The golden age of bodybuilding symbolized all that was phenomenal about the discipline. This era was characterized by charismatic personalities, appealing physiques, and the existence of a superstar athlete who took center stage. Such is its influence that, even five decades later, we see a whole class dedicated to reviving it.
The classic physique division serves a dual purpose – bringing back the essence of the old times and peeking into what the sport’s future might look like.
Chris Bumstead has been the undisputed king of the classic physique for the last four years. His victories at the Olympia Classic Physique championship in 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 attest to his dominance.
Having amassed almost 19.4 million followers on Instagram and approximately 3.45 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, there’s no denying that Chris Bumstead is the current poster boy of bodybuilding. And the reasons are apparent.
This pro bodybuilder is arguably the epitome of aesthetic appeal globally. After many years, the weightlifting community finally has a champion bodybuilder whose physique others strive to emulate. While achieving his precise results may be out of reach for most, we can definitely derive valuable insights from Chris Bumstead’s training regimen.
Who Is Chris Bumstead?
Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Chris Bumstead has made a remarkable mark in the bodybuilding world at a young age of 27. Standing six feet tall and weighing in at a contest weight of 225 pounds, he goes up to 260 to 265 pounds during the off-season. Bumstead’s impressive physique has earned him the title of the reigning champion in the Mr. Olympia Classic Physique division.
In a unique twist, Chris Bumstead extends his influence beyond just bodybuilding. Serving as an embodiment of a fitness influencer, he regularly shares his fitness journey and insider tips on platforms like YouTube and Instagram. His fitness regimen, such as his shoulder workout, offers an intimate glimpse into the dedication it takes to become a champion.
Alongside his competing endeavors, Chris Bumstead also wears the hat of a co-owner of a supplement company, Raw Nutrition, making substantial strides in both fitness and business domains.
Chris Bumstead’s Training Regimen And Workout Split
Chris Bumstead’s training regimen is notably distinct, adopting an unconventional 8-day pattern. This unique split structure consists of three consecutive days of training, followed by one day devoted to rest and recovery.
|Quads And Calves||2|
|Hamstrings And Back (Width)||6|
In terms of frequency, Chris Bumstead’s workout routine notably targets each muscle group once per week, with the exception of his back. This ‘bro split’ style of workout routine is one that many bodybuilders have successfully adhered to for years.
Despite the growing popularity of high-frequency training, founded on evidence-based research, the frequency of training does not have a significant or meaningful effect on muscle hypertrophy, provided the volume is equal.
In layman’s terms, the number of times you train each week doesn’t matter as long as the total sets you perform for each muscle group per week remain the same. It’s worth noting that the workout regimen outlined by Chris Bumstead categorises his lower body sessions into two distinctive ones: those focusing on quads and those targeting hamstrings.
Chris Bumstead’s Off-Season Bodybuilding Techniques: A Comprehensive Guide
There’s a potential expectation that the Chris Bumstead workout follows an extremely rigid set of guidelines. However, the reality is quite different. While he doesn’t strictly adhere to every detail, his workout plan maintains a level of consistency that can’t be ignored.
If you delve into watching Chris Bumstead’s training sessions, what would likely capture your attention is his unwavering devotion to the fundamental exercises. He leverages a wide spectrum of movements in his routine, incorporating both free weights and tailored machines to build his iconic physique. Though certain exercises may be subject to slight modifications, the overarching structure of his training regimen persists.
Day 1: Chest
The week’s first training session is aimed at everyone’s favorite muscle group: the chest. Fascinatingly, Chris Bumstead, despite having lived with a shoulder injury for a few years now, finds that this issue affects his chest training more severely than his shoulder work. As a result, Bumstead’s approach to chest exercises focuses on movements that avoid exacerbating his injury since he identifies his chest as his weak point.
The chest workout for Chris Bumstead begins with him assuming a prone position on an incline bench while performing light dumbbell Y-raises. He then moves into the core of the workout with an incline dumbbell press. The objective here is to gradually increase the weights until he is executing two heavy sets, each with a near-maximum weight, within a range of 8 to 10 repetitions.
Following this, he continues on the incline bench for two sets of dumbbell incline flies that emphasize a full stretch at the bottom and a strong contraction at the top.
The subsequent exercise is the incline press on the Hammer Strength machine. For this part of his regimen, Bumstead performs two sets, each incorporating a drop set. Notably, he starts the second set using the same weight as the drop set from the first set.
Finally, he completes three sets of fifteen repetitions on the pec deck machine before rounding off his chest workout with two sets of push-ups to the point of muscle failure. At the conclusion of these push-ups, your chest will feel intensely worked. Yet, if you’re following his routine and seek some variety, there’s a plethora of different push-ups to experiment with.
