Muscle Sport Magazine

Backstage Ball Breaking at IFBB Shows

I get asked a lot what was it like backstage at contests. Well, it was quite the sight. Most guys were very serious…pacing or listening to music. Some just sleeping on the floor. Myself, I liked to joke around and pump up a lot. I would pump up for about 20 minutes and had nothing else to do, so it kept me busy.

I remember a time backstage when Craig Titus and King Kamali were having their feud. Titus had a big bag of Oreos and gave me a few cookies. He then turned to Kamali and asked if he want one. But before he could answer, Titus took them back, saying he would wait to see how Kamali looked first.
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Later on, Kamali took his shirt off and Titus yells out, “Good thing you didn’t have a cookie; you look like shit.” Kamali gave him an evil look then just paced back and forth like a caged lion with built-up anger.

The following week backstage at another show, Titus yelled to Kamali, “Hey, did you hit your peak this time?” Kamali removed his shirt and Titus said, “Hell, no. You fucked up again!”

At the 1997 Iron Man Pro, Shawn Ray came over to me saying, “I think you’re going to give my boy Flex (Wheeler) a run today.” A few minutes later, Wheeler comes over telling me how great I looked but because of who he is, he’s going to win and I just smiled.

[Editor’s note: Flex Wheeler in fact did win that show, with Lee Priest his runner-up.]

It’s also funny that so many guys would complain about the show or judging in it but would never speak up about it other then backstage in their little group.
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Backstage one year at the Mr. Olympia pre-judging, you had Wheeler and Ronnie Coleman taking turns on the oxygen mask. I thought to myself, “How funny. You look so fit but you should have done more cardio.” Yes, posing is hard, but oxygen?

There have been many funny times on trips to contests on airplanes, in airports and at venues. I will touch on more as I go along in other issues. It’s all slowly coming back to me – the fun times, good times and frustrating times that we had in the great days…the best days of bodybuilding.

Be sure to read Lee Priest’s column every month online and in each quarterly print issue of MuscleSport Magazine. 

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