Lee Priest: When it comes to the giant killers of the bodybuilding world, only a couple of names spring to mind: 60’s phenom Freddy Ortiz, who challenged the legendary Larry Scott for titles; 80’s legend Danny Padilla, whose legendary conditioning and shape gave far heavier bodybuilders pause; and Lee Priest, a short and stocky fireplug of a man with forearms bigger than some bodybuilders’ upper arms.
Lee Priest, who competed at 5’4” and 235 pounds, melted minds with his insane development. Though he rocked an ultra-tight waist in-season, his legendary, KFC-based bulking methods had him ballooning up to almost 300 in the off-season, and were the fuel that fired his insane arm development. With 17” forearms off-setting his insane 22” inch contest arms, any pose that highlighted the veins dripping off what looked like legs attached to his shoulders made every other bodybuilder onstage look tiny.
Nor was he a one-trick pony- Lee Priest’s entire physique displayed a level of hardness and development few could match. Tragically, Priest competed in the heyday of men’s bodybuilding, and with the insanely complete bodybuilders of the 1990s, he hard a hard time completing against the hyper-aesthetic likes of Kevin Levrone and Flex Wheeler, or the insane hardness, conditioning, and mass of Dorian Yates. As such, though Priest was one of the only people to turn pro at 20, he was consigned to 6th place or worse in the Olympias, and he never managed to win a major professional show.
After retiring (the first time) from bodybuilding, Priest began professional racing, a sport in which he’d begun competing at the age of 12. After winning Rookie of the Year in 2005, Priest won the Southern California Drag Racing Association Championships the following year, then won the PDI Night of Champions the same year and the NABBA Mr. Universe in 2013. Thereafter, Priest retired once more to run his nutrition company, Assassin Nutrition, and work on Australian TV and film projects.