CBUM Workout: Chest Day
|Incline Dumbbell Press||2||8-10 reps|
|Incline Dumbbell Fly||2||8-10 reps|
|Hammer Strength Machine Incline Press (Drop Set)||2||6-10 reps|
|Pec Deck||3||15 reps|
Day 2: Quads And Calves
Day two in the Chris Bumstead workout primarily engages the quads and calves, making it the significant leg enhancement day. Starting off, Chris recommends a solid warm-up that incorporates a superset of leg extensions and the adduction machine. Interestingly, Bumstead credits the adduction machine as a hidden gem for preparing the body for squats.
After completing a few warmup sets, he continues with two working sets on leg extensions. The second set here introduces a drop set.
The centerpiece of the workout is smith machine squats. Chris emphasizes on increasing the weight gradually, executing several low rep warmup sets to conserve energy. The objective is to reach the heaviest possible weight for a range of six to ten reps. Once the top set is achieved, the weight is reduced by approximately five percent for the second set.
Specifically during squats, Bumstead relies on a belt and a pair of knee sleeves for support. Interestingly enough, he performs the entire workout barefoot.
Displaying a departure from conventional leg routines, you will notice a conspicuous absence of standing lunges, or any lunges, in Chris Bumstead’s quads routine. Instead, the workout culminates with a tri-set including unilateral leg press, bodyweight sissy squats, and seated calf raises. The unilateral leg press, in particular, eases pressure off the lower back, allowing concentrated effort on one leg at a time.
CBUM Workout: Quad & Calf Day
|Leg Extension (Drop Set)||2||20 reps|
|Smith Machine Squat||2||6-10 reps|
|Leg Tri Set – Unilateral Leg Press||3||8-10 reps|
|Sissy Squat||3||12-15 reps|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||10-12 reps|
Day 3: Back (Thickness)
Day three of Chris Bumstead’s workout week is dedicated to the first back workout, specifically focusing on enhancing the thickness. Unlike other routines, Chris doesn’t have a specific warm-up process. Instead, he jumps right into action with the first exercise— an underhand close-grip lat pulldown. Interestingly, this will be the sole pulldown variant for the day.
The subsequent exercise is an incline bench-supported dumbbell row. Despite being underestimated and often overshadowed by bent-over barbell rows and the seal row, this exercise is a solid replacement for bent-over rows.
The next exercise on day three is a neutral-grip chest-supported T-bar row. The secret to maximizing this exercise lies in achieving full scapular retraction as you draw the weight towards your chest. Notably, on the second set, Chris includes a drop set.
Following this, the routine shifts to the machine chest-supported row. Each variation of chest-supported rows gives the back a different treatment. How you adjust your grip, the pull’s angle, or the elbow position can alter the way the muscle is targeted.
The final exercise in the back training series involves a lat extension using a Vulken cable attachment.
CBUM Workout: Back Day
|Close Grip Underhand Lat Pulldown||3||10-12 reps|
|Chest Supported Dumbbell Row||2||8-10 reps|
|Chest Supported T-Bar Row (Drop Set)||2||8-10 reps|
|Machine Chest Supported Row||2||10-12 reps|
|Cable Lat Extension||2||10-12 reps|
Day 4: Rest
Even though day four is designated as a rest day, it doesn’t mean your progress has to come to a halt. Remember, recovery is an essential part of your fitness journey. This is the time when your muscles repair and grow, so take it easy today.
It’s important during these rest days to keep up with your protein intake to facilitate muscle growth and recovery. Figuring out how much protein you require for muscle building is crucial. Despite not working out, your protein intake should match that of your active days.
Indulging in some chocolate whey protein can be a delightful and beneficial addition to your diet routine. However, don’t limit yourself, as the market is flooded with various excellent protein powder options you can explore.
Day 5: Shoulders
Chris Bumstead’s shoulder workout kicks off with a comprehensive warmup that includes band dislocations, as well as internal and external rotations. The inaugural exercise of this shoulder-focused day in Bumstead’s workout regimen involves a seated dumbbell shoulder press. Here, the aim is to gradually increase the weight while carrying out several light warmup sets.
For the two working sets, the goal is to utilize as heavy a weight as possible. Bumstead is known for his emphasis on shoulder press strength during the off-season, with an aspiration of being able to shoulder press 140-pound dumbbells prior to commencing preparation for the Olympia.
The following exercise in this day’s routine is a machine shoulder press. Notably, the third set involves a drop set to infuse additional volume into the workout.
