The reigning four-time Classic Physique champ is taking his time getting back into the swing of things.
Written by Robert Zeglinski
In some ways, Chris Bumstead might be at a crossroads in his professional bodybuilding career. After notching his fourth consecutive Classic Physique title at the 2022 Olympia —giving him more championships than all other victors combined in the history of the division that started in 2016 — Bumstead seemed to want to take a breather. In mid-January 2023, the athlete revealed he suffered a right biceps tear three days before the Olympia and that it would take some time to recover properly. As the superstar looks ahead to the next steps of his athletic journey, he provides a recent update on his current status.
On Jan. 23, 2023, Bumstead posted a video to his YouTube where he grinds through a leg workout: one of his first filmed sessions of the new calendar year. At the same time, he disclosed what’s happened with his body and training regimen since tearing a biceps muscle.
Before diving leg-first into his routine, Bumstead shared how he’s been recuperating in the approximately month since he extended his Classic Physique reign and tore his right biceps. The bodybuilder maintained that, aside from giving some attention to his legs occasionally, he hasn’t trained regularly in roughly five weeks.
With the 2023 Mr. Olympia officially set for Nov. 3-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL, Bumstead appeared to be content to take his time and not rush back full throttle.
“I’ve done legs like once a week-ish,” Bumstead noted. “Not working hard. So, I’m letting my body recover right now. But the Olympia is in nine months.”
In addition to taking it somewhat easy in the gym for the time being, Bumstead explained he’d gained roughly 12 pounds since the 2022 Olympia. He weighed around 251 pounds when the video was recorded.
With more detail on his health made clear, Bumstead powered through his leg training. (Note: The athlete did not disclose specific sets and repetitions for all of the different segments of his workout.)
Leg Extension and Leg Press
To start his session, Bumstead elected to do a superset of some leg extensions and a leg press. He performed both movements unilaterally and treated them as a warm-up for his muscles before shifting to compound exercises.
With his warm-up out of the way, Bumstead focused on a moderately heavier leg press. The competitor maintained he didn’t want to push it too much as he worked his way back into a quality groove.
“… Because I don’t want to put plates on right now,” Bumstead said. “Partly because my knees just feel unstable right now, and I want to make sure they’re equally strong.”
In the “meat and potatoes” portion of his workout, Bumstead implemented some traditional back squats. The athlete appeared to have a single plate on each side of his barbell for a warm-up before slowly progressing his weight through a few more sets. As a closer, Bumstead seemed to have two plates adorned on both sides, which equals 225 pounds (assuming Bumstead used a standard 45-pound barbell.)
Walking Dumbbell Lunge
As he started to wind down his leg session, Bumstead kept attacking his lower body with a few sets of walking dumbbell lunges. The athlete appeared to hold 70-pound dumbbells in each hand for the entirety of this portion.
Seated Calf Raise
To finish off his workout, Bumstead performed seated calf raises. He seemed to have fastened two 45-pound plates to his machine for the respective sets as he put a cap on the overall session.
At the time of this writing, it’s apparent Bumstead will work to attain a fifth straight Classic Physique Olympia title this coming November. While bodybuilding legends like Samir Bannout have suggested the athlete should try his hand at competing in the Men’s Open division — even as early as the 2023 Arnold Classic in March — Bumstead has previously clarified he would not consider a change until 2024 at the earliest. Not to mention that moving up a division would potentially not be wise for someone still recovering from an upper-body ailment.
Whatever the near and long-term future holds in store for Bumstead, it’s probable he’ll continue sharing in-depth looks at what’s next in his bodybuilding pursuits.
Featured image: Chris Bumstead on YouTube