Derek Lunsford recently tackled a massive chest and abs workout to get in shape for the 2023 Olympia stage. The former 212 division king narrowly missed the opportunity to be the first two-division Olympia champion the previous year. But he is not willing to leave any loose ends in 2023.
American professional bodybuilder Derek Lunsford is the spirit of hard work and determination. Having been a top contender for a while, the 30-year-old became the 212 Olympia champion by dethroning Shaun Clarida at the 2021 Olympia. He had previously achieved runner-up finishes at the 2018 and 2019 Olympia, which were followed by a fourth place finish in 2020.
In recent times, Derek Lunsford has defied the conventional notions of size parity in the Men’s Open division of the IFBB Pro League. He transitioned to the ‘Big Boy’ division and made his divisional debut at the 2022 Olympia. His runner-up finish at the show proved that massive size would no longer determine the outcome of the competition. Muscle definition, aesthetic, proportions and conditioning would now play a major role.
Having missed the Mr. Olympia title by a narrow margin in his first attempt, Lunsford is now working on his goal to become the first-ever two-division Olympia champion in history. The soon-to-be-father is now hard at work to dethrone Hadi Choopan and become the 2023 Mr. Olympia.
Derek Lunsford goes through a chest workout
To eliminate every hurdle in the way and bring a flawless package to the 2023 Olympia stage, Lunsford is working with furious intensity in his competition prep. Recently, he pushed through a chest workout and posted the video on his YouTube channel. The top Mr. Olympia contender is in good spirits with his first child on the way a few weeks after the 2023 Olympia.
“Regardless of how it goes, and I think it’s gonna go really well, It’s going to be a good ending to the year. So 10 weeks to crush this prep…” He said.
High on life and full of hopes for a brighter future, the cheerful bodybuilder spent some time on the treadmill listening to his favorite music. He then flipped the switch and unleashed the wrestling mentality and embraced the grind. So let’s not waste any more time and just follow along to see how Derek Lunsford trained his chest!
The former 212 Olympia champion did not rush things and took his time to stimulate his pectoral muscles on the cable crossover. If you think cable crossover is just another pump-inducing exercise, think again! According to an ACE-sponsored study, it ranks third in terms of pectoral muscle activation. This puts it among best exercises to build a massive chest. Lunsford focused on the movement to build mind-muscle connection and performed controlled reps of this exercise in each set.
Incline Dumbbell Press
In the grand scheme of things, building the upper body pushing strength is the primary objective of chest workouts. Free weight pressing movements like dumbbell press help with improving the functional strength while inducing muscle hypertrophy at the same time. Incline variations, in particular, focus more on the clavicular head of the pectoral muscles (upper pecs) from a hypertrophy standpoint. For most people, this is part of the physique that is most difficult to bring up.
Lunsford took to the incline dumbbell press to work the upper chest and anterior deltoid muscles. The 30-year-old applied the progressive overload principle to the exercise and used incrementally heavier weight to fire up the chest and deltoids. He used wrist and elbow wraps for the last couple of sets and stated their benefits:
“It’s not that (wraps) take the weight off, it’s just that it doesn’t hurt the joints,” Lunsford stated.
Going forward, the Mr. Olympia title contender incorporated another cable machine isolation movement in his chest routine.
Low Cable Crossover
Cable machines keep the muscles under constant tension throughout the duration of the rep and hence they are a great way to induce hypertrophy. The low cable crossover is a variation that works the muscles from a different angle, enabling complete development of chest muscles. It is not a power movement, which makes it an excellent starting or finishing exercise as well. Lunsford cranked out a few good sets of the exercise before taking up an explosive movement.
Machine Bench Press
This explosive compound exercise followed and Lunsford did a few sets on a plate-loaded machine.
Machine Chest Press
Lunsford’s body was fired up at this point as he wasted no time in warming up and performed three straight working sets on the plate-loaded machine. He felt out the first set with moderate weights and increased the intensity considerably for the second and third set while maintaining a rep range of eight to twelve.
Pec Deck Flyes
The chest workout reached its destination with a few hardcore sets of pec deck flyes that added the last bit of stimulus to the chest muscles. After this, Derek Lunsford had given it all to the workout and had virtually nothing left in the tank. However, he mustered the remaining energy to put in a little bit of abs work.
While speaking about his current abs training routine, Derek Lunsford stated:
“I’ve been typically doing them in the morning after cardio. I’ll do, like, an ab crunch machine. So it’s like some weighted crunches and I’ll do, like, leg raises or variations…”
In this training session, however, Lunsford started out with decline crunches on a bench to really squeeze that midsection and bring the abs out. He then took to the captain’s chair leg raise machine that adds resistance to the movement with weights.
Overall, the chest workout included:
- Cable Crossover
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Low Cable Crossover
- Machine Bench Press
- Chest Press Machine
- Pec Deck Flyes
Derek Lunsford looks massive 10 weeks out of the 2023 Mr. Olympia
Derek Lunsford brought a near-perfect package to the 2022 Olympia stage and managed to cruise through elite opposition like former Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, Nick Walker, and Samson Dauda. However, chest and quads were the two areas where Hadi Choopan edged past the former 212 Olympia champion.
Lunsford practiced posing between the exercises and showed the progress he has made so far during the chest workout video. 10 weeks out of Olympia, Lunsford looks stage-ready and his rock-solid physique showcases the work that has been put in. While his massive shoulders and arms immediately stand out as an impressive part of his physique, Lunsford’s chest has become more fuller with a 3D look. Additionally, his quads stand out as another impressive and more improved part of the lower body.
General consensus in the bodybuilding community is that Hadi Choopan, Derek Lunsford, Nick Walker and Samson Dauda will battle it out for the top four spots at the 2023 Olympia. However, Nick Walker feels confident to defeat Lunsford if he ‘slips at all’. Many experts in the bodybuilding community heavily favor Derek Lunsford to come out on top. But the competition will be tough and Lunsford has to stay the course for another 10 weeks to bring the Mr. Olympia dream into reality.
You can watch the full chest workout and physique update video below, courtesy of Derek Lunsford’s personal YouTube channel: