49-year-old bodybuilder Lee Priest teases competitive comeback with recent physical update

At the start of the 2022 bodybuilding calendar, Olympia owner Jake Wood hinted at the likely return of Masters Olympia – which debuted in 1994, went on hiatus from 2004 to 2011 and stood for the last times in 2012. No other official details have been revealed at the time of this posting, but the possibility is enough to delight fans and contestants alike.

Part of the fun is speculating which competitors might dust off their pose jerseys in a bid to win the Masters Olympia title. And it looks like Australian bodybuilding legend Lee Priest, despite not having competed since winning the NABBA Universe title in 2013, is teasing his comeback. On March 9, 2022, the 49-year-old’s physical updates were shared on The strength and power of Nick Youtube channel. Check it out below:

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Priest’s potential return to an IFBB Pro League stage would excite fans of all ages. For those who have followed Priest during his active career, the return of “The Blond Myth” would be a dose of nostalgia. Fans of Fresher Priest know him for his comments on social media and would be interested to see him pose to pose with other legends on the Masters Olympia stage.

Priest’s original photos were posted on Species Nutrition’s Instagram page. “Follow the Australian bodybuilding legend’s journey to a truly stunning physical transformation,” the post read. It is implied that this is the beginning of Priest’s transformation; a specific end date was not provided.

Lee Priest’s Bodybuilding Career

According to muscle memory, Lee Andrew McCutcheon won the 1989 and 1990 Australian Championships. He ended his amateur career by placing fourth at the 1990 World Amateur Championships. IFBB (now known as the IFBB Pro League) at the 1993 Niagara Falls Pro Invitational, where it placed ninth overall. It was his only appearance that season.

In 1994, Priest was invited to participate in the Arnold Classic for the first time. Kevin Levrone won the title; The priest placed seventh. Afterwards, Priest competed in four more shows, placing all the way to fourth place at the Ironman Pro.

It would be another three years before Priest competed on the Mr. Olympia stage. His Olympia debut in 1997 earned him a sixth-place finish. Dorian Yates won his sixth and final Sandow in this contest. Still, Priest placed higher than several big names of that era, including Chris Cormier (eighth), Ronnie Coleman (ninth), and 1995 Arnold Classic champion Mike Francois (11th).

At that time, athletes could qualify for the Olympia by placing in the top three or five of other shows, depending on the competition. And so Priest became a staple at the Olympia for several years.

Priest didn’t earn his first professional win until 2002 at the San Francisco Pro. He placed sixth at the Olympia that year – his final Olympia appearance. (Coleman won this show for his fifth of eight Olympic titles.)

Priest’s last full season in the IFBB Pro League was in 2005. He started the season placing second at the Ironman Pro and fourth at the Arnold Classic. His second professional win came on home turf at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix.

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2006 was considered the most famous and controversial year of Priest’s career. He won the Ironman Pro, was sixth at the Arnold Classic and finished close to Ronny Rockel at the Australian Grand Prix.

However, in the middle of that year, he aligned himself with Wayne Demilia – the founder of Pro Division Inc. (PDI). Priest won that league’s Night of Champions contest and the Night of Champions Britain contest. The Night of Champions show was previously an IFBB event, which eventually evolved into the New York Pro.

After the PDI closed, Priest did not compete again until he was invited to enter the 2013 NABBA Universe, where he won the short class and overall titles. As of this writing, it was his last competitive appearance. Priest has remained involved as a contributor to various podcasts and videos through RxMuscle.

In 2014, Priest was involved in a car accident which resulted in a neck injury. Subsequent nerve damage forced Priest to undergo several surgeries, which kept him from training for a long time. However, he has recovered enough to be able to return to training in recent years. It’s unclear whether Priest will return to the stage in the future, but his photos have certainly sparked the interest of many bodybuilding fans.

Featured Image: @speciesnutrition on Instagram

Teresa E. Burton