2021 Arnold Classic Champion Nick Walker is enjoying a long offseason preparing for his return to the stage at the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. He’s focused on adding muscle, and the strength gains that come with that — enough to shoulder press 150-pound dumbbells.
Those gains were on full display in the YouTube video published on Walker’s channel on Feb. 9, 2022. The nearly 300-pound Walker and his older brother, Lou, took on a shoulders and biceps session in the Revive Gym in Stuart, FL. As with his other workouts, Walker executed his reps with his best form possible and took some sets to failure. It featured a combination of machine and free weight movements. The session started at the 40-second mark in the video below:
[Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Greek God Zeus In the BMW iX Commercial for Super Bowl LVI]
Standing Lateral Raise Machine
The Walker brothers’ session began with side-delt training focusing on width. The Cybex lateral raise machine served that purpose, preparing for the more challenging exercises to come. The fixed handles and ability to lean against the chest pad minimized any ‘cheating’ on form. That positioning helps isolate the lateral head of the deltoid more than a dumbbell. Two sets are shown on camera before “The Mutant” pins the whole stack (205 pounds) for his top set.
Just warming up.
Six reps were shown on camera, but it’s not clear how many reps Walker performed. His older brother, Lou, assisted on the last four reps. The former North American bodybuilding champion then completed a double drop set, reaching failure three times.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The seated dumbbell shoulder press was the first compound exercise of the session, and Nick began with 60-pound dumbbells. The entire sets are not shown for this exercise, but Walker typically performs 10-15 reps, and sometimes more, for most sets. With his brother taking turns in between, the IFBB Pro went up to 90-pound dumbbells, followed by 120-pound dumbbells. After 10 reps with the 120s, Walker dropped them, proclaiming the dumbbells as “light.” The 140s were up next.
I need to strap up for this one.
Walker put on his weightlifting belt, and Lou helped him put the right dumbbell to the starting position, while Nick took care of the left one. After 10 reps, Walker was done with that set.
I felt that one. I’m getting strong.
Walker decided to up the weight once more to the 150-pound dumbbells for his final set. He had two men help him get the weights to the starting position. Walker scored six reps, with his brother spotting him. 150-pound dumbbell shoulder presses are not common in bodybuilding. For comparison, eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman performed 160-pound presses for six reps in his 2003 film, “The Cost of Redemption.” Walker later stated that he and his brother did a 20-rep burnout set, but it wasn’t shown.
Machine Shoulder Press
With three 45-pound plates on the middle sleeve of the Prime shoulder press machine, Walker performed 10 reps on camera with three-second negatives. He added a 45-pound plate on each side for the following set. The final set included an advanced technique — the Prime machine has three different sleeves for weight plates instead of the more conventional two sleeves, increasing the tension through the full range of motion. Walker reduced the weight to two 45s per side, moving them from one sleeve to another:
Ten reps (middle), ten reps (top), ten reps (bottom). It’s going to hit every resistance pattern.
Walker performed all 30 total reps and added partial reps at the end. Lou did the same.
Rear Cable Flyes & Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Rear cable flyes target the rear delts. Walker held the cable itself instead of using an attachment. Portions of Walker’s sets were shown, but the weight was not displayed on camera. They move back side-delt training, this time with dumbbell lateral raises. Walker started with 35-pound dumbbells, followed by 40s. The starting weight for his third set wasn’t shown, but he performed another drop set and closed with another set with forced reps with 30s.
Kaz Handle Cable Curls & Hammer Curls
Walker performed cable curls using Kaz handles, similar to what fellow IFBB Pro Brett Wilkin used in his recent arm workout. Instead of curling straight up, Walker curled the handles to the middle of his body.
Hammer curls focus on the brachialis as well as the biceps. The pro bodybuilder started with 40-pound dumbbells. The weight used on the second set wasn’t clear. On the third set, Walker stuck with the 40s and performed a brief rest-pause after reaching failure.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: 7-Time Mr. Olympia Phil Heath Shares His Chest and Shoulder Workout]
Sample Nick Walker Shoulders and Biceps Workout
- Standing Lateral Raise Machine — 3 x 10-15, Drop Set to Failure on Final Set
- Seated Dumbbell Press — 3 x 10-12, 1 x 6, 1 x 20
- Rear Cable Flyes — 2 x 10-12, 1 Drop Set
- Prime Shoulder Press — 1 x 10, 1 Rest-Pause Set, 1 x 30 Total Reps with Plates Moved
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise — 2 x 10-12, 1 Drop Set
- Cable Curls — 2 x 10-12
- Hammer Curls — 2 x 10-12, 1 x 20
Walker aims to improve upon his 2021 Olympia physique — which earned him a debut fifth-place finish — this offseason. Should the 27-year-old win the 2022 Olympia, he would be the first man under the age of 30 to win the title since Lee Haney won his fifth Olympia in 1988 at the age of 29.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram