The next Arnold: 18-year-old reveals his incredible bodybuilding journey

Los Angeles, California - Four years ago, 18-year-old Tristyn Lee got sick of being the skinny kid on the block. Instead of just idolizing the bodybuilders he followed on Instagram, Lee decided to become one of them.

Tristyn Lee went from skinny to jacked in four years.
Tristyn Lee went from skinny to jacked in four years.  © Screenshot/Instagram/tristynleeofficial

The idea of training to be a bodybuilder at the age of 14 seemed a bit crazy so some, but Lee didn't let the opinions of others deter his newly-found dream.

When he first started lifting in 2017, Lee's approach was much different from it is now. Instead of lifting heavy, he thought that lighter loads combined with intense muscle contraction with each rep would allow him to bulk up.

He's since changed his ways, progressing to heavy weights and following a ketogenic diet with goals of reaching 2% body fat – and he's currently sitting pretty below 5%!

One Instagram video changed everything

Since his journey began, Lee has been posting videos and comparison pictures in his Instagram and YouTube channel.

In 2017, one of the first videos Lee posted on his Instagram account went viral and caught the eye of superstar Jason Derulo, who commented on the post and even reshared it.

Lee shared a YouTube video reacting to his old Instagram posts, and he couldn't help but make fun of his younger self pumping 5-pound dumbbells, saying, "At the beginning I thought 'it's fine, if I just contract the muscle hard enough, eventually it'll just grow.'"

Lee walks a fine line between dedication and obsession

The dedication Lee has to the sport of bodybuilding is impressive, but it can easily be misconstrued as obsessive. Many of his videos and Instagram posts have comments about how Lee should be more carefree splurge on calories, go to parties, or do anything besides spending hours pumping iron and practicing his poses.

But working out is Lee's version of fun, as he explained in an Instagram post: "To say 'you're just a kid, live your life' is OK and I understand that for many having 'fun' is going out and partying and eating treats, but I have a goal in my mind and am willing to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to be. Sure, of course it’s okay to have a good time, but who’s to say that I’m not having fun in the gym!"

What started as a hobby in 2017 has turned into a way of life for Lee. With his eyes set on his bodybuilding prize, he has no intentions of slowing down.

Cover photo: Screenshot/Instagram/tristynleeofficial

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