Off-Season Pro: Lee Priest

What do the pros really do in the off-season? They eat more carbs and calories. If they work hard, they pack on the pounds. In order to show a true pro program, Max Muscle will follow IFBB pro Lee Priest as he prepares for the 2000 Mr. Olympia contest.

Off-season, or in the heart of contest mania, Lee Priest loves to lift. And lift heavy. His chest routine remains fairly constant: "My pressing movements use reps in the six-to-eight range, with four or five sets of each exercise with ascending weight. The only thing that really changes is the order of the lifts (except for the cable flyes, which function as a warm up and my first exercise)." What determines that changing order? "It's a feel," says Lee, and "whoever else might be using the equipment..." Yep, even the most famous pros have to deal with that reality.

Cable Flyes:
The only exercise in Lee's chest regimen that always stays in order: first, as a warm up for the area, and then to heavy work. It's also the only exception to his chest routine rep range: he'll do 15 to 20 reps in each of four sets, after warm up sets.
Incline Presses:
This is Lee's third set, of eight reps, done at 315 pounds. He'll up it another 20 to 40 pounds for his final set of six reps.
Dumbell Presses:
Lee inclines the bench slightly, using the second or third elevation notch, because it doesn't cause as much pain to his injured shoulders.
Hammer Machine Bench Press:
Note the view, the last training shot taken on the roof of Joe Gold's old Venice World Gym, now moved to more spacious quarters.