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Lee Apperson – Bodybuilder, former Mr. America, and Personal Trainer

By Admin | June 4, 2008

Lee Apperson is a life-long bodybuilder and former Mr. America who has graced the cover of numerous fitness magazines. He is also a businessman and publishes a personal training website at LeeApperson.com. We recently had a chance to get his thoughts.


Where are you from?

I was born in Hampton, Virginia but I grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Where did you go to college and what was your academic major?

I went to college in California – Palamar College – majored in surfing.

What is the best part of your physique?

The best part of my physique is the balance and symmetry. The sum of all parts. That has always been top priority.

What is your typical training regimen?

Cardio one hour a day in the am – 5 days a week. Weight training 4 days a week.

Describe your typical day’s diet?

First breakfast 20 eggwhites and one cup oatmeal. Second breakfast 20 eggwhites and one cup oatmeal.

First lunch is two chicken breasts and rice and green beans. Second lunch is 12 ounce hamburger and 10 ounces of potato salad.

First dinner, 12 ounces of grouper and rice and broccoli. Second dinner is Herbalife protein shake.

Third dinner 20 eggwhites only. Fourth dinner is Herbalife shake and ten almonds.

Which of your bodybuilding accomplishments is most important to you?

The overall long-term plan that has been executed is the most important to me. It’s paying your dues day in-day and out. Week after week, year upon year, decade into decade.

What goals and accomplishments are you currently focused on in bodybuilding?

Currently, I am preparing for a show in Atlantic City on Sept. 12th. It will be my 25th consecutive year and my last, completing the original plan that I mentioned in the previous question.

What goals and accomplishments are you currently focused on in your life in the non-bodybuilding category?

After September, I will focus on money. I have never chased money and it has always been way down on the priority list. I have raised a family and I have always given huge amounts of time and money in that effort.

I am very simple and have a very low operating budget. Maybe I’m doing it all backwards compared to most people, but now that I’m retired – I need to make some money.

Many people look at bodybuilders and think “steroids”. Is that a fair assessment?

Humans are basically weak creatures. They will always look for excuses to explain away their unwillingness to work by dragging down others.

What is your best motivational technique, particularly when you don’t feel like doing a workout and you know you should?

I have no choice. Within the year I will be standing on stage in front of 5,000 people in my underwear. I have had so many injuries through the years and I remember what it felt like to not be able to train.

When I’m healthy, I just think back to that feeling. So many other people that are disabled would give anything to be able to train. Ask the guy in the wheelchair if he would like to go to the gym.

Two honest reasons why I train -there’s always someone hurt worse than you and because I still can!

Who is your bodybuilding idol/mentor/hero?

Bob Paris.

What does your family think about your training and bodybuilding?

My mother was the only woman in her graduating class from William & Mary Law School in 1947. She was/is a wonderful mother and understands work and drive.

In my case though, she just doesn’t get it. Even more now, she is baffled by
the judging. Without getting in to all that, she can’t understand why anyone would put themselves through the torture that comes with the sport.


Do you do bodybuilding full-time or do you do other things professionally to support yourself?

I am a distributor for HERBALIFE nutritional products and I have a personal training business, mostly people from out of state. I also run training on line from my website.

What do you do to relax?

I love everything I do, so there’s not much stress. I’m always relaxed. I have gone on vacation twice in 20 years. My whole life is a vacation so why would I need more?

What tip or piece of advice would you have for someone who wanted to take up bodybuilding in a serious way?

As long as you always remember that the contest is with yourself, you’ll be fine.

What is the biggest mistake you have made in your bodybuilding career?

As far as bodybuilding goes, without sounding arrogant – I don’t think I have made any mistakes.

I have made plenty in the rest of my life but I really feel that I had a good long-term plan and even better execution. Of course not everything went the way I wanted it to, but I did everything possible to win.

I never took a short cut and never made excuses – because there are none.

Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com

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