As an aspiring bodybuilder, I’ve spent years watching video clips on youtube, dvd’s and TV of bodybuilders. Just like anyone who aspires to be successful in life, we all have role models. People who have ‘been there, done that’. People who are at the top of the game. People who are successful in our chosen field.
Journalists, footballers, actors, singers, business people all should aspire to reach the levels of success that the top performers in their industry have achieved. It’s not often however that we think we’ll get to meet our idols, role models or stars.
Attending the Body Power expo in 2013 I was fortunate enough to meet a number of my favourite bodybuilders and youtube personalities. The likes of Dorian Yates, Flex Lewis, Neil Hill and Rich Pianna were all guys that I got the opportunity to meet with. However in a fitness and sports supplement convention, I wasn’t able to get the chance to spend a great deal of time with any of these guys.
One of my favourite bodybuilders where I first started lifting as a Teen was Lee Priest. Famously known as the blonde myth, also the title of one of his workout dvd’s, is renown for his massive, horse shoe triceps. Once an IFBB pro, Lee Priest was banned from the organisation, and took a long sabbatical from competing. He made his return last year under the NABBA federation, the same federation I competed in last year, winning the coveted Mr Universe title.
To call his physique impressive would be an understatement. However pictures of a person, and seeing them live are 2 different things. I competed, and placed 3rd, in the Open Mr & Miss British Isle competition last year, hosted by Eddy Ellwood. Eddy is a 5 time Mr Universe, and NABBA representative. Not only was he able to host this independent bodybuilding show, he also secured Lee Priest to guest pose at the show. What an honour it was for me to not only compete, but to also place in a show, in which Lee Priest was guest posing.
The following night Lee Priest hosted a bodybuilding seminar at Eddy’s gym, which is where I train, Xtreme Fitness. Training under Eddy and getting into bodybuilding was the main reason I began my own bodybuilding blog, http://www.shreddybrek.com.
The seminar with Lee was more of a candid chat, lasting about 2 hours. For a guy who is so immensely intimidating (face tattoo’s, slabs of of muscle and just a general bad ass look), Lee was one of the friendliest and most approachable people within the fitness industry that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
What shocked me is how much of a family man he is. To compete in the Mr Universe Lee had toured in the UK for around 3 weeks, doing guest posing spots and seminars all around the country. During the seminar he spoke about how he was waiting to get home to his girlfriend and kids, and resume family life. A far cry from the impression I had of him, from appearance alone. Rather than spending the full time talking about training, it was interesting to hear more about his personal life and things outside of the gym. We often see bodybuilders, athletes or sports stars are 1 dimensional characters. All we see them do is perform in their sport, so its hard to understand there is more to their life. Hearing about Lee’s family life, hobbies, and love of racing made for a very interesting chat.
Of course as entertaining as it was listening to Lee’s life stories and experiences, it was equally as educating learning about his philosophy to supplementation and training. He echoed my personal thoughts that many supplement companies are branding poor quality supplements in fancy packaging and selling them for a higher price than they should be. To be honest, this is one of the reason I established http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk, a site that allows us to get cheap supplements using protein discount codes. It was refreshing to hear that when he was under the IFBB he would often come into dispute with his sponsors if he did not feel their supplements worked for him. Rather than ‘selling out’ and promoting their message, he would flat out refuse to say a crappy supplement was good. The sign of an honest athlete, and not a cowboy looking to make a quick buck.
Not only are Lee’s Triceps impressive, his legs are just outright ridiculous. Those tree trunks are absolutely huge. His leg workout, which involves sets of anywhere up to 100 reps, was definitely an eye opener and shocker for me to hear. It’s not something I’ve tried, but it is something I’d like to give a shot at some point.
Lee’s Seminar at Xtreme Fitness was the last stop on his UK tour before returning home to Australia. I asked him if he would be competing in this years Mr Universe, and at the time he said he wasn’t sure. Regardless of if he does compete in this years Mr Universe, there is no doubt that Lee remains one of the worlds best bodybuilders, and role models for young lifters.