I’m a 63-year-old eight-time champion bodybuilder – I love my sport, but there’s one thing I’ve prioritized winning for MORE
A CHAMPION bodybuilder has revealed what was more important to him than taking home the trophy – it was the driving force behind his success.
Eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Lee Haney considered his duty as a father and husband far more important than his training.
The US athlete miraculously managed to dominate the bodybuilding world, although the sport lagged behind his family life.
Haney, known as Hercules, had an incredible streak that rivaled the likes of Ronnie Coleman thanks to his incredible physique.
He preferred a three-day workout routine with one day off throughout his career – which allowed him to juggle his responsibilities as a father.
But he still secured a whopping eight Mr. Olympia gongs and maintained himself as one of the most decorated athletes in the game.
But even the strongest men in the world struggle with the pressures of fame.
The bodybuilding legend revealed he was often obsessed with improving his performance at the peak of his career.
“When you’re up there’s nowhere else to go but down,” Haney said during an interview with Labrada Nutrition founder and CEO Lee Labrada.
“The pressure, how do I stay here, what can I do differently to get a better package than last time.
“All of these things go through your mind — and if you don’t stick together, it can cause a lot of stress.”
The ex-athlete explained that it’s only thanks to the unwavering support of his beloved wife, Shirley, that he’s been able to “maintain his sanity”.
“My wife was with me,” he continued. “I was a husband, I was a father. I had two children when I was still competing.
“I think some people might say that was a distraction, but for me it’s helped keep my sanity.
“It kept throwing me off how many sets and how many reps.”
Haney first spoke about what encouraged him to remain a family man and shared the details of his take on the sport.
He added, “I looked at bodybuilding as my job.
“I didn’t worship the craft, you know, although I wanted to be the best at the craft.
“I didn’t worship it. It wasn’t the end of the world as I saw it.”
The bodybuilding star – known for his huge shoulders and bulging biceps – believes his work-life balance was key to his success.
Haney holds one of the highest wins for Mr. Olympia grads and is a former Nationals heavyweight and overall champion.
From 1984 to 1991, he won every Mr. Olympia contest, breaking Arnold Schwarzenegger’s record of seven in a row.
The 63-year-old retired at the age of 31 before turning to personal training and working with athletes like boxer Evander Holyfield.
We previously shared how a millionaire bodybuilder was turned away from his beloved sport after a near-death experience.
Kali Muscle had a fatal heart attack caused by synthetic steroid use in 2021, forcing him to undergo life-saving surgery.
Now he’s using his platform to promote clean eating and a healthy lifestyle — but he’s straying from weights.