Transitioning next to a seated dumbbell lateral raise, this specific positioning helps to curtail any possibility of cheating. Bumstead ensures that each of these two sets concludes with a drop set. Upon completing these, he shifts to the lateral raise machine to wrap up the exercises targeting the lateral delts.
To conclude Bumstead’s shoulder workout, he introduces two complex sets of reverse pec deck exercises into the mix with the intention of focusing on the rear delts.
CBUM Workout: Shoulder Day
|Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press||2||6-10 reps|
|Machine Shoulder Press (Drop Set)||3||6-10 reps|
|Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise (Drop Set)||2||8-10 reps|
|Machine Lateral Raise||2||10-12 reps|
|Reverse Pec Deck||2||10-12 reps|
Day 6: Hamstring And Back Width
The sixth day of Chris Bumstead’s workout routine zeroes in on his hamstrings with a little bit of back exercises mixed in for good measure. The session is launched with a round of lying leg curls; this acts as a preliminary exhaust for the hamstrings before approaching the deadlifts.
Chris is fervent about performing heavy deadlifts. Having set targets in terms of weight can provide a substantial boost to your morale during the off-season. Accordingly, one should strive to reach their peak weight for a series of 4 to 8 reps.
After the deadlifts, it’s time for some heft on those hamstrings, specifically through two more variations of leg curls—the seated and standing alternatives. Pursuing this, the focus swings to the back.
To begin the back exercises, Bumstead opts for wide-grip lat pulldowns. Notably, you may also substitute the pulldowns with wide-grip pull-ups in this cycle of the routine. The session culminates with a swift couple of sets of cable lat extensions, utilizing a double grip v-bar attachment.
CBUM Workout: Hamstring & Back Day
|Lying Leg Curl||2||8-10 reps|
|Seated Leg Curl||2||8-10 reps|
|Standing Leg Curl||2||8-10 reps|
|Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns||3||8-10 reps|
|Cable Lat Extension||2||10-12 reps|
Day 7: Arms
Wrapping up the routine, we focus on the arms – a key area that Chris is striving to boost this offseason. Chris Bumstead’s workout routine for the arms commences with rope press downs, shifting next to incline dumbbell skull crushers. With this, initiate the movement with your elbows aiming straight overhead, maintaining the accent on the triceps.
As you approach the finish of the set, you can lower your elbows to squeeze out extra reps. For an alternative move, one or two-handed grip barbell skull crushers, ez-bar skull crushers, or reverse grip barbell skull crushers can be opted for.
Following a pair of triceps-oriented exercises, the first biceps exercise enters the scene – EZ bar preacher curls. You may also choose machine preacher curls instead of using the EZ bar.
Dumbbell biceps curls are up next, a good old-fashioned workout. Again, the key is to rotate the wrist outward at the peak of the lift. For those wanting some diversity while sticking to this routine, hammer curls pose an excellent alternative option.
The ultimate triceps exercise in the lineup is a cable cross-body triceps extension. Set the cable roughly at the height of your head. Extend your arm from the opposite shoulder in a horizontal line until it’s fully stretched.
As the final touch to Chris Bumstead’s workout routine, wrap up the session with a low pulley cable curl, employing a v-bar handle.
CBUM Workout: Arm Day
|Rope Cable Triceps Pressdown (Drop Set)||2||8-10 reps|
|Incline Dumbbell Skull Crusher||2||8-10 reps|
|EZ Bar Preacher Curl (Drop Set)||3||8-10 reps|
|Dumbbell Curl||2||10-12 reps|
|Cable Cross Body Triceps||3||10-15 reps|
|Low Pulley Cable Curl with V-Bar Handle (Drop Set)||2||10-12 reps|
Day 8: Rest Day
Once more, let’s remind ourselves that meeting our protein targets, securing adequate rest, and allowing our muscles to recuperate and rejuvenate are vital.
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Essential Tips For Programming Your Workouts Like Chris Bumstead
Chris Bumstead’s workout strategy emphasizes rigorous training complemented by moderate volume, harnessing a method known as double progression. During his workout sessions, Bumstead aims for at least ten reps before considering an increase in weight.
The double progression model is a straightforward way to infuse an element of progressive overload into your training, mirroring the principles of Chris Bumstead’s workout strategy. This is how it works: You operate within a pre-decided rep range (say 8-10 reps) and persist with the same weight until you can comfortably hit the upper limit of that rep range.
Once you’ve accomplished the maximum reps in your decided range for every set in a particular Chris Bumstead workout, you escalate the weight by a margin of 5 to 15 pounds and begin the cycle anew. Essentially, the approach is concentrated on augmenting reps first, followed by an increase in weight as soon as it’s feasible, hence the nomenclature of ‘double progression’.
Additionally, the Chris Bumstead workout routine is well-known for its affinity for employing drop sets as a means to supercharge training intensity and expedite muscle growth. In a drop set, you perform a set with a specific load to near-failure, then with minimal rest, you continue with as many reps as you can at a reduced weight.
The Nutrition Fueling Chris Bumstead’s Physique: A Dive Into His Diet And Supplements
Even during the off-season, Chris Bumstead never compromises with his nutrition, ensuring his meals are packed with wholesome ingredients. From his ‘full day of eating‘ videos posted on YouTube, we can gather that he monitors his food intake using the app My Fitness Pal.
In his off-season, Chris Bumstead consumes approximately 5,000 calories on a daily basis, broken down into 265 to 290 grams of protein, 550 to 650 grams of carbohydrates, and nearly 150 grams of fat.
Bumstead’s diet primarily consists of wholesome, minimally processed foods that he typically prepares himself. However, he also incorporates meals from a meal prep service, Trifecta Nutrition, for added convenience. It’s critical to understand that even if one adheres to the Chris Bumstead workout, they likely won’t require the same high caloric intake.
Here’s a glimpse into an average off-season day in Chris Bumstead’s diet.
What Chris Bumstead Eats
|2 scoops of CBUM Itholate protein powder
16 grams almond butter
2 bagels with ghee butter
Revive glutamine and fiber supplements added to the shake
|6 to 8 ounces steak
300 grams sweet potato
1-2 servings of broccoli
|6 to 8 ounces grilled chicken breast or ground turkey
2 cups white rice
2 scoops of CBUM Thavage Pre-Workout Supplement
|6 to 8 ounces of ground beef
150 grams of carbs, like brown rice pasta
2 servings of marinara sauceRevive Glucose (GDA) with the meal
|6 to 8 ounces ground turkey
2 cups of jasmine rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
|1 scoop CBUM Itholate protein powder
80 grams oatmeal
32 grams almond butter
Revive Glutamine added to the protein shake
Along with his renowned bodybuilding routine, Chris Bumstead integrates several supplements into his regimen. A classic supplement in his repertoire is Revive Glucose. When combined with meals high in carbohydrates, this helps optimize the use of these carbs and decreases blood sugar levels.
Another crucial supplement that Bumstead includes in his protein shakes is Revive Glutamine. This supplement assists with a variety of functions, from boosting the immune system to promoting digestive health to facilitating muscle recovery.
In addition to these, Chris Bumstead has developed his own line of bodybuilding supplements, featuring protein powder and pre-workout formulas. For a high-quality protein supplement, consider trying the CBum Whey Isolate Protein Powder, available in a wide array of enticing flavors. May we suggest the Birthday Cake variant?
Moreover, to help prepare you for intense workouts in the vein of Chris Bumstead’s, you’ll want the powerful energy boost provided by the CBum Pre Workout. Explore the various flavors to discover your favorite.
Armed with these additions to your regimen, you’ll be following a program that mirrors Chris Bumstead’s fitness plan, encompassing both training and diet. And remember, the training, eating, and supplementing regimen of CBum could be within your reach.
Embracing Simplicity and Consistency: The Key Elements Of Chris Bumstead’s Workout Routine
Adopting Chris Bumstead’s training and dietary regimen may not promise you the iconic Sandow trophy, but it is guaranteed to help you make significant strides in your fitness journey. If an 8-day workout schedule seems overwhelming, don’t worry – there are numerous other effective workout splits you can explore to tailor your fitness journey.
At its core, Chris Bumstead’s workout and meal plan is steeped in simple, well-established training principles. Consistency, progressive overload, and a balanced diet are the pillars that support his regimen.
The striking simplicity of Chris Bumstead’s workout and diet plan may surprise you. But here’s the reality: there’s no secret sauce or unique techniques to his training routine that goes beyond common fitness knowledge.
At the end of the day, what matters most is the consistent dedication and hard work you put into your workouts and nutrition. There are no shortcuts to achieving a physique like Bumstead’s – unyielding effort and dedication are non-negotiable.
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- Front Physiol. (2018) – Higher Training Frequency Is Important for Gaining Muscular Strength Under Volume-Matched Training.Published online 2018 Jul 2. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00744
- Sports Med. (2015) – Warm-Up Strategies for Sport and Exercise: Mechanisms and Applications.2015 Nov;45(11):1523-46. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0376-x.