Breon Ansley Shares Mass-Building Leg Workout During His 2022 Olympia Prep

The two-time Classic Physique Olympia champ went all out for a quad-centric isolation leg day.

Two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Breon Ansley seeks to bring his best package to his final Classic Physique show at the 2022 Olympia. The show is scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV — and Ansley has made significant improvements during his off-season to bring a larger physique to the stage to compete against three-time defending champion Chris Bumstead.

Ansley has encountered severe knee pain over the past several months leading up to his Olympia prep but has recently seen some dramatic improvements. He took advantage of that reprieve from pain to his an all-out leg session. He filmed his workout and published it on his YouTube channel on Oct. 19, 2022. Check it out below: 

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The main focus is number one: conditioning, sharpness. Number two: tightest waist [of] my entire life. And number three is quad fullness.

Ansley began with a 10-minute warm-up on a stationary bike to loosen up the joints and be less prone to strain his knees further. Ansley was joined by Bikini competitor Dani Phelps, who is prepping for her Olympia debut.

Ansley and Phelps’ leg day started with single-leg extensions.

I will stay full with the vastus medialis — the teardrop, as we call it in bodybuilding — and my quad sweep.

To maximize his efforts, Ansley challenges himself by pushing past his fatigue threshold. He feels his leg workouts aren’t as productive when he focuses on heavier weights. He prefers higher volume to reach hypertrophy — he has found that this type of training adds a level of conditioning to his muscles that separates him from the field.

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Single Leg Press

Ansley works his way up to two 45-pound weight plates and a 25-pound plate on each side for slow and controlled reps on the single-leg press.  He mixes up the tempo instead of the weight as the sets progress. Ansley could go heavier, but he reiterates that heavier weights aren’t the only way to reach mechanical failure when training.

That last rep took everything out of me.

Ansley finds super-heavy weights to be a distraction from what bodybuilding is for him: developing a mind-muscle connection to ensure that the targeted muscle moves the weight. Bodybuilding is an art form. A sculptor wouldn’t take a sledgehammer to a piece of granite for finer details.

For Ansley, lifting as he does will improve his longevity in the sport. He is a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter — his result is on stage, not in the gym. He performed four sets of single-leg presses for 12-15 reps with one-minute rest between sets.


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Bulgarian Split Squats, Lying Hamstring Curls, & Stiff-Legged Deadlifts

Ansley wraps his knees and grabs a bench for some dumbbell Bulgarian split squats. Ansley performs these with a five-second eccentric and a three-second concentric. Ansley finds this movement extremely difficult. His first set only incorporated 10-pound dumbbells.

When it starts to get tough, you get tougher.”

Ansley and Phelps performed the split squats under Ansley’s portrait at Gold’s Gym. After finishing their quads, Ansley and Phelps switched to hamstring-biased movements.

They hit lying hamstring curls with slow, controlled reps. Ansley admired Phelps’ work ethic:

Look at that control there, that is champ work right there.

Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts emphasized the duo’s hamstrings, getting a full stretch at the bottom of the movement. Their range of motion was relatively narrow not to put any unwanted stress on the lower back.

Breon Ansley and Dani Phelps’ Leg Workout

Below are the exercises performed by Nun and Bailey:

Ansley was nine weeks out at the time of his video recording. He closed out his training session as he always does with posing. Ansley’s goal is to get sub-200 pounds as he heads into the Olympia for the last time as a Classic Physique competitor before growing for future shows.

Featured image: @breonma_ on Instagram