Derek Lunsford is an American bodybuilder that has competed in the 212 division of the IFBB Pro League so far. He became the 2021 212 Mr. Olympia champion after dethroning Shaun Clarida. While Lunsford was expected to defend his 212 Olympia crown at the 2022 Olympia, the Olympia committee has agreed to his request for a special invitation to compete in the Open division.
Ever since Lunsford guest posed at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro along with Open division bodybuilders Nick Walker, Hunter Labrada, and Brandon Curry, speculations about his chances in the big boy division reached an all-time high. The reason? Lunsford’s physique did not look undersized or overshadowed by any of the top Open division contenders. Additionally, Olympia President Dan Solomon and Lunsford’s coach Hany Rambod had raised concerns about his ability to make weight for the 212 division. With the dust settled, it is confirmed that Lunsford will compete in the Open division at the 2022 Olympia.
Lunsford’s competition prep started a few weeks back, and he recently went through an intense leg day workout as a part of this prep. So without further delay, let’s look at the detailed account of this training session.
Derek Lunsford’s Leg Day Workout
Lunsford started the training session with variations of this isolation movement to warm up the knees and hamstrings. The knee joint is crucial in almost every lower body movement. Warming up the knees is extremely important to avoid injuries and get good mobility for heavier exercises. Additionally, leg curls warm up the knees and surrounding muscles without putting a lot of stress on the knee joints. Therefore they are a preferred warm-up and first exercise of several bodybuilders.
Standing Leg Curl
Standing leg curls are arguably the best movement to isolate the hamstrings as the quads are resting against the pad during this movement. This stops other muscles from compensating for the hamstrings and they get activated to a much greater extent. Lunsford performed a few sets of this exercise with a 25-plus rep range and went on to do the next variation.
Lying Leg Curl
Lunsford next took to the standard lying leg curl and once again maintained a high rep range of 25-plus in each set.
“You have to have two things. You have to be locked in your position and engage the muscle. But it really just comes down to your effort.”
“I don’t mean how many reps you’re getting – that matters too, how much weight you’re doing – that matters too. But how hard you can squeeze it and keep constant tension and break that mental barrier of that pain that’s swelling up in the hamstrings…” Lunsford said.
Seated Leg Curl
Lunsford performed a few sets of seated leg curls and moved on to the next exercise.
Machine Hip Adductor
Lunsford next performed hip adduction on the machine. This exercise works the adductor muscle group that forms the medial compartment of the thighs. Plus, it is a great way to open up the hip joints.
After working the lower body with the isolation exercises, Lunsford took to this compound movement to work the lower body. Belt squats focus more on the quads, hamstrings, and plantar flexors, while the glute emphasis is relatively less. They are a great alternative to the standard back squat. Since the weights are connected to the belt around the waist, the lower back stress greatly reduces in this squat variation.
Lunsford performed a few sets of this exercise on the plate-loaded machine, and after a brief posing session, he went back to work with the next exercise.
Lunsford next took to the leg press. This is a triple extension compound movement in which there is a concurrent hip extension, knee extension, and ankle plantar flexion. Leg press works nearly every lower body muscle like quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and even calves. This movement helps increase lower body strength and muscle without putting a lot of stress on the lower back and core as the back is supported against the pad.
The 212 Olympia champ pushed through a few heavy sets of leg press and took to the next exercise.
Pendulum squats served as the last compound movement of this training session. This exercise works all the thigh muscles but focuses on the quads. On the other hand, hamstrings and glutes are stimulated to a relatively lower extent. Nevertheless, it is a great exercise to improve lower body strength. The Indiana native performed a few sets of this movement and went forward to the finisher of the day.
The 29-year-old wrapped up the training session with this quad-focused isolation movement.
Derek Lunsford 2022 Olympia Leg Workout
Overall, the workout included:
- Standing Leg Curl
- Lying Hamstring Curl
- Seated Leg Curl
- Adductor Machine
- Belt Squat
- Leg Press
- Pendulum Squat
- Leg Extension
The Open division roster at the 2022 Olympia is going to be stacked with high-caliber contenders. While the top dogs of the division like reigning champ Mamdouh Elssbiay, Brandon Curry, and Hadi Choopan are still at the top of their game, young guns Nick Walker and Hunter Labrada are getting better with each passing day. The addition of Andrew Jacked and Blessing Awodibu had already added a lot more spice to the division, and Lunsford’s arrival on the Open division horizon can be a serious threat to every competitor trying to improve their standing at the 2022 Olympia.
You can watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Derek Lunsford’s YouTube channel:
Find complete coverage of the 2022 Mr. Olympia, including pre-judging, event recaps, analysis, and final results at our Olympia coverage hub: FitnessVolt.com/olympia
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