Lee Haney is one of the greatest bodybuilders you shouldn’t forget. He won eight Mr. Olympia titles, a record when he competed in his prime years. So many people should remember him because he was never on steroids during his career, and even when he started competing later in life, Lee Haney still won six consecutive times.
Even though that’s impressive enough, there are other reasons everyone who loves fitness should know about this man! So keep reading if you want to find out more about Lee Haney.
Lee Haney’s Bio –
Lee Haney was born in Fairburn, Georgia, on November 11, 1959 (Age 62). He grew up a devout Christian and a methodist, which shaped his character and career. Lee attended Spartanburg Methodist College. He made his professional bodybuilding debut at the World Pro Championship in Atlanta City in 1983. From 1984 to 1991, Lee Haney dominated professional bodybuilding, winning every Mr. Olympia title. During his competitive years, his height was 5’10”, and his weight went from 230 to 265 pounds during his career.
Other bodybuilders like Frank Zane, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Franco Columbu had similar physiques. Also, this was well before the bodybuilding giants like Ronnie Coleman, Big Ramy, Phil Heath, and Jay Cutler stepped onto the big stage. These guys were big everywhere, including their calves.
Lee Haney’s Career –
By 1984, he had established himself as one of the top professional bodybuilders in America. Haney was huge and ripped at 5’10” and a contest weight of 230 pounds. However, his enormous upper body, with massive arms and thighs, while his calves, remained somewhat an afterthought. Nevertheless, Lee would become the face of bodybuilding over the next few years.
After winning Mr. Olympia in 1991, Lee Haney retired from professional bodybuilding. Dorian Yates is the first of the monster bodybuilders. He would win the title of Mr. Olympia in 1992. Many believed that Lee Haney’s retirement passed the torch from old school to new school bodybuilders. Lee appeared in several movies, including “Pumping Iron II: The Women,” “Just For Kicks,” and “Weekend Warriors.”
In 1989, Haney opened a Gold’s Gym in Chicago, which served as the setting for the film “Pumping Iron II: The Women.” In addition, he is the author of three books, “Lee Haney’s Bodybuilding for Men” (1987), “Stretching Your Boundaries” (1989), and “8 Minutes in the Morning” (2004).
Lee Haney’s Titles and Honors:
- 1983 Grand Prix England (2nd)
- 1983 Grand Prix Las Vegas (1st)
- 1983 Grand Prix Sweden (2nd)
- 1983 Night of Champions (1st)
- 1983 Mr. Olympia (3rd)
- 1984 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1985 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1986 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1987 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1987 Grand Prix Germany (1st)
- 1988 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1989 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1990 Mr. Olympia (1st)
- 1991 Mr. Olympia (1st)
Lee Haney is one of the most inspirational bodybuilders. He refused to do steroids, although it was all over the sport in the 1980s. However, he wasn’t against supplement training because Lee Haney created his own “fuel” during the pre-contest. The famous bodybuilder used creatine and glutamine more than any other bodybuilder. Creatine and glutamine are not steroids, as many amateur weightlifters and bodybuilders use these supplements.
Lee Haney and most old-school bodybuilders followed this type of workout before steroids dominated the sport. They divided the training into four parts: Monday to Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Volume and progressive overload are crucial to stimulating muscle growth with resistance training. You can do both by lifting heavy and then lifting heavier.
Sets, reps, and weight determine the volume and progressive overload. The goal is to increase volume during each workout by increasing each exercise’s weight, sets, or reps. Most bodybuilders aim to increase the weight lifted by 2 to 5 pounds every week. If that doesn’t work, then increase the reps or sets. Try this workout:
Bodybuilders eat a lot of food! It was true in Lee Haney’s day, and it is true now. The key to building muscle is a calorie and protein surplus. Bodybuilders don’t get fat because they follow their diet and work out hard. For example, when trying to gain muscle, Lee Haney ate eight meals daily (when not competing). In addition, Lee worked out between 4-5 times per week during his off-season time to keep his body fat levels low.
During the pre-contest time, Lee Haney’s diet plan included four phases. The first two phases were not strict because he used to eat at least five meals daily, comprising eggs, chicken breasts, fish, and white turkey meat. During the third phase (the pre-contest time), Lee Haney had small carbs during the night because it helped him with his hard workouts.
Last words on Lee Haney, one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time
Lee Haney is one of the greatest bodybuilders you should never forget. With a resume that spans almost two decades and over 100 professional titles, it’s hard to argue against his iconic status in the fitness world. Yet, he remains an uncelebrated figure in popular culture because of his reluctance for self-promotion and low-key attitude toward marketing himself as a celebrity athlete. Lee Haney grew up a devout Christian and a methodist. His belief in God shaped his career and character. But Lee is one of the few bodybuilders that did it right.
Like Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was very active after bodybuilding. But he did most of his work quietly and behind the scenes. What can we learn from Lee Haney? Lee teaches us that actions speak louder than words. We don’t have to talk about it. Just do it. Also, Lee Haney reminds us we don’t have to take shortcuts or compromise our values to reach our goals.
Bodybuilding is about eating the right amounts of protein and healthy carbohydrates and fats while working out using scientific principles. You don’t need someone to tell you how to eat or workout. We got that part down. Instead, most of us need encouragement and motivation to do what we already know. What has been your experience with bodybuilding? Let us know in the comments.