Australian bodybuilding veteran Lee Priest is not one to shy away from conflict when sharing his opinions. In a recent RxMuscle interview, Priest reacted to the Minnesota court’s ruling on USA Powerlifting (USAPL) permitting transgender athletes to compete in Women’s sports.
Former IFBB pro competitor Lee Priest made a name for himself with insane muscle mass, detail, and conditioning. He found a passion for working out early in life inspired by his mother, who was also a competitive bodybuilder. At the age of 20, he became one of the youngest men in history to earn an IFBB pro card.
Priest was renowned for being one of the most consistent and disciplined athletes in the sport. He was a mainstay at the Mr. Olympia competitions between 1997 and 2003. Although he didn’t win the coveted Sandow trophy, Priest was a perennial contender with regular top-ten finishes against the likes of eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman and former champ Dexter Jackson. He stepped away from competition in 2006 and returned after a seven-year hiatus to take home the top prize at the NABBA Mr. Universe.
Lee gave fans a look into some of his favorite exercises for building Popeye-like forearms earlier this year. He listed out the eight exercises that helped him add muscle mass to his arms.
Following the crowning of Hadi Choopan at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Priest called for the elimination of the Men’s 212 category. He argued the strongest 212 competitors would be able to hold their own against the mass monsters of the Open class with their conditioning levels. He suggested redistributing the 212 prize money into the Open.
Two months ago, Priest opened up about his mental health struggles as a teenager following a failed drug test at the 1990 Mr. Universe contest. He weighed in on the return of the Masters Olympia after a gap of 11 years. He expressed his desire to compete in the show but revealed he would be unable to due to chest atrophy.
Priest educated his fans on the various ways to incorporate bicep preacher curls in an arm workout session. He went over the different rep ranges and grip variations for getting an optimal pump.
Lee Priest hits back at Trans Powerlifting Ruling
In a recent YouTube video, Lee Priest shared his reaction to the Minnesota court’s ruling allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports.
In 2019, transgender female powerlifter Jaycee Cooper did not get to join USA Powerlifting because of their transgender policy. Although her appeal was turned down convincingly, Cooper continued to rally for the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports. She partnered with Gender Justice, a Minnesota-based advocacy group, in her mission.
The court ruled against the USAPL’s decision to restrict Cooper’s participation in women’s sports last week. While they appeared to agree with the biological advantages males have over females, the decision came from the assumption that certain data was not taken into consideration, such as the risk of depression or lack of access to coaching.
“What I don’t get is when you see this sort of stuff there’s more men outraged than women. Women go off about the pay gap, which there’s no pay gap so shut up about that for instance. They get mad at men over silly sh*t but yet when there’s something like this…
“When you’ve got men who have been men 20, 30 years going into women’s sports, breaking women’s records,” continued Priest. “Imagine you’re a young girl and trained your whole life, you’ve got a world record, you’ve got several of them and now this person comes along now as a woman and breaks your record. Now that record stands forever. Or even something as basic as when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn and she’s Caitlyn for six months and gets Woman of the Year. Imagine a woman and you’ve discovered some breakthrough in cancer and all this research but a guy who’s now become a woman for six months is now Woman of the Year. Why aren’t women up in arms about this? Because everyone’s too scared, walking on eggshells if we say anything we’re transphobic. No, you’re not. If they say that, fine but they shouldn’t be competing in women’s sports. It’s ridiculous.”
Priest believes the women should go on strike to protest the decision.
“If these trans are allowed to compete, the women just have to take a stand and say we’re not competing. All the women should stand together and say that they’re not going to compete in all sports.”
The saga of transgender females in women’s sports looks far from over. Many have suggested the idea of creating a separate division dedicated solely to transgender athletes for sports competitions. While there has been a change in general consensus on the topic, it remains to be seen what the future holds.