Australian bodybuilder Lee Priest joined Mike O’Hearn on the Sept. 22, 2023, episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show to discuss bodybuilding strategy. Priest and O’Hearn discuss multiple aspects of the bodybuilding industry, focusing specifically on cutting weight and where competitors go wrong while attempting to drop body fat.
Generation Iron published O’Hearn’s interview with Priest on their YouTube channel. Check it out below:
Lee Priest’s Weight-Cutting Philosophy
Priest highlighted the “in-between” phase when a bodybuilder begins a cut — when someone is transitioning from bulking to cutting to become super lean for show day. Priest says there’s some “flab in the middle,” and the physique isn’t in its final form. This can affect a bodybuilder’s mindset; they start questioning the process until the last push to the target body fat percentage.
O’Hearn calls this a crossroad, where dieting bodybuilders see a softness in their aesthetics. He asks Priest a two-pronged question: When should a bodybuilder double down into dieting, and when should and switch off of the diet during the off-season?
The Australian bodybuilding legend says going into off-season mode is too easy, imploring bodybuilders to continue to diet through the mental challenge. The combination of diet, cardio, and training wasn’t the hurdle for Priest. The struggle was his mindset — The mind plays tricks on a bodybuilder in the middle of a cut; a mirror leads to incorrect assumptions about one’s physique.
The mental side was the hardest you’re ever going to go through.
Priest’s mantra when cutting weight to compete was, “I’m getting leaner, I’m getting tighter.” He envisioned his body getting more and more shredded until those results manifested in the gym. He finds the longer a bodybuilder commits to their diet during prep, the easier it gets.
When O’Hearn asked Priest about the ideal length for a diet, Priest recommended 12-16 weeks. To look and feel good, food choice consistency is critical. Priest allows a cheat meal once or twice per week to make dieting more sustainable as a lifestyle adaptation.
With age, Priest has prioritized longevity in his diet and training. When a bodybuilder competes, they simultaneously look their best and feel their worst. So, unless bodybuilders are in the middle of a cut for a bodybuilding show, Priest advocates for a consistent, manageable diet that maintains a healthy relationship with food.
Featured image: @leepriestofficial72 on Instagram