Derek Lunsford Focuses on Mobility and Range of Motion to Build His Chest for the 2022 Olympia

The 212 Olympia champion believes his chest is where he can make the biggest year-over-year improvements for bodybuilding's grandest stage.

Reigning 212 Olympia champion Derek Lunsford headed to the gym for a strength-focused chest workout on July 26, 2022. He shared his training session in a video posted to his Youtube channel as he prepares to defend his title on Dec 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV, against the likes of former 212 champions Shaun Clarida and Kamal Elgargni, assuming they don’t compete in the Men’s Open (for which Clarida is qualified should he choose to move up).

Though the judges considered Lunsford to have the best 212-division physique on the planet in 2021, he plans to improve his chest to match his show-stealing back from last year. To get there, Lunsford aims to build strength, mobility, and range of motion to increase the size, thickness, and width of his chest. Check out the full video below, followed by details of his workout:

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Derek Lunsford’s Chest Workout

Below are the exercises Lunsford performed during his chest training session:

Incline Chest Press Machine & Incline Dumbbell Press

The first movement in Lunsford’s chest workout is the incline chest press machine. Lunsford does not get any working sets in on this movement. Rather, he uses it as his warm-up

Get the blood flowing, get a deep stretch, and really just prepare myself [for] dumbbell presses.

Lunsford maintains a high volume, keeping his chest under extended tension, to hopefully result in chest hypertrophy. He hit the incline dumbbell press with working sets of 10-12 reps. He worked up to 150-pound dumbbells, capping out at 18 reps.

Incline Chest Flyes, Cable Crossovers, & Bodyweight Dips

Lunsford’s second working movement is an incline plate-loaded chest flye machine. He does sets with a 45-pound and 25-pound weight plate on each side for sets of 10-12 reps. He then heads over to the cable crossovers to chase a pump by training his chest in the stretched position.

Keep the cables high — shoulder height or a little above — and keep the arms high to hit the upper chest.

Lunsford trains bodyweight dips, which provide him enough resistance, before heading back to the cable crossovers for a downward pressing motion. Changing the line of pull, or push in this instance, hits the chest muscle fibers differently from his previous flyes. The first set focused on the upper chest, while this last set hit the lower pecs after being primed by the dips.


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Flat Chest Press, Supported Straight Leg Raises, & Ab Coaster

A flat chest press alternating between a neutral and wide grip is next. Lunsford was feeling the burn at this point in his workout but embraced that onsetting fatigue.

This is about building strength and size, so if you don’t have a good range of flexibility, I would recommend making that a priority in your training.

Lunsford decided to add some additional ab work via supported straight leg raises with added resistance to sculpt his lower abdominals and finish with the ab coaster. A broad and thick chest can be accentuated on stage by a narrow waist and tight abs. The more significant the disparity between width in the chest and shoulders versus the waist, the more distinct the V-taper will look in poses like the front lat spread.

I am not fighting anyone else, I just want to be my best.

Lunsford aims to gain strength in his few weeks before transitioning into full-blown Olympia prep. He is bumping up the weight and rep counts, intending to lift heavy enough that 10-12 repetitions on his top sets will max him out. As the reigning Olympia champion, he is improving upon the best current physique in the division.

Defending the Title

As the 2022 Olympia approaches, we’ll see if Lunsford can maintain his chest gains as he cuts down to his shredded Olympia look. If he successfully defends his 212 Olympia title, he’d be the first man to go back-to-back in that division since seven-time Olympia champion Flex Lewis.

Featured image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram