Reigning four-time Classic Physique Olympia Chris Bumstead is in the zone for his upcoming title defense. In a rare and candid interview, Bumstead opened up about various aspects of his bodybuilding career and personal life on Hany Rambod’s The Truth Podcast. He shared his insights on how he is preparing for the 2023 Olympia, what his workout routine looks like, whether he would train mixed martial arts, and how he reacted to Iain Valliere’s unexpected retirement.
From the moment Canada’s Chris Bumstead arrived in the IFBB Pro League, fans immediately took notice of his statue-esque frame, fibrous muscle tissue, and calculated stage presence. Taking the Classic Physique Olympia crown from Breon Ansley in 2019, ‘Cbum’ has refused to surrender gold, dispatching contender after contender on the way to building his legacy.
Last year, Bumstead faced a season filled with obstacles and change as he lost his brother-in-law Iain Valliere as a coach. In Valliere’s place was Hany Rambod, a decorated trainer boasting decades of hands-on experience. Given Rambod’s background of working with high-profile names like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath, fans assumed it would be a strong pairing — and they were right.
At the 2022 Mr. Olympia competition, the 28-year-old outperformed his rivals Urs Kalecinski and Ramon Rocha Queiroz to claim a fourth Classic Physique title. Weeks after the triumph, Bumstead revealed that he earned gold with a torn bicep.
With the division’s growth exploding and competitors inching closer to his throne, Bumstead assessed his mentality heading into another title defense and how he’s feeling about Iain Valliere’s sudden exit from the sport.
“I’m Super Happy For Him” – Chris Bumstead Opens Up on Iain Valliere’s Decision to Retire
Bumstead was thrilled Valliere decided to hang up his trunks and “could tell in his heart that he was done.” Valliere mentioned in his official statement that his decision stemmed from a lack of passion and desire to compete though he also noted health concerns as a motivating factor.
“I mean, I’m super happy for him. And it’s cool because everybody is very happy for him – they all know that he gave everything he could into his career, he achieved a physique – he didn’t have the best genetics but he worked really fucking hard. And he seems at peace with his decision. He texted me before making the decision, asking me for advice, what I thought, and I could just tell in his heart that he was done.”“For him to understand that there’s so much more to life after bodybuilding and to be excited for that and to pursue that and to be able to do that from a high with his health at a young age and happily with his wife… I don’t think there’s a better way to retire than that.”“Part of that post [on Instagram] was inspired by my conversations with Iain. I always talk about having no quit and the end of the post, I say having a quit is a courageous and difficult decision when your heart is not in it and we need to move on to something new. In life, we always need to evolve.”
“Now I have to get the fifth one, there’s going to be another boss on the way there. There’s going to be another challenge I have to overcome because I have to earn that fifth title. Success comes with a lot of challenges and a lot of effort and a lot of trials and it’s just part of my trial to get through it, so.”“Yeah, we’re through the weeds. Now, we’re back to work and it feels good. The last few days especially, my body was able to rest and recover. We had some good training sessions. I feel like I’m coming back to life. Ready to rock and roll at eight weeks out.”
“Incline dumbbell press and incline flyes,” shared Cbum. “I love incline.”“I get scared to death when you train heavy. Those 170s, I was like oh shit,” said Hany Rambod.“I stopped doing that,” said Bumstead.“This year, honestly it’s been leg press. Yeah, 45-degree,” added Bumstead. “I’ve found I can do these lot wider stances, get a little more adductor in there, and just my whole quad I can just activate it and get a lot of range of motion on there because I have pretty flexible hips. I’ve really been liking the leg press this year.”
Cbum Talks Training Mixed Martial Arts and Working Out with Hadi Choopan
“No [I haven’t thought about working out or trying mixed martial arts]. Anyone who knows me, anyone who knows Chris, knows I’ll injure myself walking off a curb. If I try and fight someone, I’m going to fucking break everything in my body.”
“Even before I met Hadi through you backstage, we don’t speak the same language. I’m going to try [to learn Farsi],” Bumstead shared. “Everyone loves him, he’s a good guy. When I came down he was staying with you and I was staying with you, we were able to interact a little bit.”“He can get a lot of words across through his joking interactions. He’s just a good guy, He’s got a good heart. He trains really hard and he’s strong as fuck. It was fun training with him.”