurts.”
Most importantly, Priest emphasized the contraction and squeezing.
“Leg extensions like I said you can go heavy on them but really it’s the contraction and squeezing,” added Priest. “The main thing is when you bring it up squeeze, some people rock their hold, just hold on good, but when you bring up, squeeze and let it down, like give them a good flex and then down.
Sometimes I don’t even count the reps I just go by how I feel when they’re burning and you get that real bad burn, you push out a few more, and even if you get to the point, I trained legs with Tom so, we’d get to the point where you couldn’t even move it anymore,” shared Priest.
Famous for his brutal leg day training sessions with Platz, Priest underlined how he and Tom approached those hardcore workouts:
“Now when they’re screaming yelling and cursing out you, what you’ll have to do then is grab their feet and lift them up because their legs will be fucked. Then what you do is you lift it up, you lift it there, you tell them to hold it, now you let go of their ankles they have to hold it, and it goes down a little bit, then you put your hand on top and not hard because their legs are already fried they’re already burning. So as they’re sitting there holding it, you start pushing it down. But as you push down slightly, they have to resist up against you. So you’re pushing down, they’re pushing up. So you got that tension.”
“Don’t go to a point where you’re just stagnant and can’t move and they’re pushing up and you’re pushing down. As long as they push up, give tension but you keep pushing it down, pushing it down, pushing it down, get to the bottom, they take a breath, grab their ankles lift them back up, let go of their feet, and you push down, push down and by this point trust me, they’re going to be in that much pain they’ll want to punch you in the fucking head.”
As for a set range, Priest said he and Platz always kept it around 7-10, emphasizing “constant tension all the way down.”
“Constant tension all the way down. We used to do seven sets like this. Trust me, by the end of it, I was ready to go home. My legs were that pumped with blood, I’d sometimes do 7-10 sets and I had many people vomiting from just doing leg extensions. This is the way Tom Platz had me do them, I’m showing you how to do them. Trust me.”
This isn’t Priest’s first unearthed secret from a bodybuilding icon. In August, Priest went over his favorite triceps exercise learned from legend Arnold Schwarzenegger. He shared how to incorporate a weighted push technique for optimal triceps development.
Having learned from the best of the best, Lee Priest’s exercise insight is a rare find and shows just how dedicated Tom Platz was to building a one-of-a-kind lower body.