A Lifelong Commitment to Lifting: The Journey of Lee Priest. Get expert workout tips from bodybuilder Lee Priest for individuals over 50. Optimize your fitness routine with effective training methods and prioritized muscle groups. Achieve your goals with Lee Priest’s guidance.

Renowned professional bodybuilder Lee Priest, widely known as “The Blond Myth,” has devoted over three decades to perfecting his physique. Even in his 50s, this Australian legend continues to inspire others with his unwavering dedication to heavy lifting, despite the natural effects of aging. In this comprehensive exploration of Priest’s training techniques, we uncover the evolution of his regimen from his younger years to the present, shedding light on his emphasis on exercises such as seated cable rows. Join us as we delve into the training strategies that have sustained Priest’s success and learn how he has adapted his approach to accommodate the changes that come with age.

Professional bodybuilder Lee Priest has committed thirty years of his life to refining his physique and achieving unparalleled success in the realm of weightlifting. In this article, we take an in-depth look at Lee Priest’s training methods as he transitions into his 50s and compare them to his strategies during his younger years. Unlock the secrets behind his consistent muscle maintenance and discover how he places importance on cardiovascular training to maintain his fitness and well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned lifter or embarking on your fitness journey, Lee Priest’s workout tips for individuals over 50 will offer valuable insights for optimizing your training routine.

Training in His 20s and 30s

In his 20s and 30s, Priest focused heavily on lifting weights. He was known for his intense and grueling upper-body workout routines. However, it’s essential to note that his training was not just about lifting heavy but also about the art of bodybuilding, maintaining perfect form, and targeting specific muscle groups to achieve balanced muscle development and definition. His workouts involved a variety of exercises that targeted both larger and smaller muscle groups, with a particular emphasis on compound exercises.

Transitioning into His 50s

As Priest transitioned into his 50s, his training focus evolved to adapt to the changes that come with aging. While he continued to lift heavy, he shifted to compound exercises at 70-80% of his one-rep max weight and fewer repetitions. This approach allowed him to continue building strength and muscle while reducing the risk of injury that can come with lifting at max weight. In addition, Priest incorporated variations in his exercises that allowed him to lift lighter with proper form, still reaping significant benefits from the lift​​.

“The main key is your rear delts’ only a small muscle. Don’t go…80 pounds. It’s like, come on, you’re just pulling with your arms, you’re not really focusing on your rear delts. So leave your ego at the door when you’re training”.

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Variations for Enhanced Results

Lee Priest emphasizes the importance of exercise variations to accommodate lighter weights while maintaining proper form and reaping significant benefits. He encourages individuals to find what feels comfortable for them rather than blindly imitating others. For instance, if someone prefers standing up instead of performing seated exercises, they should embrace the variation that allows them to engage their muscles optimally.

Prioritizing Muscle Groups

Lee Priest addresses the common tendency to focus on vanity movements that target smaller muscles. He highlights the rear delts as an example, emphasizing that they are a smaller muscle group. He advises against ego-lifting with excessive weights, which primarily engages the arms instead of targeting the rear delts effectively. Lee Priest urges individuals to leave their ego at the door when training the rear delts, emphasizing the importance of proper form and muscle engagement.

Lee Priest’s Training Routine

Priest’s full-body workout can be effectively performed two or three times per week, catering especially well to older individuals who may benefit more from acute rather than chronic training.

Exercise Sets Reps
Hammer Machine 4 8-12
Seated Cable Row 4 8-12
Cable Chest Fly 3 10-15
Cable Rear Delt Machine 3 10-15
Hack Squat 3 10-15

Please note that Lee Priest also incorporates two hours of daily cardio split into two sessions—one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. This cardiovascular component contributes to his overall fitness and complements his weight training routine.

Targeting Specific Muscle Groups with Precision


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Let’s delve into the details of a few exercises from Lee Priest’s routine to understand how he optimizes muscle engagement:

Hammer Machine Press

    • This exercise allows Lee Priest to target his pectoralis major without over-fatiguing his triceps.
    • The machine’s design assists his stabilizer muscles, enabling a perfect squeeze at the top of the movement.
    • Lee Priest focuses on lower rep ranges to prioritize pure strength and enhance muscle activation.

Seated Cable Row

    • Lee Priest incorporates seated cable rows to build widespread lats and achieve a powerful contraction in his middle back.
    • Progressive overload is key for continuous back strength development through this exercise.
    • Lee Priest occasionally switches to an upright cable row to introduce more shoulder work while maintaining a balanced focus on both the back and chest muscles.

Cable Chest Fly & Cable Rear Delt Machine

    • Lee Priest employs cable chest flies to develop impressive chest size and definition.
    • The cable rear delt machine helps him enhance his rear deltoids’ definition through higher reps and lower weights, inducing maximum muscle fatigue.
    • These exercises target smaller muscles surrounding the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi, allowing Lee Priest to improve overall upper body proportions and explore varied arm movements.

Hack Squat

    • Lee Priest recognizes the significance of leg exercises for overall health, as they stimulate higher human growth hormone (HGH) production.
    • The hack squat primarily targets the quadriceps and glutes while ensuring proper form and safety through its built-in security bars.
    • While the recommended rep range for hack squats is higher, variations such as pyramid training can be implemented to effectively fatigue the quadriceps.

Cardio and Diet Insights

In the video, Lee Priest shares his approach to cardio and diet, which contribute to his well-maintained physique:


    • Lee Priest dedicates at least two hours to daily cardio, incorporating activities such as treadmill workouts and stationary biking.
    • This extensive cardiovascular routine aids in burning calories and helps him maintain a physique close to his competition form.


    • Lee Priest follows an interesting dietary strategy that includes a combination of clean and indulgent meals.
    • He consumes a macronutrient-friendly meal, satisfies his cravings at a fast-food establishment, and then concludes with another macronutrient-friendly meal.
    • This approach ensures mental satisfaction, prevents burnout, allows for post-workout macronutrient allocation, and facilitates weight management by eliminating unhealthy meals when necessary.

Lee Priest’s diet plan complements his rigorous two-hour daily cardio routine, counterbalancing the occasional indulgences that are part of his lifestyle.


Lee Priest’s workout tips for individuals over 50 offer valuable guidance for achieving and maintaining an impressive physique at any age. By adapting training methods, prioritizing specific muscle groups, incorporating cardio workouts, and following a balanced diet, individuals can optimize their fitness journey and unlock their full potential. Lee Priest’s dedication to lifting heavy and embracing exercise variations exemplifies the importance of listening to one’s body and finding what works best for individual goals. Remember, age should never limit your ability to achieve greatness in the gym or in life.


  1. Kang, Ho-Youl2; Martino, Paul F.1; Russo, Vincenzo1; Ryder, Jeffrey W.1; Craig, Bruce W.1. The Influence of Repetitions Maximum on GH Release Following the Back Squat and Leg Press in Trained Men: Preliminary Results. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 10(3):p 148-152, August 1996. 
  2. Craig, Bruce W.1; Lucas, Jeff2; Pohlman, Roberta2; Stelling, Herbert3. The Effects of Running, Weightlifting and a Combination of Both on Growth Hormone Release. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 5(4):p 198-203, November 1991.