Chris Bumstead continues to push himself by working with the finest individuals in the bodybuilding industry. Recently, CBum partnered with legendary bodybuilder Flex Lewis for an intense back workout to get one more step closer to the fifth Classic Physique Olympia title.
Canada’s finest Chris Bumstead is one of the most popular active bodybuilders on the planet. He has achieved the distinction by proving his worth in the competition. Since winning the Classic Physique Olympia title at the 2019 Olympia, the 28-year-old phenom has defended it with an iron will at the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Olympia.
Bumstead’s time in competitive bodybuilding is nearing the end as he intends to defend the Olympia title a few times before calling it a career. He entered the 2022 Olympia competition with a torn bicep and spent the first couple of months recovering from the injury.
As a part of his off-season effort, the Classic Physique kingpin joined veteran bodybuilder Flex Lewis for a back workout. Lewis is best known for his dominant title reign in the 212 division that saw him secure the 212 Olympia crown seven consecutive times from 2012 to 2018.
Lewis briefly considered a move up to the Men’s Open division but it never came to fruition. He announced retirement from the sport in May 2022 and has significantly downsized since. Successful business ventures like the famous Dragon’s Lair gym have kept Lewis busy and he is often seen helping active bodybuilders achieve their competitive goals as well.
Lewis and Bumstead went through the training session at the Dragon’s Lair gym. The video of this session was posted on CBum’s personal YouTube channel. So let’s check out how the bodybuilding greats worked towards building their backs.
Chris Bumstead and Flex Lewis go through a back workout
The back workout consisted of a total of four exercises – one vertical pull and three horizontal pull (rows). Vertical pulls like lat pulldowns primarily target latissimus dorsi (lats) – the large fan shaped muscle in the back. These movements are primarily responsible for building a wide back by developing the lats.
Horizontal pulls or rows are essential for giving thickness to the back. As a result, a training routine that emphasizes both types of movements is the key to complete back development.
Chest Supported Rows
CBum and Lewis kicked off the session with chest-supported seated rows on a plate-loaded machine. This compound movement engages many different muscles in the upper body which makes it efficient for building upper body strength and muscle mass.
Bumstead and Lewis started out light and slowly added more weight to the subsequent sets after sufficiently warming up the muscles. Following some solid sets of the exercise, they took to the second exercise of the day.
Chest Supported T-bar Rows
The bodybuilding community commonly accepts that rows are the best compound movement for building a 3D back. However, there are endless variations to choose from and they all deserve a place in your back routine. But if you could choose only one, our team at Fitness Volt would recommend T-bar rows.
T-bar rows work many different muscles like latissimus dorsi, trapezius, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, biceps brachii and erector spinae. These factors make it a classic back builder. Bumstead and Lewis cranked out a few sets of this exercise on the chest supported T-bar rows machine and jumped into the next exercise of the session.
Arsenal Strength Iso Lat Pulldown
Following the two major rowing movements, CBum and Lewis took to the first and the only pulldown movement of this training session. They got some heavy sets of Lat pulldown under the belt using Arsenal strength lat pulldown machine. Both weight arms of this machine attach to separate weight stacks independently. This helps create balance in both sides of the body as the person cannot pull the weight by using the favored side of the body.
The bodybuilder duo destroyed the sets of lat pulldown with incrementally heavier weights and took to the finisher of the day.
Seated Cable Rows
The back workout concluded with this rowing movement. The training partners called it a day in the gym after doing a few sets with slow and controlled motion.
Overall, the workout included:
- Chest Supported Rows
- Chest Supported T-bar Rows
- Arsenal Strength Iso Lat Pulldown
- Seated Cable Rows
Chris Bumstead has openly admitted that being a dominant champion comes with immense pressure. He is not untouched by the fear of losing his top spot. However, if he surrounds himself with the right people and keeps company with people like Flex Lewis who have been there, and done that, CBum can maintain the correct mindset to realize the dream of retiring on top.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Chris Bumstead’s personal YouTube channel:
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