Chris Bumstead Trains Quads With an Improved Breathing Technique

The three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ is building up his wheels to claim a fourth title in Las Vegas.

While the three-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead got a score of five on his 2021 Olympia scorecard, meaning his physique was nearly perfect in the eyes of the judges, Bumstead still thinks there is room for improvement. Rather, advances to his physique are necessary if he is to remain in the coveted spot of his division’s throne.

The most significant area of improvement Bumstead is going for is his legs. The six-foot, one-inch tall Canadian took to his YouTube channel on July 4, 2022, to share a leg day with a focus on quads to take his lower body to the next level via an improved breathing technique. He will next compete on the 2022 Olympia stage on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. Check out the workout in the video below, courtesy of Bumstead’s YouTube channel:

[Related: Hassan Mostafa Wins 2022 Orlando Pro Bodybuilding Show]

Before the main workout begins, Bumstead gets in a warm-up that helps bring blood flow to his knees, loosen up his hips, prime his glutes, and get in some shoulder mobility work so that he is better prepared for sets involving a loaded barbell. Bumstead’s hips are a constant battle for him as he finds them consistently tight.

Leg extensions are first on the agenda. Bumstead starts light — only one 45-pound weight plate to get the motion down and ready himself for heavier sets. While he did not specify it, Bumstead appeared to perform hip adductors in a superset with leg extensions. He seemed concerned with the movement of his right knee, which was causing him some trouble, but he still managed to work up to four 45-pound plates in his top set of leg extensions. He closed out with a drop set before moving on to the Smith machine.

Bumstead opened with 360 pounds for his Smith machine squats (not including the weight of the barbell). Before taking 450 pounds for a set, Bumstead shared his new obsession with proper breathing techniques and how he has tried to implement it into his training. He classified proper breathing between sets as whatever allows for the most efficient oxygen intake. He does two breathing movements per inhale — the first half of the inhale fills up his belly, and the second fills his chest. So while he inhales twice before exhaling, he thinks about it as two inhales.

The more oxygen you have, the more energy you have, the harder you can push through a set, the stronger you are. Breathing is crucial to training.

Once five 45-pound plates dressed each barbell sleeve, a lifting belt joined Bumstead’s attire, and he reached full knee flexion for his two reps. At 500 pounds on the barbell, Bumstead slipped on knee sleeves and banged out seven reps. Though he felt lightheaded following that set, he continued with his programming, which called for another backoff set at 450 pounds.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

[Related: Gunnar Peterson To Mike O’Hearn: The Secret to Fitness Longevity Is Always Striving For Your Full Potential]

The third movement in Bumstead’s leg day was a single-leg press, which he likes as a way to heavily load the quads without putting any express pressure on the lower back. His lumbar sits snuggly against the seat pad while the weight is loaded on his leg. He presses in socks for a better feel of where he applies pressure on the platform and supersets those with bodyweight reverse squats. Bumstead closes out his leg day with seated calf raises.

My legs are cramping. We’ll call it a success.

Bumstead’s leg training appears to be more intense than everything shown on camera. He presumably reaches failure in each set as he reiterated feeling a fierce burn in his legs throughout the workout. We’ll see if his side-by-side photos of his 2021 and 2022 Olympia physiques show bigger legs in the latter.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram