Chris Bumstead understands the power of the mind heading into his fifth Classic Physique Olympia title defense. In a YouTube prep series video published on September 27, 2023, “Cbum” opened up about the challenges he faced this year and his mentality before taking to the stage in five weeks’ time.
“Focus on my effort. Not the result. My integrity. The people I love. And remember… I love this shit. Enjoy the damn process,” Chris Bumstead shared.
Having made history last year with a fourth Classic Physique Olympia title, Chris Bumstead continues to raise the bar in the growing category. In 2022, he secured gold at the Olympia competition against contenders Urs Kalecinski and Ramon Rocha Queiroz despite participating with a torn bicep.
Setting his sights on his fifth Classic Physique Olympia victory, Bumstead has been honest with fans about his headspace in 2023. Even with a number of threats looming in the division, Bumstead has remained steadfast, stating that he only needs to defeat himself on the big stage.
Iain Valliere, Bumstead’s brother-in-law, announced his retirement from competitive bodybuilding on September 7. While Valliere was Bumstead’s former coach, he says he doesn’t see the point in training him again given Hany Rambod’s accomplishments with “Cbum” thus far.
Chris Bumstead Opens Up on 2023 Olympia Pressures: “Enjoy It or Drown In It”
According to the 29-year-old, he’s been tested by “extreme life changes, living in fear, health scares, injuries, and personal stress” this season.
“Every year brings new challenges. This year certainly hasn’t been short of them. I toss and turn at night stuck in my thoughts staring at the ceiling, asking myself, ‘Why am I doing this? Is any of this even worth it?’ It feels like every time I get into a good groove everything falls apart. Every year I’ve been tested why did I think this year would be different?
I’ve worked hard over the years to be more present and to enjoy this beautiful journey I’m on but this year is testing me. Extreme life changes, living in fear, health scares, injuries, personal stress, more and more responsibilities… it’s funny. The more difficult your goals become the more challenges life throws at you. When you need to focus the most – it’s hardest to get.”
For most bodybuilders and Bumstead, winning an Olympia title is a dream. However, Bumstead believes the pressure of staying on top turned that prospect into a “crushing weight on my shoulders.”
“I started my bodybuilding career without a care in the world, just an impossible goal I was chasing. Now that I’ve achieved that goal it feels even harder to hold on to. What was once impossible is now what is expected of me. What was once a dream is now a crushing weight on my shoulders. But I lie here wondering… who am I to feel sorry for myself.
Have I not worked hard every day to earn these pressures? Has life not tested me again and again to prepare me for this? The choice is mine: either I get back to work or I quit,” shared Chris Bumstead.
“I might doubt myself at times but I know I have an army behind me of people who believe in me. And I will not let them down. It’s time I take a look in the mirror, slow the fuck down. I’ve long surpassed what was just a dream only years ago, I need to broaden my view. Stop focusing on what’s going wrong, focus on what I can make right.”
Part of being a dominant champion for Chris Bumstead is not letting titles, trophies, or achievements dictate happiness.
“One, two, three, four Olympia titles felt hard, welcome to level five; you’re going to earn this shit. It’s your choice to enjoy it or drown in it. I hate losing but I will not become a product of circumstance. I will not let an outcome dictate my happiness. When my time is up, the trophies on my shelves will be but I reminder that I had a goal and I can honestly tell myself, I did anything in my power to achieve that goal.”
“I enjoyed the damn journey and I never fucking quit.”
In spite of his Classic Physique dominance, Bumstead has flirted with the idea of competing in the Men’s Open division before retirement. Bumstead also mentioned that he’d entertain participation at the Arnold Classic if they moved the show two or three weeks after the Olympia.
There is considerable demand to see Bumstead try a bodybuilding division with no restrictions. “The Real Deal” Chris Cormier has recently urged Olympia to offer “Cbum” a special invitation to make a splash on the Open Mr. Olympia stage.
For now, the Canadian star is dialing in his focus before 2023 Olympia — taking place November 2-5 in Orlando, Florida, where he will once again vie for Classic Physique gold, bragging rights, and a cash prize against the world’s best.