Lee Haney Explains Why He Retired Undefeated After 8 Olympia Titles: “There’s Nowhere Else To Go But Down”

Haney was on leading of the sport. He desired to be remembered on leading.

Lee Haney crafted a dynasty at the top rated of bodybuilding in the 1980s. To this working day, the superstar’s 8 consecutive Mr. Olympia titles (1984-1991) are only matched by fellow conditioning legend Ronnie Coleman (1998-2005). Theoretically, Haney, who retired in his early 30s, could’ve vied for a lot more Olympia victories. Instead, he stepped down just after 1991.

On Mar. 29, 2023, during a YouTube episode of The Lee Labrada Show, Haney joined the eponymous host to explore the exploits of his profession. Labrada, who was a two-time runner-up to Haney’s title (1989-1990) is probable an excellent applicant to support Haney study his job in hindsight. The most noteworthy tidbit may well have been the icon explaining why he did not pursue extra Olympia greatness following developing himself as unprecedented royalty.

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Like some elite bodybuilders, Haney explained the tension of maintaining his grip on the sport. From teaching to a mental battle, Haney said he successfully navigated tough waters for many years. He made it distinct he did not want to proceed building such a sacrifice as he weighed his selections immediately after his 1991 Olympia triumph.

Component of Haney’s rationale was also about the strategy of being on major and staying remembered on leading.

“When we’re on top rated, there is nowhere else to go but down,” Haney spelled out of his early selection to retire from bodybuilding. “So, the stress of how do I remain here? What can I do different to provide a improved package? All people issues operate as a result of your head and, if you really don’t retain it with each other, that can genuinely create a ton of strain.”

At the exact time, even though Haney was remarkable, he manufactured clear he didn’t like bodybuilding for each se. For a minor even though, he just had an impeccable dedication to his craft.

“I appeared at bodybuilding in this kind of a way that it’s my work,” Haney ongoing. “I did not worship the craft whilst I required to be the finest at it. It wasn’t the end of the world as the way I seemed at it.”

Eventually, the 63-calendar year-outdated Haney clarified that he practically deemed retiring just after his seventh Olympia victory in 1990. However, that exit would’ve left the superstar simply tied with Arnold Schwarzenegger for Olympia wins. It took encouragement from Haney’s wife Shirley to continue to keep pushing prior to he hung up his posing trunks.

The rest was literal bodybuilding heritage, as Haney would take his eighth consecutive acquire in 1991 for the Olympia document. The file would continue to be untouched right up until Ronnie Coleman’s document-tying eighth title in 2005.

“When I obtained to the seventh [Olympia win], I considered to myself, seven is a history,” Haney begun. “Arnold [Schwarzenegger] didn’t do 7 [Olympias] in a row but he did do over-all. I had a conversation with Shirley, and she was like, ‘What are you speaking about, give up? You gotta do eight. What’s the subject with you?’”

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These days, Haney appears to be basking in his retirement. In excess of three a long time considering that he very last stepped on phase, the living legen does not seem to have any reservations about his final decision.

Not that he at any time did.

“I never ever regretted having not competed once again. As a matter of reality, I never gave it an additional assumed.”

Featured image: @lee_haney_formal on Instagram

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