The 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker headed to the Crunch Fitness in Stuart, FL, for another upper body training session focused on chest and biceps. Walker is amid a long off-season, building his physique to improve upon his fifth place overall ranking in his Olympia debut at the 2021 Mr. Olympia contest. His stated goal for 2022 is to raise the Sandow trophy overhead on bodybuilding‘s grandest stage, and his current training routine of programming by feel has reaped strength gains.
On Feb. 18, Walker took to his YouTube channel that hosts 121,000 subscribers to share a chest and biceps session that is “simple, but it works.” Check out the entire training session below:
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Walker’s session opens with machine chest flyes, which he has mixed feelings about. While the movement doesn’t allow Walker to reach maximal lifts, it does enable him to get a deep stretch in his chest that he can track, presumably with a well-developed mind-muscle connection. Training his chest in the stretched position has paid off for him over his relatively short bodybuilding career to press heavier weights.
Following his chest-flye warm-up that saw him take nearly the entire weight stack up, he began his first working exercise — machine incline chest press. After taking 180 pounds up with each arm, his cameraman asked if he was finished. Walker declined and instead opted to do a drop set of 10 to 12 reps before offloading one of the 45-pound weight plates off each handle.
Walker’s affinity for training with machines rather than dumbbells is primarily for the added stability during isometric work.
I can track the best with machines. I feel like there’s a more high-risk, high-reward when it comes to a barbell.
Walker is notorious for trusting his instincts and programming his workouts by feel. Aligned with that is choosing how he does his exercises by feel as well. He would train chest with free weights, but he finds it is more comfortable for him to use machines, so that’s what he does.
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Working his lower chest, Walker continues to opt for a machine. Again, he is training from the stretched position and supersetting them with bent-over cable flyes and push-ups. He maintains a tighter range of motion for the cable flyes to focus on training his chest in the contracted position. His push-up technique keeps his elbows reasonably close to his torso, putting more emphasis on his triceps.
After his chest training finished, Walker moved on to biceps work with a preacher curl. A close-up of his boulder-shaped arms shows circular marks near his shoulder, often seen after cupping therapy. He finished his drop set then moved to the dumbbell rack for single-arm biceps curls with supination at the top of each rep.
Walker’s final movement to finish off his biceps was a hammer curl on the preacher curl machine to target his brachialis. Although Walker’s programming does not include any fancy or unusual movements, his training consistently has an intensity that causes him to break a significant sweat.
Walker is vacating his Arnold Classic title by not competing in 2022. However, with a much longer off-season and his focus solely on the 2022 Mr. Olympia on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV, he can dedicate more time to bringing up the areas of his physique that kept him out of first-place contention in 2021.
Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram