Michael Lee, Men’s Physique Division interview


Congrats mike lee1on a great showing!  What made you decide to compete in the Men’s Physique Division?

As crazy as it may sound, I never thought about competing in the NPC until I was repeatedly asked by gym-goers, “Do you compete?”  Prior to my first NPC show, the March 10, 2013 Denver Open, I had never competed, and never given much thought to competing.  It was only after doing research online, finding out about the NPC, in particular the Men’s Physique Division, in which I wanted to compete. So, at my first show, I took first place and overall that night.  I took home 5 awards and I would consider that deciding to compete was one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

Can you tell us a little about the show in which you just competed?

I just recently competed in the NPC Steel City Championship in Pueblo, Colorado.  It was an amazing show!  I took 1st place in Men Physique, Class C Open as well as 1st place overall in Men’s Physique Open.  I also recently competed at Team U in NJ.

How did you feel after pre-judging?

After pre-judging, I felt great.  Not only did I compete that day, but it was also my daughter’s birthday. So, in between pre-judging and the final show, we sang happy birthday to her and let her open some gifts. My wife and kids even had cupcakes. Not me due to the finals being later that night, but I did manage to sneak in a quick paddle boat session at a local paddle boat pond near the show venue.  Luckily, it was a slight overcast, so my tan stayed intact. 

How did you feel about the final results of the show?

It was exhilarating winning both my class and the overall.  I felt really strong about my chances of winning coming into that show.  I knew how hard I prepared, how disciplined I was about my training and diet, so I was expecting good results.  It’s an awesome feeling being the last competitor in your division to step off the stage.  That means that all of the time and effort you put towards placing first truly paid off.  The Steel City Championship was not only an incredible night for me, but also for my team, Team Elite Physique, which took home several other trophies, including Best Team award.

What are your thoughts on the Men's Physique Division and what it may be able to do for your career?

I believe that with me competing in the Men’s Physique Division, I’ve proven that you don’t have to have been a star high school athlete, a collegiate athlete, or possess a lengthy history of bodybuilding to build a stage-worthy physique.  In 2010, I weighed 232 lbs, had a 40-inch waist and looked nowhere near as muscular and toned as I am now.  In a matter of three years, my physique did a 180 shift.  I just want to motivate and help teach others that if I can make that kind of progress without a coach or trainer then so can they.  My next career move is hopefully to turn IFBB Pro and go on to train and coach other NPC competitors.

Age: 34mike lee2

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Current city: Denver, CO

Years training: 2+ years

Education: Kaplan University, Bachelor of Science, Information Technology

Henry Ford Community College, Associates in Business Administration

Occupation: Engineer with Comcast Cable

Favorite type of training: I prefer dumbbells over barbells.

Favorite body part to train: Back

Favorite exercise: Pull-ups

Rep range: 10-12

Number of sets: 4

Typical workout duration: 1-2 hours, depending on if I add cardio to the session.


Training split:

