Chris Bumstead survives a brutal leg session within the offseason

Four-time Classic Physique Olympian Chris Bumstead is in the early stages of his off-season as he prepares to compete for his fifth Classic Physique Olympia at the 2023 Olympic Weekend in Orlando, Fla., November 2-5, 2023 -Consecutive championship fight.

Bumstead has been open about his training, as shown in a recent YouTube video documenting a leg workout he did with Christian Guzman, Bumstead’s business partner and occasional training partner.

More from Breaking Muscle:

The video’s title – “This Leg Day Really Sucked” – apparently expressed Bumstead’s feelings about the workout, but in weightlifting, if a workout “sucks” can be a good thing in the long run.

The intense workout took place at Revive Gym in Stuart, Fla., and began with Bumstead running backwards on a stepper to warm up. Walking backwards can help work everything in your hamstrings, especially your glutes, while reducing knee stress.

leg extension

Bumstead began the lifting session with leg extensions, which are an effective way to isolate the quads and warm up the knees. You can also see that he’s not wearing shoes, which is typical of the four-time champion. He has previously said the unconventional habit helps him feel more stable on leg day and improves his mind-muscle connection.

At one point the machine was loaded with a total of 134 kilograms (295 pounds) and Bumstead was doing 10 reps at full strength. Throughout practice, Guzman followed Bumstead with his own sets.

How it goes: Sit on a leg extension machine and place your legs behind the pad. Sit back in the seat and hold the handles. Lift the pad with your legs and flex your quadriceps once your knees are near the locked position. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the process.

Hack Squat

The second move of the day was the hack squat. Bumstead performed a wide range of motion, dropping deep into the hole on each rep. This technique puts even more stress on the quadriceps muscles. The bodybuilder worked in the 10-15 rep range and finished with 245 kg (540 pounds) for six reps before quickly reducing the weight to 163 kg (360 pounds) for a drop set and doing seven additional reps.

How it goes: Place your feet evenly on the foot platform and place your shoulders under the support pads. Once you feel firm and stable in the position, raise the sled by straightening your knees and unlocking the safety handles. Get into the bottom position as low as you can – ideally reaching your hips below your knees. Drive your feet into the footplate and push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps and return handles to their original position to lock machine again.

leg press

The third movement focused on the quadriceps was the leg press. Bumstead explained that he shifted his focus to adopt a relatively wider stance than in the past to work his adductors (inner thighs) and outer quadriceps muscles. Bumstead worked his way up to a top set of 367 kilograms (810 pounds) and did 10 reps, followed by a 285 kilograms (630 pounds) drop set where he did 15 more reps. He’s then lifted even more weight, to 450 pounds (204 kilograms), and goes to failure for 20 excruciating reps.

How it goes: Sit with your back firmly against the cushion. Place your feet evenly on the footplate and slide forward to release the safety grips and take control of the sled. Bend your knees and lower the footplate as low as is comfortable for you. Keeping your feet flat, push the carriage back to the starting position. Repeat for desired reps. Lock the carriage with the safety handles.

More from Breaking Muscle:

Walking lunge

The next movement of the workout was the dumbbell lunge. Bumstead was on marked grass with a pair of dumbbells. He concentrated on taking big strides forward and dropped as close to the ground as possible. Then he returned to standing and took his next step with the other foot. Only one set is performed on camera, but Bumstead later said they did two. As a viewer might expect, he was showing clear signs of exhaustion by this point in the workout.

How it goes: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand upright. Take a step forward and lower your back knee toward the floor as low as you can. Slide your front foot through to return to a standing position and bring your back foot forward. Take your next step with the other foot and repeat in the same way. You have now done one repetition for each leg. Repeat for whatever reps or distance you want to complete.

Seated calf raise and adductor machine

At the end of the workout, the focus shifted to the calves, specifically the soleus muscle. Bumstead performs a series of seated calf raises with a 40-pound plate. He then wraps up the adductor machine session to focus even more on building his inner thighs before calling it a day.

How to perform the seated calf raise: Sit with your knees under the cushions. Position your feet so that your toes are on the footplate and your heels are hanging down. Push through your toes to tighten your calves and lift to release the safety grip. Lower your heels as much as possible to stretch your calves. Drive through your toes to raise the weight as high as possible and engage your calves to the maximum. Hold the top position for a moment. Repeat for desired reps, but finish with a contraction so you can return the handle and lock the machine.

This is how the adductor machine works: Sit on the machine with the pads on your inner thighs. Let go of the weight so you are in control. Squeeze your thighs to bring the pads as close together as possible, ideally touching the pads together. Slowly release the tension to allow your legs to spread. Once you feel a stretch, repeat the exercise for the desired reps.

The full details of Bumstead’s intense leg workout were not released in the video, but you can try a sample version of this workout by following the guide below:

Classic Olympic-style leg workout

  • Leg Extension – 3 x 12
  • Hack Squat – 3 x 12-15
  • Leg Press – 2 x 12-15, 1 x 12-15, followed by a double drop to failure
  • Walking lunge – 2 x 12 per leg
  • Seated calf raises – 2 sets to failure (20 or more reps)
  • Adductors – 2 sets to failure (15 or more reps)

Featured image: Chris Bumstead on YouTube

Comments are closed.