Canadian bodybuilder Chris Bumstead has proven to be one of the most commanding champions in the sport. With four Classic Physique Olympia titles under his belt, he will target adding the fifth later this year at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. In a recent interview with Chris Williamson, Bumstead shared his morning routines, the most important factors for recovery, and building a ‘champion mentality.’
Chris Bumstead first rose to prominence for his refined muscle mass, detail, and symmetry as a Classic Physique competitor in 2017. He worked his way up the regional circuit and took silver in his Mr. Olympia debut. After missing out on the top prize to former two-time winner Breon Ansley for the second year in a row, Bumstead finally secured his first title at the 2019 Mr. Olympia. Since taking the throne, he has managed to ward off budding contenders, having won his fourth title at last December’s Olympia show.
Given his invincible aura in the Classic Physique, Bumstead raised speculation among fans about his chances in the Men’s Open division. IFBB Pro League athletes’ representative Bob Cicherillo backed him to be a top-10 contender in the Open and even believes he would hold his own against some of the freakiest mass monsters in the world if he packed on 15-20 pounds.
Bodybuilding veteran Chris Cormier believes there’s a demand to see ‘CBum’ pose next to top Open talent last month. He recommended Bumstead get a special invite to compete in the Open Olympia like Derek Lunsford received last year. In contrast, Rich Gaspari sees a long road ahead for Bumstead if he decided to make a splash in the marquee division of bodybuilding.
Bumstead opened up on the updated diet he’s using in the 2023 off-season and offered a sneak peek at his private gym, which is under construction. Then, he crushed a heavy legs workout en route to the 2023 Mr. Olympia later this year.
On the horizon, Chris Bumstead will likely be tasked with facing new contenders on the Olympia stage. Rising sensation Stephane Matala has emerged as a potential threat with his insanely shredded and aesthetic physique, though he’s yet to earn an invite to the show. Renowned bodybuilding coach Milos Sarcev admitted Bumstead had a better structure but favored Matala to eventually outshine him one day.
Chris Bumstead shares his morning routines
In a recent YouTube video, Chris Bumstead shared how his morning routines vary in prep and during the off-season throughout the year.
He likes to do cardio after waking up and keeps meals light early in the morning.
“Off-season, I wake up and usually just do a bit of light cardio. I’ve been in different time zones for the last six months so it’s just whatever time zone I’m on,” said Bumstead. “I normally wake up and do a little bit of cardio just like 20 minutes to make sure my appetite’s going and then I have a cold plunge. I usually dip my legs in there at least if not my full body, up to my waist then shower, eat, go to work. [Breakfast] varies consistently. I get sick of food really quick especially breakfast foods so I don’t like eating eggs when I’m eating a lot of food so I normally just make a smoothie and then I’ll have oatmeal blended into the smoothie and some Ezekiel bread toast and almond butter.”
As for prep, Bumstead ramps up the cardio and incorporates breath work.
“Prep evolves. I’m very fluid. My routines, depends on the time of the year, it’s just wherever I feel natural. I just kind of flow into that state, do what I can, and kind of thrive in that structure rather than really regimented. But in prep, I’ll wake up in the morning and usually do breath work thing because I get sucked in that. At first I tried to do it for the mental and now it’s just to oxygenate my body before waking up doing cardio. After that I’ll usually sauna, cold tub, or combine it. Then cardio will be higher at that point and then I’ll go shower and eat.”
Bumstead shares his best tips on recovery & rest
Chris Bumstead listed his best tips on optimizing recovery and rest. He stressed the importance of sleep and laid out the other techniques he uses to boost recovery.
“Sleep is probably the number one thing. Whether it’s brain health, aging, or just high performance, sleep is one of the most important aspects anyone can have. You lose any bit of sleep you’re used to and your body just suffers more than you can even understand. Being super regimented on sleep and that’s why when I’m in different time zones I don’t set an alarm. Some people believe you should create your circadian rhythm as fast as possible. I’m like na I’m going to get eight hours in no matter what. I let myself get eight hours and I usually aim for nine because I don’t sleep the whole night fully. Sleep has been absolutely huge.
“At a point in my career when I was 21, started to get more injuries, like adrenal fatigue almost, I trained six-seven days a week for three hours, I felt like I needed to tone it back a bit. Then I started training five days a week for three hours I had a little more progress. I noticed as I was pulling away from the volume essentially I actually started to progress more and feel better. So, allowing myself to have more time to recover made me stronger.”
“Obviously basic sh*t like protein intake is huge, timing of it I really don’t think matters. Ice baths, saunas helped me a lot. Stretching, active recovery, doing cardio and stretching immediately after so you’re a little bit warm, and I do a lot of soft tissue work. When I’m in prep I probably do a week or two.”
“Hyperbaric chamber’s the next step. I need one of those in my house.”
‘CBum’s principles for a champion mentality
Chris Bumstead gave fans a look into the principles of having a champion mentality.
“Originally it was just winning and it evolved into like a no quit mentality. It’s accepting these fears, doubts I have, and everything that goes through my mind but regardless of that not quitting and not giving up on myself. No matter how hard the time or what I’m going through, I’m still going to put in the same work regardless of how I feel. That’s a champion mentality. Champions are not controlled by the circumstances. They control their own mind inside and then the world gets on around them. I really think greatness in champions not only elevate themselves but the people around them.
“You’re put into a position where you can help others. When you’re in a position of greatness, you can elevate others to a higher level and being able to inspire and bring them up to be better people is part of what makes you great rather than just the selfish act of being you.”
Chris Bumstead smashed a brutal back workout to build muscle in the off-season earlier this month. He followed it up by revealing his top ten exercises to induce hypertrophy a week later.
Bumstead revealed Trenbolone as the most toxic steroid he stays away from last week. And he’s not the only bodybuilder to say as much. Larry Wheels has also stated that his time on Trenbolone was a ‘living hell.’ Meanwhile, other competitors like Nathan De Asha have sworn by the compound, mentioning that its helped give him strength year-round.
Chris’ latest offering provides insight into the Olympia-winning techniques of a champion and will help fans level up their fitness game.