Monday – Chest/Abs


Incline BB Press: 4 sets, 10 reps

Incline DB Press: 4 sets, 10 reps

Flat DB Press: 4 sets, 10 reps

Decline BB Press: 4 sets, 10 reps

Cable Fly’s (Upper/Lower Chest Superset): 4 sets, 10 reps

20 Min HIIT – (1 min hi/30 sec low) Stationary Bike


Hanging Knee Raises 4×20

Medicine Ball Oblique Crunches 4x 15

Tuesday – Shoulders/Traps

Standing Military Press : 4 sets, 10 reps

Seated DB Shoulder Press : 4 sets, 10 reps

EZ Bar Front Raises: 4 sets, 10 reps

DB Lateral Raises: 4 sets, 10 reps


EZ Bar Shrugs: 4 sets, 10 reps

DB Shrugs: 4 sets, 10 reps

High Cable Cross Pulls: 4 sets, 10 reps

20 Min run (HIIT 1 min high, 30 sec low)

Wednesday – Biceps/Triceps/Abs

DB Curls: 4 sets, 10 reps

BB Curls: 4 sets, 10 reps

Hammer Curls : 4 sets, 10 reps


DB Kickbacks: 4 sets, 10 reps

Weighted Parallel Bar Dips: 4 sets, 10 reps

Skull Crushers: 4 sets, 10 reps


Decline Sit-ups/Mountain Climbers – Superset 4 sets 10 each

Standing DB Oblique Crunches

15 Min Stairmill

Thursday – Back

Cable Pulldowns : 4 sets, 10 reps

Pull-ups: 4 sets, 10 reps

T-Row Bar Pulls: 4 sets, 10 reps

Superman Machine

Rear Pec Deck Flys : 4 sets, 10 reps

30 Min Run, Steady State, moderate pace

Friday – Legs/Abs

Box Jumps – 3.5 feet, : 4 sets, 10 reps

Squats: 4 sets, 10 reps

Leg Extensions: 4 sets, 10 reps

Hamstring Curls: 4 sets, 10 reps

Leg Press Machine: 4 sets, 10 reps

DB Calve Raises: 4 sets, 10 reps

Saturday/Sunday – Rest Day

Typical daily eating plan:

Meal 1: Breakfast: 2 Whole Eggs/4 Whites/ ½ Cup of Oatmeal

Meal 2: Post workout: Whey Protein Shake 30 grams of protein,

Meal 3: Snack: 4 oz of Turkey Breast, 2 cups Mixed Salad

Meal 4: Lunch: Banana/4-5 oz Steak, 2 cups Mixed Salad, Sweet Potato

Meal 5: Snack: Protein Bar (13 grams of protein)

Meal 6: Dinner: 4-5 oz Chicken, 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal 7: Snack: Casein Protein Shake, 25 grams

Favorite supplement:mike lee3 I am a Complete Nutrition Sponsored Athlete.  My favorite supplement is Titan Whey Protein.

What peaked your interest in training?

What peaked my interest in training was seeing how my body was changing, how quickly I was able to build muscle after I initially lost 30lbs of fat and how well I performed on stage.  All of those factors continually feed my desire to keep improving my physique.

Who influences/influenced your training?

In the fitness world, I’m inspired by Obi Obadike. Obi is the blueprint for success for anyone looking to get fit and to get into the fitness industry. Obi really helped me understand the importance of being consistent with my workouts and understanding the level of impact a person can have when they dedicate themselves to their craft and make it a lifestyle.

Sports: I am a huge NBA and NFL fan.  I also love the Summer Olympics, especially Track and Field.

Special interests: I love graphic design, running 5k’s, sports cars and sightseeing. 

Physique, fitness, bodybuilding competition history:

NPC Colorado 2013 Nutrition Company Men's Physique - 1st Place in the following categories:

1st - Men's Physique Overall

1st - Men's Physique Novice

1st - Men's Novice Class B

1st - Men's Physique Open 

1st - Grit & Courage (Best Body Transformation Award)

2013 NPC Axis Labs Northern Colorado - Men's Physique - 

4th - Open Class C (qualified for a National Show).

2013 PhysiqueOfTheWeek.com - Winner - Week 79


2013 - NPC Steel City Championship

1st - Class C Open - Men's Physique

1st - Overall - Men's Physique

Awards and/or accomplishments:

Became a Complete Nutrition sponsored athlete as of July 1, 2013

What keeps you on track towards reaching your goals?

Several factors keep me on track towards reaching my goals.  Having a wife and family while competing and holding down a full time, non-fitness related job is very demanding, but they fully support me and my goal of turning IFBB Pro.  I use that support as inspiration to go hard in my work sessions and on stage. 

Interesting fact or something you would like our readers to know about you:

I am an Army veteran who proudly served my country for 4 years.  And I want to thank every veteran and active duty soldier who served or is currently serving.  I have some fitness products that I’ll be producing soon, and some of the proceeds of all sales will go towards charities that support military families.

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