Big Ramy Machine Presses 440 Pounds for Reps During Olympia Prep With Bodybuilder Dennis James

The reigning and defending Mr. O worked shoulders during prep — and he didn’t go light on the weight.

How can you tell it’s Olympia prep season? Nearly every day, defending champions and hungry up-and-comers are taking to social media to post progress pictures and workout videos as they train to take the stage and make history this December. And Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay is no different.

A few weeks back, the reigning two-time Mr. Olympia champ posted a physique update on Instagram that showed him tipping the scales at 336 pounds with abs 18 weeks out from the show. And on Sept. 2, 2022, bodybuilding veteran and coach Dennis James went on social media to showcase Ramy repping through 440 pounds on the iso-lateral shoulder press machine with ease. Check it out:


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A post shared by Dennis James (@bigdjames)

[Related: 12 of the Biggest Men’s Bodybuilders of All Time]

At the start of the video, Ramy loads up the machine with 10 20-kilogram plates (44 pounds each) and blows through a set of 10. Immediately after the set, a plate is removed from each side for another set of 10, totaling 160 kilograms (353 pounds).

These drop sets continue until a final set of 10 with two plates on each side, totaling 80 kilograms (176 pounds). In all, Ramy performs four sets of 10 in quick succession. 

Immediately after James posted that video, Ramy posted a clip from what looks to be the same workout where he goes through five drop sets of dumbbell lateral raises in about a minute and 40 seconds.


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A post shared by Mr Olympia Big Ramy (@big_ramy)

[Related: Urs Kalecinski Looks Absolutely Stacked at the Start of His 2022 Classic Physique Olympia Prep]

What Are Drop Sets?

Basically, a drop set is a technique where the lifter performs one set of a particular number of reps — 10, for example — and then drops the weight down by 10 to 20 percent and immediately performs another set.

The idea is that you potentially recruit additional muscle fibers during the exercise and force more blood into the muscles you’re working on. This could lead to greater growth, making it ideal for bodybuilders during prep. Drop sets usually total three sets, but Ramy ratcheted it up to five on both moves.

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Featured Image: @bigdjames on Instagram