Joe Lee flew under the radar this year keeping a low profile in the off season till Salt City Showdown. His first show back he made a massive splash to let everyone know he is still fighting for that top spot. Winning the Salt City Showdown this year made it his third year going back to the Olympia Stage. Last year he place 8th amongst 40 athletes and is looking like he’ll be a top contender again this year. After the show we had the chance to catch up with him and he was able to answer a few questions for us.
How does it feel to have the opportunity once more to step on that stage come September?
I feel honored and driven. It’s always an honor to have an opportunity to step on the Olympia stage but it’s also a driving factor because that’s where the top MP athlete get’s crowned. This year I’m determined and driven more than ever to take advantage of the opportunity.
Since Olympia Last year you took an off season. During the off season we did see improvements in your physique. Can you explain what were your main focal points during your off season that you needed to improve on for this season?
There are two focal points that I can point out. First being to put on a solid 2-3 lbs of muscle in my shoulder/chest region. I trained chest and shoulders twice a week during the offseason and as I got closer to the show (about 12 weeks out) I switched back to my normal routine. It was the first time for me to really hit shoulders hard twice a week and I think that showed in my physique. Second was to rest. I took a longer off season because I wanted my body to have the opportunity to take a break from the strenuous cutting and dieting. Normally I would have jumped into an earlier show like the Arnold Classic but I decided with my coach, Ryan Bentson, that I would wait for the Salt Lake City Showdown. I would say focal point 2 was the biggest contributor to my off-season improvement. In fact, I was so ahead of where I would normally be that I almost did the Grand Prix in Culver City the Wednesday before the show but decided to just hold off for Salt Lake.
You took second place last year at the Salt City Showdown. Going into this years show; what did you do differently in your prep?
To tell you the truth, besides what I had already mentioned regarding my focal points there wasn’t much of a difference in what I did physically. I can tell you that mentally I this was the most I was dialed in. I can honestly say that this was the most mentally challenging prep I did just because of some personal reasons which of course in turn can affect your physical state. But I used it as an opportunity to really dial in towards the prep mentally.
Its no secret that on the west coast all the pro’s know each other or are extremely close friends. How does it feel to be competing for first place with 2 of your friends right on your heels?
It’s a thrill and it’s fun. I have nothing but respect for both Arya and Dean. Those guys are great competitors and great people off stage.
Between now and Olympia are you planning on doing any other shows?
You will see me on stage for the New York Pro which is now exactly 3 weeks from today (April 29th).
What are your plans in prepping for this years Olympia?
I don’t really have a game plan set just yet but I would like to put a solid pound or 2 on from Salt Lake City. All I know is I’m going to beat whatever physique I put out last. I never focus on any of the other competitors besides myself. As long as I beat what I brought in the past I think that’ll make me a contender for Mr. O.
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