Three-time Classic Physique Olympia champ Chris Bumstead is working hard during the offseason to continue his dominance in bodybuilding. In a recent video, Chris partnered with Men’s Open competitor Brett Wilkin to annihilate a series of back workouts at the Revive Gym in Stuart, Florida.
Looking to capture his fourth Classic Physique Olympia title in a row, Bumstead is determined to pick up where he left off in 2021. Entering Olympia each year with a refined physique is no easy task, but Chris understands the sacrifices and preparation it takes to stay on top of the sport. Last Dec., Chris contracted COVID-19 and lost a significant amount of weight. Recovering from the illness, Chris has focused on his bulking diet which amounts to over 5,000 calories per day.
Men’s Open competitor Brett Wilkin is new to the bodybuilding scene but quickly emerging as an athlete to watch. Wilkin scored his Pro card in 2018 as a Classic Physique competitor but went on to compete in the 212 division in 2019. That year he participated in two shows, Toronto Pro and Puerto Rico Pro. However, he took a hiatus from competition for two years to hone his physique for his highly anticipated Men’s Open bodybuilding debut.
In 2021, he successfully executed his debut and scored second place at the 2021 Chicago Pro. He intends to improve his physique after recently placing sixth at the 2022 Arnold Classic. Under the tutelage of Matt Jansen, Chris and Brett met up in Florida and got a killer back workout.
Chris Bumstead and Brett Wilkin Build Bigger Backs
In a recent YouTube video, Chris and Brett share techniques with each other while working out.
“Mr. Brett Wilkin AKA “The Butcher” is in town, so we’re going to be hitting some back today. He wanted me to run the workout but the rule is the smaller kid has to follow the workout. I use to be a little bigger than him and now he’s a lot bigger than me. So the role is reversed, he’s going to show me how to build a big back.” Chris Bumstead shared.
Bumstead and Wilkin’s Back Workout Session
- Lat Pull Down Machine — (Chris 2 sets of 10 reps, Brett 7 reps)
- Isolateral Row Machine — (Chris 10 reps, Brett 4 reps, Chris 3 reps, Brett 10 reps, Chris 7 reps)
- Chest Supported T-Bar Row — (Chris 4 reps, Brett 4 reps)
- Bent over T-Bar row — (Chris 8 reps then set of 10, Brett 5 reps, Chris 14 reps, Brett 15 reps)
- Cable triceps pushdown — (Chris 3 reps, Brett 6 reps, Chris 9 reps)
- Seated Cable low row — (Chris 11 reps)
The pair of bodybuilders start the training session on the lat pull-down machine. Chris hit 2 sets of 10, while Brett started with 7 reps total.
“So we’re starting to work out some pull downs with the prime handle here. It’s nice using this because you can actually rotate within it. So you can stretch and rotate your elbows in on the way down. The only thing is it’s really hard to hold. So once you get over like 10 plus reps, my brachialis starts to burn, horrible forearms, but probably a good thing. Starting out with this, stretch it a little bit, warm up and move on to rows or something.” Bumstead said.
Chris and Brett began the next muscle-building routine by utilizing the Isolateral row machine. Chris hit 10 reps at first. Brett followed with 4. Then, Chris did 3 repetitions. Brett followed Bumstead up with 10 reps. Bumstead finished the workout with another 7 reps after Brett finished his session. The pair of bodybuilders moved on and switched to chest-supported T-Bar Rows for 4 reps apiece.
“I feel good. These machines are all very lovely on the back. I don’t always love prime but that rotation you can get in your wrist will really let you lock your elbows in. It personally helps me a lot on the chest supported rows. So, the few prime attachments we’ve been using feel really good. I really focus now on my back through at least three of the exercises. I actually hold each rep in the contraction. So I squeeze my back like I’m hitting a pose on stage and then I let it go. It really helps me build my mind muscle connection, not as it can go heavy but it helps.” Chris shared.
“C-Bum” mentioned that he holds his reps in during each contraction to maximize results. He squeezes as if he’s trying to hit a pose and maintains that it has helped immensely in building his mind-muscle connection.
The pair of bodybuilders’ attack bent over T-Bar rows next. Chris starts with 8 reps. Then Bumstead hits 10 reps and follows it with another 14 reps. Brett starts with 5 reps before Matt Jansen offers some guidance. After speaking with his coach, Brett returns and hits 15 reps.
Chris and Brett start cable triceps pushdowns next. Chris practices 2 sets, one for 3 reps, and another for 9 reps, while Brett only hits 6 reps during this exercise.
Finally, Chris finishes the workout routine with some seated cable low rows. After firing off 11 reps, the pair call it a day.
“Alright so that’s a wrap on today’s back workout. Did a pretty successful training session as always, we keep the volume decently low, and do 1 or 2 working sets but it’s all you need for gas, by the end you can’t even pull anymore because we’re actually putting the work in on each set. So it’s good training with Mr. Brett over here. First workout of probably many if he moves down here. Probably my whole career I’ve trained with people bigger than me. So it’s just in my mind that I’m usually the smallest guy in the gym. So it’s always good to have bigger guys coming in. Make you strive for more. Even though I’m in Classic, there’s always room for improvement. Always room to grow even if I’m close to my weight cap. Good training session.” Chris said.
Bumstead is adamant that only one or two working sets are needed for a great pump. The three-time Classic Physique Olympia keeps the volume low but highlights the amount of work required for each rep. As aforementioned, Bumstead likes to practice slow contractions to maximize results during time under tension. Despite competing in a different division, Chris is happy to have a mass monster like Brett Wilkin training with him.
Undoubtedly Brett is learning a lot from a bodybuilder as decorated as Bumstead. After hitting a monster back workout, Chris and Brett continue to make notable improvements to their physiques during the offseason.