Lee Priest: The Iconic “Blond Myth” of Bodybuilding

In a sport where mass and sheer size are often revered, Lee Priest broke every stereotype on his way to becoming one of the most legendary professional bodybuilders ever. 

Standing just 5’4” but boasting an awe-inspiring physique, Lee Priest captivated audiences with his larger-than-life personality and proportions. His incredible journey redefined possibilities in bodybuilding.

Born on July 6, 1972, in Newcastle, Australia, Lee Priest discovered his passion for fitness and sculpting the ideal physique from an early age. 

He immersed himself in bodybuilding magazines and became enamored with the sport, seeing it as his calling. This singular focus on achieving greatness fueled Lee Priest’s rapid rise.

lee priest the blond myth
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Breaking Records as a Teen Phenom

In an almost unheard-of feat, Lee Priest stepped on his first bodybuilding stage at age 17, wowing crowds with his symmetry and polished posing. 

Two years later, he secured his most significant victory by winning the prestigious IFBB Mr. Universe title in 1990.

At 19 years old, Lee Priest officially became the youngest IFBB professional bodybuilder ever. He wasted no time making his mark among grown men, often twice his age. The “Blond Myth” was born.

Unstoppable Rise to the Top

For over a decade, Lee Priest remained unstoppable on the pro circuit, winning nearly every competition he entered globally. 

From Australia to the UK to the United States, audiences were amazed by the larger-than-life physique of the 5’4” phenom.

Some of Lee Priest’s most significant victories included winning the 1992 IFBB San Jose Pro, the 2002 Night of Champions, the 2002 IFBB Ironman, and several Grand Prix events. 

He qualified for the Mr. Olympia 8 straight times from 1993 to 2001, peaking with a 6th place finish in 1997. Beyond racking up wins, Lee Priest captivated crowds with his outgoing personality, blond mullet, and infectious smile. 

He was equally comfortable mingling with fans as he was dominating on stage. The Myth’s popularity soared.

Training Strategies of the Myth

lee priest workout
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To build a physique far beyond what seemed possible for his height, Lee Priest became notorious for constantly training with maximum intensity using hefty weights.

Lee Priest followed a high-volume routine, often lasting 2 or more hours, focused on progressive overload. 

He advocated starting with challenging weights in the 6-rep range, decreasing the weight, and increasing reps over multiple sets up to 20 reps. Training to fail was essential.

The Blond Myth was legendarily strong – he could squat over 700 pounds, bench press 500 pounds, and perform seated overhead presses with 315 pounds. 

This functional power translated into the sculpted, massive thighs and delts he became famous for Just as crucial as weights for Lee Priest were cardiovascular warm-ups before training. 

He recommended 15-20 minutes of low-impact cardio to increase blood flow and lubricate the joints to avoid injury.

By combining heavy training, high volume, intense focus, and cardiovascular health, Lee Priest constructed one of the most incredible physiques in bodybuilding history.

The Comeback of the Myth

After a 6-year competition hiatus from 2008 to 2014, Lee Priest made his long-awaited return to the Olympia stage in 2015 at age 43. 

Although not in his prime condition, fans were thrilled to see the Blond Myth back. Lee Priest’s popularity grew through a prolific social media presence in the following years. 

He built a massive following through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, allowing him to connect with fans worldwide.

lee priest mr universe
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From 2018 to 2020, Lee Priest unveiled dramatic body transformations on social media, signaling he was gearing up for another push to regain elite pro status. Images surfaced showing Priest in phenomenal shape, foreshadowing the Myth’s comeback.

Finally, in 2022, the Myth’s hard work paid off. An improved Lee Priest shockingly emerged to win the Vancouver Pro Supershow at age 50, proving the Blond Myth still had enough magic to slay giants. 

Could more spectacular comebacks be in store? Never count out a legend like Lee Priest.

Championship Mindset and Work Ethic

How was Lee Priest able to achieve so much in a sport where competitors tower over him? He credits his relentless mindset and work ethic as the key factors that allowed him to chase greatness.

Here is Lee Priest’s advice for developing a champion mentality:

  • Believe in yourself when nobody else does
  • Be prepared to outwork everyone else
  • Don’t listen to doubters and critics
  • Set monumental goals beyond what seems achievable
  • Focus only on daily progression toward your dreams
  • Be patient through setbacks – never give up completely
  • Gain inspiration from other greats who defied the odds

Lee Priest never allowed his height to limit his thinking or training. 

He advises treating perceived limitations as opportunities to work harder and turn them into strengths. This mentality pushed him to the top.

Car Racing: The Myth’s Need for Speed

Beyond professional bodybuilding, Lee Priest harbored a lifelong passion for auto racing that originated in his youth in Australia. He became an avid circuit race car driver for years, feeding his thirst for speed.

In 2004, Lee Priest was voted Rookie of the Year in racing. He has racked up numerous first-place finishes and podiums on tracks across Australia and the United States.

Today, Lee Priest takes pride in pushing his prized BMW 850i to its limits at high-speed racing events when he’s not training. 

For the Myth, a fully lived life means daring greatly in all passions.

Lee Priest’s Lasting Legacy

lee priest ifbb
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While new generations of mass monsters have emerged in bodybuilding, Lee Priest remains etched in history as one of the greatest phenoms the sport has seen. 

He reimagined what was possible for shorter competitors and dazzled crowds like few others could. But the Blond Myth’s legacy extends beyond just his physical accomplishments. 

The mentorship he provides to younger athletes, his authenticity in connecting with supporters, and his passion for uplifting the sport have truly set Lee Priest apart. At 50, Myth inspires new fans daily through his social media presence and training. 

As long as Lee Priest maintains the fire to keep improving his physique, do not count out this Australian legend from authoring more unforgettable chapters.

Lee Priest conquered bodybuilding and car racing by refusing to believe in limitations. He proves that work ethic and heart can overwhelm size and genetic gifts. That is the profound lesson of the one and only Blond Myth.

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