Lee Priest’s Intense 16-Week Contest Prep Diet

lee priest diet

Lee Priest would get sick the first 1-2 weeks of his contest prep clean dieting protocol. 

Are you interested in bodybuilding? If so, you should know it’s more than being strong or fast. In this sport, your physical appearance is what counts. That’s why exercise and food are crucial in achieving the perfect body. If you want to optimize your training, you’ll need an eating plan that supports it. One great example is Lee Priest’s diet. With the right combination of exercise and nutrition, you can transform your physique and impress the judges.

The main goal of most bodybuilders is to develop a muscular, lean, and well-balanced physique. To achieve this, they go through a bulking phase, eating and lifting weights to bulk up as much as possible. Then next is the cutting phase, where the goal is to lose the fat gained in the bulking phase but keep the muscles. This usually happens before a major competition.

“The Blond Myth” is an Australian bodybuilder who contested in big leagues like the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. He enjoyed an illustrious career that lasted over 20 years, including appearances against legends like Dorian Yates and continues to perform even after stepping away from the competition. Lee Priest was and is also known for being on the controversial side, which he addresses in this tell-it movie with Generation Iron titled “Lee Priest vs Bodybuilding.”  

Recently, Lee Priest talked about his diet philosophy for contest prep in his competition days. In the YouTube video, he also revealed that not much has changed about his dieting plan and training.

Here’s an in-depth look into Lee Priest’s diet regimen and how he structured his bulking and cutting phase.

Full Name: Lee Priest
Weight Height Date of Birth
200 – 225 lbs 5’4” 7/6/1972
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 1990s – 2010s Australian


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A post shared by Lee Priest (@leepriestofficial72)

Lee Priest Diet Contest Prep

As with other bodybuilders, Lee Priest’s bodybuilding diet had bulking and cutting phases, leading to physiological changes in the body (1). He consumes protein and carbohydrates like chicken breast, rice, and fruits. He says he ate fruit even when people considered it controversial to include it in your diet as a bodybuilder. 

“I ate a ton of fruit, and now I hear some bodybuilder saying they’re starting to have fruit in the diet I’m thinking I always did that. Because when I went to America, people were like, can’t have fruit, it’s got sugar in it. I’m like, I’m training twice a day. I’m doing two to three hours of cardio. I don’t think having a couple of apples is going to do anything to me.”

Bulking Phase

Lee Priest controversially states that he ate whatever he wanted for his bulking phase. That included fats, sugars, and even food that has preservatives. This would often take his weight above 285 lbs.

Bulking phase is also called offseason dieting, and during this phase, bodybuilders aim for about a 15% increase in their calorie intake. Experts also advise that your protein intake is at least 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight or more while cutting to help preserve muscle mass (2)

Cutting Phase 

Lee Priest says the key to diet success was consistency and his ability to go on a cutting phase diet abruptly. He would go from eating whatever he wanted to 16 weeks of clean dieting. The 16 weeks ended about four weeks before any competition in which he would appear. 

“The thing was I’d go from eating anything I wanted like sh*t food, and come Monday, I’d go strict on my diet. I’d go straight to chicken breast and rice and cardio an hour a day.”

In the cutting phase, bodybuilders eliminate the 15% calorie intake added during their bulking phase. However, at this point, you may need more protein to maintain your muscle mass. This is when experts say you can increase your protein intake to around 1.8 to 2.7 grams per kilogram of your bodyweight.


This method of dieting was not without consequences, however, as Priest says that he would get sick for the first 1-2 weeks of the clean diet. 

“My body would just go into this f**king rebound where I just cut all the bad food out, fats and sugars, two weeks I’d be sick until I started getting into the diet.” 

But in those first two weeks, there would be noticeable changes. People commented that he had lost a bit of weight and would lose as much as 15 lbs in two weeks. Priest believes that cutting out all the sodium and preservatives did the trick. 

Lee Priest vs. Bodybuilding

Lee Priest’s training and nutrition advice is certainly valuable – but you can also take a deeper dive into the life behind the icon. Lee Priest Vs Bodybuilding is our feature length documentary exploring Priest’s entire life story and the many controversies and hurdles along the way.

Staying Motivated

One thing that Lee Priest noticed was that whenever he went into his diet lighter, it made things a bit harder. The higher the weight he had to lose, the more he could motivate himself and get going. 

“One year I started my diet I only got to like 250 and mentally hit was harder because if I’m 285, I’m a fat pig I figure f**k Lee, you’ve got to train hard, you’ve got to diet strict, gotta do cardio. When I started with 250 I’m like I’m already 30 pounds ahead I can take it easy. So, I found it actually harder getting ready when I was lighter. When you’re heavy, you got motivation to get in shape.”


Lee Priest was consistent with his dieting and would be in stellar shape four weeks before the show.  He says things would even out after the initial weight drop, and he could get in shape for the season.

“I was always ready about 12-13 weeks, and then I did all my photo shoots before the contest, so I’d get in shape pretty quick once I turned it on.”

You can watch the full video of Lee Priest talking about his contest prep diet on YouTube below:

Lee Priest’s Prep Diet Wrap Up

Overall, the prep diet of Lee Priest was certainly intense and helped him to get where he was. What do you think of his prep diet?

Let us know! And be sure to follow Generation Iron on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more bodybuilder diets! 


  1. Mitchell, L., Slater, G., Hackett, D., Johnson, N., & O’connor, H. (2018). Physiological implications of preparing for a natural male bodybuilding competition. European journal of sport science, 18(5), 619–629. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2018.1444095
  2.  Gentil P. (2015). A nutrition and conditioning intervention for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: observations and suggestions. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 50. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0111-x
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.