Chris Bumstead Dominates a High-Volume, Heavy Leg Workout

The reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion hit an anabolic leg day in the waning days of his off-season.

Three-time reigning Classic Physique champion Chris Bumstead filmed another quad-focused leg workout for a video he posted on his Youtube channel on Aug. 10, 2022. Bumstead is deep into his off-season, growing as much as possible before his next prep.

Bumstead aims to make improvements to his overall package, and his bigger legs are of particular interest to him when he steps on stage at the 2022 Olympia, scheduled for Dec 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. He will attempt to bring home his fourth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title

Bumstead crushed his hard and heavy leg workout at the Revive Gym in Stuart, FL. Check it out below, followed by the full workout details:

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Bumstead opened the video with his lunch: a meat-packed deli sandwich made with turkey, lettuce, and mustard on deli bread. Bumstead joked to the camera:

Probably not gonna get big. The off-season is almost over.

Bumstead weighed 260 pounds at the time of this video’s publication. He made many physique improvements despite some minor injuries during his growth phase that he attempted to cure through stem cells.

Warm Up

Before Bumstead began his workout, he warmed up on a stair climber in reverse to prep his joints and hamstrings. He rolled out his quads to stay limber during his forthcoming heavy working sets. 

Backwards on the stairmaster means one thing, leg day once again.

Bumstead has been hitting his legs twice a week during his off-season — one quad-dominant day and one hamstring-dominant day to pack as much mass on his legs as possible before cutting calories for his Olympia prep.

Seated Leg Extensions, Lying Leg Curls, & Massage Therapy

Bumstead opened his workout by supersetting seated leg extensions with lying hamstring curls. This further warmed up the front and back of his knees without applying much additional stress and pre-exhausted him before the heavier compound movements.

Bumstead mentioned that his legs were sore as he had received an intense massage earlier. He has been seeing a massage therapist to help mend his injuries and break up muscular scarring so he can continue to progress in the gym.

I was on the bed shaking and crying. The therapist [said], “Relax. This is your muscles letting go of memories of pain that you’ve put them through.”

Bumstead listens to his body while training. If an injury feels close or a muscle acts up, he tries to resolve it as soon as possible.

Superset: Smith Machine Squats & Bodyweight Sissy Squats

Fully warmed up and ready to tear down his quad fibers, Bumstead hit squats in the Smith machine. Squatting in the Smith machine allows for a deeper focus on form as the need for bracing isn’t prevalent in a standard barbell back squat, as the barbell is on a fixed track.


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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

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Bumstead can adjust where the bar descends by adjusting foot placement so there is less pressure on the knees and lower back.

“Why the Smith machine is the G.O.A.T is I can do really close squats, feet in front of me almost like a sissy squat. But in a Smith, purely loaded on my quads, especially if you have a Smith machine that comes forward, knees over toes, right on the quads.”

Bumstead started with a 45-pound weight plate on each side and worked his way up to a top set with 10 45-pound plates total for seven to eight repetitions. Bumstead had difficulty locking out the higher reps, so Brett Wilkin came over to root him on.

For anyone that has tight hip flexors, it’s almost like a stretch…then contract so they actually strengthen in the stretch position.

For Bumstead’s last set, he opted to superset with bodyweight sissy squats in the Smith machine to really burn out the muscle.


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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

[Related: Jay Cutler Demonstrates the Lying French Press for Greater Triceps Gains]

Cybex Single-Leg Press

Bumstead’s next exercise is the single leg press. He completed a single leg variation not only to work each side leg equally but because it felt better on his knees. It allowed him to work each leg hard with equivalent weight overall.

Bumstead focused on slow, controlled movements through the concentrics and eccentrics. He completed a rest pause set for each leg on the last set for 10-12 repetitions per leg.

Leg Extensions, Seated Calf Raises, & Seated Leg Curls

The leg extension was next for Bumstead. Bumstead continued his strategy of slow eccentrics with a firm squeeze at the top of each rep. He completed two triple drop-sets to burn out the quads while utilizing less weight on his knees.

I can literally hear your joints cracking.

Next up, Bumstead removed his shoes for plate-loaded seated calf raise machine work in just his socks to hit the soleus portion of his calve. He started with a 45-pound plate on each side and worked up to a 45-pound and 25-pound plate on each side.

I almost died, rest in peace CBum, never makes it to his fourth Olympia.

Bumstead finished his leg workout with seated lying leg curls superset with additional seated calf raises.

Chris Bumstead’s Leg Workout

Below is each exercise in the order performed by Bumstead at Revive Gym during his leg workout:

  • Superset: Seated Leg Extensions & Lying Leg curls 
  • Superset: Smith Machine Squats & Sissy Squats
  • Single Leg Leg Press
  • Seated Leg Extensions
  • Superset: Seated Calf Raises & Seated Leg Curls

Bumstead trained heavily but intelligently — he did a thorough warm-up, performed rest-pause sets, and programmed supersets with intensity and volume while keeping the weight within a range he could control through the full range of motion.

Bumstead remained steadfast regarding injury prevention as he has been working through some knee and lower back pain. He commented that his knee has been hurting less since working around it. Massage therapy helped his recovery improve, so he has leveraged that on his leg days.

Eighteen weeks out as of this as Saturday.

The intensity of Bumstead’s leg workout and higher rep counts will likely help him build up his lower body for his upcoming Olympia prep. We’ll see if the comparison photos from the 2021 Olympia display an overall improved package for Bumstead on the 2022 Olympia stage.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram