Canadian pro bodybuilder and reigning Mr. Olympia Classic Physique champion, Chris Bumstead, is back in the gym and means business.
Having taken some time off to let his body recover, and fighting off a bout of Covid-19, the 27-year-old is on a mission to “get huge legs again” and has shared his routine on YouTube. “It’s the first full leg day I’ve posted for a long time”, he explains, “but I’m getting back on it. Getting huge, getting strong – and chasing my 4th Olympia title!”.
Speaking about his time away from the gym, he tells viewers “This is the longest off-season I’ve had – but that just means I have to make the most improvements I’ve ever made”.
He is not, it’s fair to say, full of enthusiasm as he arrives. “I’m still trying to muster up the energy. I got some old man knees, I’ve got some older man hips – but we’re going to make them work!”.
He starts by warming up using leg curl machines, both seated and lying. Referring to his hamstring tear in 2019, Bumstead explains it still bothers him. “Ever since I tore my hamstring it really cramps up. But it really built my mind/muscle connection”. “So pro tip – tear your hamstring if you can’t feel them – it works!” he jokes with his cameraman.
Next up he heads to the “dungeon” – the weight room where he takes on barbell squats – an exercise he’s only just begun to return to. “It’s going to be a grind” he says, with foreboding. As he adds weights he mutters, “it’s keeping me humble”.
Halfway through, he dons a pair of knee sleeves, as he’s about to go heavy. “People always ask me when to wear sleeves. Personally, I have old man knees so I just wear them for injury prevention when I go heavy. I always warm up without them so I’m not completely dependent on them, though”.
By this point, Bumstead’s heart rate is really going up. Showing his watch reveals he’s at 174. “I’m getting tired! Normally I’d be able to do that and keep my heart rate at just over 100 – but not right now”, he puffs.
He follows this with Bulgarian split squats with a dumbbell, noting that social media seems to hate this exercise “But they’re really not that bad – gotta build that booty!” he grins. Halfway through and running on empty he changes his mind. “I guess this is why people hate them!” he says.
Next, it’s hamstring curls on a Precor machine – “the Holy Grail of hamstring machines”, before finishing on calves. “I normally do calves twice a week – right now it’s once. I like to alternate the standing calf raise and the seated calf raise. I don’t do them in the same work out – I’ll destroy it for four to six sets and do the other one the next week. I find it gives a good balance. People don’t take calves seriously enough – you have to train them with the same intensity as everything else”.
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