IFBB Pro League Men’s Open bodybuilder and 2021 Romania Muscle Fest Pro winner Rafael Brandão returned to Las Vegas, NV to train with seven-time Olympia 212 champion James “Flex” Lewis in preparation for the 2022 Arnold Classic South America contest. On Mar. 22, 2022, Lewis released a chest training video on his YouTube channel that featured Brandão five weeks out from that competition and IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone. The workout, led by Lewis’s trainer, Neil Hill, took place in the Dragon’s Lair Gym in Las Vegas, NV:
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Incline Dumbbell Press & Incline Dumbbell Flye
Brandão, Lewis, and Cardone took turns on the first exercise of the day, the incline dumbbell press. The bench appeared to be set at a moderate incline, on which they each performed two sets of 15 reps with a pair of 110-pound dumbbells.
Brandão started the incline dumbbell flyes with 60-pound dumbbells, and he kept the rep range similar to what he did in the first set. Lewis used the same weight as Brandão. Hill provided spots to all three men when needed, to push them past the initial point of failure. Brandão and Lewis used 70-pound dumbbells on the second set, which also went for 15 reps.
Seated Chest Press Machine
After two free weight movements, they switched to machine work. The seated chest press machine was loaded with three 45-pound weight plates on each side for Brandão. The first set wasn’t captured in its entirety on camera.
Under Hill’s watchful eye, Lewis executed his set slower to maximize tension on the pecs, using the same weight as Brandão did for his first set. Brandão went up to four plates, and Hill counted out 20 reps. Lewis reached failure at the 15-rep mark. Brandão performed a second set with the same weight. The 15-20 rep range was what Hill was looking for out of all his trainees, even if they had to perform partial reps to get there.
After the third exercise, Brandão revealed more of his physique by posing for Hill and Lewis to evaluate. Lewis provided tips to help Brandão make the most out of each pose. Lewis then performed his final set of the seated chest press.
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Cardone was first on the pec-deck flyes, performing 20 reps. Brandão followed suit, occasionally holding the contracted position for a short time before continuing. Three sets were performed by all three bodybuilders.
Sample Rafael Brandão/Flex Lewis Chest Workout
- Incline Dumbbell Press — 2 work sets of 15-20 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Flye — 2 work sets of 15-20 reps
- Seated Chest Press — 3 work sets of 15-20 reps
- Pec-Deck — 3 work sets of 15-20 reps
At the end of the video, Lewis can be seen shirtless talking to Hill, teasing what he looks like at this stage of his training. He’s preparing as if he will compete in the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022 in Las Vegas, NV. As of this writing, he’s currently not qualified for that show. There is no official word on if he will receive a special invite.
Featured Image: @rafabrandaopro on Instagram