On July 20, 2022, bodybuilder Chris Bumstead headed to the gym for what was supposed to be a routine but challenging shoulders workout. Amidst the reigning three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ’s (2019-2021) test of things like his overhead strengthhe captured a new personal record (PR) — a 140-pound dumbbell press for eight reps.
Bumstead shared a video of this shoulder workout on his YouTube channel on July 23, 2022.
[Related: The Best Exercises, Workouts, And Warm-Ups You Can Do]
Less than five months before the 2022 Mr. Olympia, Bumstead is still stacking mass. This shoulder workout follows a recent spate of Bumstead sharing other demanding routines concerning him arms and legs. Factor in a thoughtful glimpse at a typical day’s worth of bulking nutritionand it would appear that the Canadian athlete wants to document his entire journey en route to a potential fourth Classic Physique title.
Here’s the complete rundown of Bumstead’s recent shoulder workout as he continues to prepare for the upcoming Mr. Olympia on December 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Bumstead’s Shoulder Workout
Before he dives into the full shoulder workout, Bumstead starts the session by performing several warm-up sets of incline front dumbbell raises while utilizing a hammer grip. His intention with this exercise is to prepare his shoulder muscles for heavier loads.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Bumstead elects to complete his dumbbell shoulder press while seated and on a slight incline so he can give more attention to his anterior (front) deltoid muscles. The bodybuilder stresses that it’s not about the precise weight but quality stimulation of the muscles he’s working. Even still, after starting with 70-pound dumbbells, Bumstead eventually worked up to 140-pounders and performed eight reps — unintentionally logging his new PR.
“I will train shoulder press, like 140 pounds,” Bumstead says. “We’ll see. I feel like I can do it. If you believe, you can achieve.” “… Three weeks into my off-season hitting PRs in shoulder press… my shoulders feel good.”
To conclude this portion of the routine, Bumstead performs a drop set, lowering the dumbbells by just 10 pounds, and cranking out reps until failure.
Machine Shoulder Press
The next phase of Bumstead’s workout features the machine variation of the shoulder press. Focusing on volume, he starts with 45-pound plates on each side. He works his way down rest-wise from 30 seconds after his first set to 10 seconds before his fourth and final set. The athlete calls these “slow drop sets” because he notes the decreasing rest allows him to implement more overall volume into the routine while still pushing towards failure.
[Related: How To Do The Incline Bench Press For Upper-Body Size And Strength]
Seated Dumbbell Side Laterals & Single-Arm Rear Delt Cable Flyes
With the initial steps of his workout complete, Bumstead shifts to a superset of dumbbell side laterals and single-arm rear delt cable flyes. The Canadian bodybuilder uses 40-pound dumbbells for some 16-rep sets and punctuates them with standing single-arm rear delt flies.
During this segment, Bumstead says his body weight was 259 pounds the morning he filmed the video. According to the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness’s (IFBB) Classic Physics standardsbecause Bumstead stands at a height of 6-foot-1 — he’ll have to cut down to at least 230 pounds by the time the Olympia rolls around.
However, according to the Canadian athlete, he’s the “leanest” he’s ever been at this weight, signaling that he may have more mass at his weight cap this year.
Machine Lateral Raise & Reverse Rear-Delt Flyes
After finishing off a superset with dumbbells, Bumstead continues to focus on his rear and side deltoid muscles. He performs one superset of side lateral raises on a kneeling lateral raise machine which he complements with rear delt flies on a pec deck (or chest fly machine).
Straight Leg Raises
Before Bumstead calls it a day, he ad-libs a quick core workout with a set of straight leg raises.
[Related: The Science Behind Deload Weeks Explained]
A Delicate Balance
While he’s working hard trying to achieve more bodybuilding greatness, Bumstead recently emphasized the importance of mental health.
During a Q&A from May 2022 on his YouTube channel, Bumstead stated how vital recovery and time for one’s self is to avoid “burnout.” He noted that he has the opportunity to take ample time off after every Olympia contest, but that isn’t necessarily the case for everyday people, and he stressed that fact.
Whatever Bumstead has done to keep himself centered appears to be working well. He’ll go for his fourth straight Classic Physique Olympia title on December 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Featured image: @cbum on Instagram