Lee Priest Breaks Down How He Completed 1,017 Reps In One Set On Leg Press: “I Couldn’t Even Feel My Feet”

Lee Priest talks about a 1,017-rep set on the leg press machine.
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Lee Priest won a bet in a big way by hitting over 1,000 reps on leg press.

Bodybuilding legend Lee Priest put together one of the most memorable physiques at a young age. He burst onto the bodybuilding stage due to his incredible amounts of muscle mass and conditioning, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the circuit for a long time. In the gym, he crushed some insane workouts and this includes a massive 1,000-rep set on leg press.

During a leg day, Priest found himself in the midst of a bet where he was challenged to take on 200 reps on the press machine. He cruised past that all too easily, and just didn’t stop.

“Everyone was there and they were like ‘bet you can’t do 200.’ I did 200. ‘Bet you can’t do three.’ It just kept going. I got to the point where around the 500 mark, I couldn’t even feel my feet. It’s just numb.”

Priest enjoyed a career on stage that spanned into three decades. He has had the chance to compete against legendary bodybuilders like Flex Wheeler, Shawn Rayand Chris CormierBefore calling it a career in 2013, Priest won the NABBA Mr. Universe competition. Priest quickly became known for his incredible conditioning and massive biceps.

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Lee Priest Talks 1,000-Rep Set On Leg Press

During his career, Lee Priest built one of the most aesthetically-pleasing physiques in the world. He trained with some of the best and that includes Tom Platz, who had one of the most brutal leg days of any bodybuilder on the scene. Lee Priest has described Tom Plat’z leg day as one of the most intense workouts he ever went through. It is clear that Priest had great lower-body strength and showed it during this set.

“I could lift one leg off and just shake it and do that but I couldn’t re-reack it. So even if I just held it for a couple seconds and shook my legs but then I got to 1,017 and said f*ck it, that’s enough.”


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Priest was asked about the amount of weight he utilizes on the leg press machine. He added it up to be about 500 pounds, which was much less than his usual set but enough to feel heavy during the workout. The leg press also is a lot lighter of a machine than the classic barbell squat, as it takes away from the stabilizing muscles that you would be activating under a barbell, so you are only using the legs. Nonetheless, it is still highly impressive that Lee Priest was moving over 500 pounds on the leg press with this.

“It added up with the sled itself and the plates on it, it was like around 500 so it wasn’t a huge amount…If it’s medium weight, even if you had a five-pound dumbbell curl for biceps, you can keep going even though it’s burning like crazy.”

From my feet to my quad went numb so it was the weirdest feeling that I was pushing the weight but I couldn’t feel it, almost like you can’t feel your feet on the plate. That was just a bet for like $100, $200.”

Lee Priest has been open about his career on stage and workouts since his competitive days ended. One of his most memorable sets came on the leg press machine during a bet that he surpassed with ease.

Is 1,000 Reps on Leg Press Effective?

While hitting 1,000 reps on leg press is amazing and should certainly gain recognition, you do not want to just be doing crazy amounts of volume like this all the time. Your legs will not have time to recover, and therefore progress will be minimal, and you can even risk injury.

Instead, find a good workout program that you can follow that incorporates proper training cycles and methods such as progressive overload. One good place to find good workout programs is Boostcamp. Boostcamp is a free workout app that has all the programs you need, and more.

Boostcamp is a freemium app with over 50 free programs from renowned coaches for bodybuilding and strength training, or you can create your own.

Does Lee Priest Use Steroids?

Now, you may be thinking, Lee priest is only that strong because he uses steroids, and he has admitted that steroids were a part of his career. Priest was never a bodybuilder who played by the rules and it often got him into trouble, as he stated whatever was on his mind, whenever it was on his mind. The man has made some quite open remarks about not only his own steroid use but the amount of steroids used throughout the entirety of the sport didn’t sit well with the powers that be. Ultimately, it would be this kind of honesty (or depending on who you ask, his version of honesty) that got Lee Priest banned from the IFBB for life. Check out Lee Priest speaking about steroids below:

It is worth noting that the sport of bodybuilding, and the world has changed since Lee was in his prime, and Priest still states his opinions on whatever topic is at hand. He now finds that the younger generation of aspiring bodybuilders jump into steroids much younger than even 19 years old and due to this – they never get to discover their natural genetic potential before further pushing the limit with steroids. However, when the topic of Sam Sulek came up, Priest defended him in the aspect of his unique diet and speculated steroid usage.

Lee Priest vs. Bodybuilding

Piggybacking off of the talking point of Priest being against bodybuilding, Generation Iron actually had the pleasure of profiling the man, in Lee Priest vs. Bodybuilding. This movie chronicles the times after Priest was banned from the IFBB, and he has since made it his mission to speak his truth regarding the sport of bodybuilding and the professional league. This has earned him a label as the dark horse of bodybuilding. For the first time ever, discover the life story and details of how Lee Priest went from bodybuilding’s future to bodybuilding’s rebel.

Check out the trailer below:

Wrap Up

Overall, Lee Priest is an absolutely legendary bodybuilder who truly does not care what people think of him or his opinions. Despite all that and despite being retired, Priest is still killing it in the gym, and has done some legendary things, such as hitting over 1,000 reps on the leg press.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.