In the middle of his off-season training, Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford carved some time out to go over and spend a day with bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman. Over the last few years, it has become apparent that American professional bodybuilder Derek Lunsford is a special talent that belongs to the absolute creamy layer of the sport. After making rapid progress year after year, Lunsford achieved the distinction of becoming the 212 Olympia champion at the 2021 Olympia. He was expected to defend the title next year. However, Lunsford’s physique had outgrown the 212 division, which was apparent when he guest posed at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro. Additionally, his coach Hany Rambod, and Olympia president Dan Solomon raised concerns over Derek’s ability to make weight for the 212 division.
The Olympia management accepted Lunsford’s request and gave him a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open division at the 2022 Olympia. Lunsford stood his ground at the show and walked away with a runner-up finish. The performance left no doubt that the 30-year-old belonged in the same league as the likes of Hadi Choopan, Nick Walker, and Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay to name a few. Additionally, he brought the most insane v-taper on stage. Bodybuilding experts opined that Lunsford could be a really short distance away from wearing the Mr. Olympia crown at the 2023 Olympia if he brings fuller pecs and quads. His training and diet are now heading in that direction to achieve the ultimate bodybuilding goal.
Lunsford meets up with Ronnie Coleman
Lunsford had the privilege to spend an entire day with legendary bodybuilder and eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman on March 28. Ronnie holds the distinction for winning most Mr. Olympia titles (8 titles from 1998 to 2005) along with Lee Haney (1984 to 1991). His contribution to the growth of competitive bodybuilding is unparalleled and if there was a Mount Rushmore of bodybuilding, Ronnie would definitely be on it. The 58-year-old became the sixth person to receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement award in 2021. Unlike many bodybuilders that believe in high-volume training for hypertrophy, Ronnie lifted really heavy weights to build his physique. His famous 800 lbs deadlift double is still one of the most awe-inspiring videos out there.
Derek Lunsford and Ronnie Coleman went around the town, had fun interactions over food and most importantly, trained together in the gym as well. So just the way Ronnie Coleman would put it, Yeah Buddy! Let’s see how the duo annihilated the back and biceps workout.
Derek Lunsford and Ronnie Coleman train back and biceps together
This ultimate strength building exercise was the first one in the back and biceps workout. Lunsford cranked out a few sets of this exercise to get things started. While discussing a few different topics, Derek asked Ronnie if the thought of a potential major injury ever crossed his mind when he trained heavy.
Seated Cable Rows
Ronnie and Lunsford took to this horizontal pulling movement next. The seated cable rows primarily train the latissimus dorsi, traps, rhomboids, and spinal erector muscles in the back. However, they activate almost all the muscles in the back and stimulate complete back development. The training partners pushed through a few heavy sets of the movement with furious intensity using incrementally heavy weights. The exercise really increased the intensity of this training session as Ronnie pressed on in his usual cheery manner.
“Next up and coming Mr. Olympia is right here… The future is here. You got the man in the house,” a charged Ronnie said to motivate Lunsford as the workout went into the next gear.
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
It was a great day to get better and the duo attacked the wide grip lat pulldown next. Latissimus Dorsi is the primary target muscle of this compound movement. The large fan-shaped muscle is responsible for the wide back look that narrows down at the waist level.
After annihilating a few steps of the standard variation, Ronnie and Lunsford performed a couple of sets of behind-the-neck lat pulldowns. Instead of keeping the upper body still, Ronnie and Lunsford kept it swaying a little during the behind-the-neck variation. While explaining this technique, Derek Lunsford said:
“Even if it looks like we’re swaying a little bit, you’ve really gotta make sure that you’re staying engaged with the muscle and keeping that constant tension.”
“So that’s what I like about cables in general but especially this exercise, when you’re actually moving your upper body like this – a lot of times you’re not moving – but this time you’re actually moving the entire torso. So it’s a little bit more technique exercise.”
Ronnie echoed Lunsford’s thoughts and said:
“Muscle contraction – squeezing it. Squeezing that muscle, bringing it out. Forcing it out actually.”
Following a few more sets of behind-the-neck lat pulldowns, the bodybuilder duo wrapped up the back exercises and moved on to the biceps workout.
Dumbbell Preacher Curls
Preacher Curls is arguably the best biceps isolation movement. The triceps are firmly pressed against the pad during the exercise and the shoulder is neatly tucked by the edge of the pad. This forces the biceps to perform the movement without assistance from any other muscle, thus bringing about hypertrophy more effectively. Predictably, preacher curls primarily work the biceps brachii and brachialis muscles.
Ronnie and Lunsford started the biceps workout with this exercise and performed a few good sets with lighter weights. After getting a sufficient warm-up, they performed working sets of the movement and moved on to the next exercise.
Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls
The duo wrapped up the training session with dumbbell hammer curls to work the brachialis and the Brachioradialis muscles in the arms. After pushing moving weights for a few sets of the movement, the duo called it a day in the gym.
Overall, the workout included:
Derek Lunsford and Ronnie Coleman trained at the latter’s Signature Series office gym. While leaving the place with a content heart, Derek Lunsford stated:
“What a day man! That was a lot of fun. It just felt like we all clicked right away. Just everybody here and especially me and Ronnie hanging out and having a good time, man!”
Ronnie Coleman and Derek Lunsford represent elite bodybuilding talent from two different eras. It is heartwarming and enriching to see them work together and motivate the masses in doing so. Let’s hope to see them work together more often.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Derek Lunsford’s personal YouTube channel:
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