Canadian IFBB Pro Chris Bumstead took fan questions a little over a month after his last title defense. Speaking on his YouTube channel, Bumstead shared his goals, motivation, and reasoning for sitting out of the 2023 Arnold Classic, taking place from March 2-5, in Columbus, Ohio.
Bumstead is a four-time Classic Physique Olympia winner. Since dethroning his predecessor Breon Ansley, no one has been able to stop Bumstead’s momentum. His combination of aesthetics, conditioning, and stage presence set the standard for the division, which debuted in 2016.
Approximately 12 weeks before the 2022 Olympia, Bumstead teamed up with bodybuilding coach Hany Rambod. At the event, Bumstead earned gold and brought arguably his best package to date. Weeks after the performance, Bumstead revealed he was suffering from a bicep injury.
Despite the setback, fans and even some bodybuilding veterans have called on ‘CBum’ to make a splash at the 2023 Arnold Classic. While many consider him a shoo-in to win the Classic Physique title should he compete in Ohio, Samir Bannout suggested Chris try his luck competing in the Men’s Open division.
In a recent Q and A, Bumstead addressed why he won’t compete at the upcoming Arnold Classic. He also shared the pressures and motivation behind becoming a four-time Olympia titleholder.
Chris Bumstead on Olympia Reign: ‘I Don’t Feel Like I’m Miles Ahead’
According to Bumstead, he doesn’t focus on his competition anymore, but admitted he was chasing Breon Ansley from 2017-2018 before winning his first Olympia title.
“First of all, I don’t know or feel like I’m miles ahead. I also try not to let myself believe that. Second of all, I’m truly not focused on trying to beat someone. The last person I tried to beat was Breon when he beat me. And I was like, okay, ‘fu** if I want to win Olympia, I have to beat Breon.’ Even then, I should have been focused on beating myself.”
“I don’t really have self-doubt in my ability to win. I think I just put a really high amount of pressure on myself and it increases every single year. You can only see my demeanor switch to a little tense because fu** there’s pressure on me. But immediately after the Olympia, my shoulders drop a little bit; I’m a little bit relaxed. That’s not doubt. It’s like I said that pressure.”
Bumstead on Career Goals: “All I Want to Do Is Win Olympias”
Despite the prestige of the Arnold Classic title, Bumstead underlined the huge advantage he gets from sitting out to improve his physique.
“So, as I said, because I won the Olympia, I qualify [at Olympia] for life. I think that puts me at a huge advantage because I can then take three months off to really give my body a break and then recover and relax and then I can get into my off-season, slowly ease into it and make the changes and growth that I need to and then I can start prep. Then, I don’t have to worry about other shows in between.
That gives me an advantage because I get more time in the year and between shows. The Arnold Classic is always six months until the Olympia, post Olympia each show is six months. That would give me a month to recover, a month off-season, and then it would be into a three-month prep,” says Bumstead.
Bumstead wants his body to stay rested and youthful. At this stage of his career, he plans to build his legacy with only Mr. Olympia titles.
“I would just be in that cycle super quick with no downtime, and I really want my body to stay young, rested, and youthful. I don’t want to start look old, tired, beat up, and injured on stage. All I want to do is win Olympias – that’s the legacy I’m trying to build right now, Arnolds are not my priority.”
In preparation for his fifth title defense, Bumstead has begun taking measures in the off-season. During a recent leg day training session, Bumstead shared that he’s using peptides and stem cell injections to help aid with rest and recovery.
While fans would love to see Bumstead compete at the next Arnold Classic, he’s focused on the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest, taking place in the first week of November. For the next few months, ‘CBum’ intends to use the time wisely to bring an improved package to Las Vegas.