Hadi “The Persian Wolf” Choopan is the reigning Mr. Olympia. He will attempt his first title defense at the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL, on Nov. 2-5, 2023. Choopan uses high-volume training to build his lower body, which he hopes converts him to his second Sandow trophy.
On Aug. 27, 2023, Choopan published a video on his YouTube channel that featured his leg training 10 weeks ahead of the biggest bodybuilding competition in the world. Watch the workout below:
Hadi Choopan’s Olympia Leg Workout
Below is The Persian Wolf’s workout, along with his training methodology.
- Single-Leg Leg Extensions
- Seated Leg Extensions
- Machine Hip Adduction
- Barbell Walking Lunges
- Leg Press
- Smith Machine Leg Press
- Sumo Deadlifts
- Seated Leg Curls
Extensions & Adduction
Choopan starts with leg extensions to train his quads. Adding single-leg extensions (also known as unilateral leg extensions) to the mix helps him quell muscle imbalances in his legs, which ideally promotes symmetry to his aesthetic.
He then performed reps on the adduction machine to work the inner thighs. Thickening the inner thigh prevents a thigh gap from disrupting the flow of a physique on stage during poses like the front or back double biceps.
Lunges & Leg Presses
Lunges are unilateral movements that bias the quads depending on how far the knee tracks over the toes. Choopan gets sufficient knee flexion during each lunge, meaning his quads are training in a lengthened position while simultaneously improving his stability and core.
Choopan uses the Smith machine as his leg press. By positioning vertically under the machine’s barbell, Choopan can continue to load tension on his quads.
Choopan finishes with two variations of deadlift – sumo and traditional – and seated leg curls to load his hamstrings and lower back. Sumo deadlifts place less tension on one’s posterior chain than a conventional deadlift but provide improved glute activation.
Choopan’s leg training techniques are aimed at the desired effects of improved aesthetics and size. One such technique is a slow, controlled eccentrics (also known as the negative). He pairs this with explosive – yet still controlled – concentrics (i.e. the contraction).
High Volume & Weight Distribution
Another technique Choopan uses is a massive amount of volume — each set is in the 12-20 rep range. He mixes and matches weight depending on the movement. For barbell exercises, such as walking lunges and deadlifts, he trains lighter. Conversely, on machines, he more liberally loads the weight plates, as he did on his leg press of 900 pounds.
Throughout the video, Choopan trains in silence, hyper-focused on his main goal: bringing his best physique to the 2023 Mr. Olympia stage to ward off title contenders, such as 2022 Olympia runner-up Derek Lunsford and the third-place finisher Nick Walker.
Featured image: @hadi_choopan on Instagram