2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker is training in the offseason with the goal of maximizing his potential in his sophomore appearance on the Mr. Olympia stage in Las Vegas, NV on Dec. 16-18, 2022. The 27-year-old pro bodybuilder is devoting extra attention to his lower body, more specifically the hamstrings, to help shore up potential weaknesses from the 2021 Olympia that kept him from ranking higher than fifth place overall. On March 23, 2022, he posted a video of his hamstring training with “quad touch up” on his YouTube channel. Check it out below:
[Related: Watch Flex Lewis and Rafael Brandão Train Chest Together at the Dragon’s Lair Gym]
Seated Leg Curl
“We’re going to start with the seated leg curl, which is usually how I start my hamstring workouts,” said Walker. The key benefit for seated leg curls is that you can isolate the hamstrings with the hips bent, which minimizes glute and hip flexor involvement. He uses both legs at the same time with this exercise.
The weight he used couldn’t be seen. He did two traditional sets, followed by one set of what he called “10-10-10.” After ten reps, he adjusted a handle on the machine to alter how the exercise was performed. He repeated this for a third mini-set of 10 to complete the 30 reps before moving on.
I like this more than free weight because of the constant tension.
Walker used a straight bar attachment and stood on blocks while working on the belt squat. His negatives for this exercise were very slow, maximizing the tension on the hamstrings. Once again, the exact weight Walker used wasn’t clear; portions of three sets were shown on camera. He went on to say that he did 10-12 reps per set.
Single Lying Leg Curl
Walker shared that he isn’t a fan of single-lying leg curls, but he felt he had to do the unilateral version on this particular day.
I feel these most when I do them with a single leg.
“We’re going to hit a little glutes right now,” Walker told the camera before the fourth exercise of this session. He indicated that he wasn’t sure how many sets he would do, but portions of what appeared to be three sets were highlighted. One of those included Walker reduced the weight for another drop set.
At this point, Walker shifted his focus to the “quad touch up” that he referenced at the beginning of the video. He started with the leg press. The machine he used allowed him to set the weight in three different positions, and he mentioned that he would use all three and go to failure on each.
Walker followed up the presses with leg extensions to isolate his quadriceps. He performed them with both legs simultaneously.
Nothing crazy here, just straight sets, depending on how I feel.
The speed of each rep was consistent from beginning to end. He performed around 12 reps for each set.
Machine Glute Kickbacks
The final sets of the day were devoted to glute kickbacks on a machine. His objective was to get quality contractions of both the glutes and hamstrings. After three sets for each leg, Walker called it a day.
View this post on Instagram
[Related: Bodybuilder Breon Ansley Says 2022 Will Be His Last Year In the Classic Physique Division]
Sample Hamstring Workout
- Seated Leg Curl — 2 working sets of 10 reps, 1 drop set of 10, 10, 10 reps for each weight.
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift — 3 working sets of 10-12 reps
- Single Lying Leg Curl — 2 working sets of 10 reps per leg
- Lying Leg Curl (Both Legs) — 1 working set to complete failure
- Abduction Machine — 2 working sets of 15-20 reps
- Leg Press — 3 working sets of 12-15 reps
- Leg Extension — 3 working sets of 10-12 reps, 1 set of 20 reps
- Machine Glute Kickback — 2 working sets of 12-15 reps
Walker’s analysis of the session was straightforward at the end of his video:
Nothing crazy, just hard and heavy, make sure the contractions are there. Pump the muscle up and get out.
When the above video aired, Walker had close to nine months to build upon his fifth-place finish at the 2021 Olympia. He is not expected to compete before stepping on stage in Las Vegas in December of 2022.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram.