Derek Lunsford is an IFBB Pro League 212 division veteran. The 2017 Tampa Pro winner has remained in the top five of the Olympia 212 division for half a decade. After back-to-back runner-up finishes at the 2018 and 2019 Olympia, Lunsford dropped to fourth place at the 2020 Olympia. Nonetheless, he turned around his physique and dethroned the divisional king Shaun Clarida to win the 212 title at the 2021 Olympia.
Lunsford was expected to defend his Olympia 212 title at the 2022 Olympia. However, Olympia president Dan Solomon and Lunsford’s coach Hany Rambod raised concerns over his ability to make weight for the 212 division a few months back. The Olympia management recently accepted his request to receive a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open division.
This development has set Lunsford’s transition to the Open division in concrete. Lunsford started his competition prep for the 2022 Olympia in August. He recently went through a crushing arms and calves workout as part of his prep. So without further delay, let’s take a closer look at the detailed account of this session.
Derek Lunsford crushes an arms and calves workout
Lunsford now has clarity about the division he will be competing in. To prepare his body for the Open division, he will try to lift heavier in the next few weeks and bring the volume down. According to him, this will help him gain size and avoid burnout.
“For the last several weeks I’ve been really trying to hit a lot of volume in my training, and I still need to hit a lot of volume, but I need to start going a little heavier. So I am actually going to knock the reps down to more like 10 to 12 and not burn myself quite so much at the beginning of my training.”
Lunsford started the workout with a seated machine calf raise to work the soleus, which lies underneath the gastrocnemius muscle. The 212 Olympia champ performed four sets of this exercise. He used five plates in the first set of 12 reps and dropped one plate in each consecutive set while restricting the reps to five.
Lunsford admitted that he could have done more reps if he went faster. However, he performed slow reps to keep the muscles under tension for longer to get more benefits.
“I felt that way more by going slow. Just squeezing and pressing as hard as I could. I wasn’t too worried about how far I was coming up. I was just trying to get a good stretch,” Lunsford said.
“I personally think that gives you a better pump. Try to control going slow in the beginning and as I am getting more and more tired, more fatigued, I want to keep throwing blood into the muscle. For me, that swells up the muscles the most.”
The 29-year-old next took to the donkey calf raises and standing barbell calf raises to work the gastrocnemius muscle.
Single-Arm Cable Triceps Extension
Lunsford started the arms workout with this triceps exercise to warm up the arms and elbow joints. Full elbow flexion and stability in the shoulder joint are two of the most important factors for triceps isolation. The single-arm cable triceps extension enables both and therefore it is one of the best exercises to work this muscle.
Lunsford performed a few sets of this exercise unilaterally to get the blood flowing into the triceps and moved on to the next exercise.
Lunsford next took to the standard rope pushdown to warm up the triceps a little more. He performed this exercise using a slow and controlled motion and took to another isolation movement.
Horizontal Cable Triceps Extension
The Indiana native next performed this exercise to target the triceps brachii. The horizontal cable triceps extension makes it hard to slump forward and involves the pectoral muscles, keeping the tension on the triceps. The only other muscle that could possibly be stimulated is the posterior deltoid. However, that muscle is not nearly as strong as the triceps, and therefore it cannot take over the movement. The former 212 division competitor performed a few sets of this exercise and continued the triceps work with the next exercise.
Standing Cable Triceps Kickback
Triceps muscle comprises the long, medial, and lateral heads. While the triceps kickback works all three triceps heads, it specifically targets the lateral head. Lunsford performed this exercise on a cable machine to keep the muscles under tension throughout the range of motion. He completed a few good sets of this movement and took to the first compound exercise of the day.
Smith Machine Close-Grip Incline Bench Press
While the Smith machine incline bench press is a popular chest exercise, it works all the upper body pushing muscles like the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. The close-grip variation of this exercise puts more emphasis on the triceps.
After sufficiently warming up the triceps with isolation exercises, Lunsford continued to work the triceps with this compound movement and cranked out a few sets.
While speaking about the exercise sequence, Lunsford said:
“I feel like I have the best progress with my triceps as far as growth and gaining strength, even in my chest too whenever I warm up with cables, get that good constant tension, mind-muscle connection, and a good pump. Then I move on to some heavier compound pressing movement. Yes, it’s going to hit the chest too… But really, this is bodybuilding. We are trying to bring up every body part.”
Standing Dumbbell Curl
After working the triceps with the first few exercises, Lunsford shifted his focus to the biceps. The 29-year-old first took to the most common exercise to work the biceps and performed a few sets of standing dumbbell curls.
EZ Bar Curl
This was the second exercise in Lunsford’s arms workout routine. EZ bar curls primarily target the biceps brachii and the brachioradialis. The shape of the EZ bar makes the movement less stressful on the wrists and elbows. Lunsford cranked out a few good sets of this exercise and moved on to the arguably ‘the best’ isolation movement for the biceps.
Single-Arm Machine Preacher Curl
The 29-year-old next worked the biceps with machine preacher curls. The triceps firmly rest against the pad during this movement and therefore they cannot compensate for the biceps and take over. Lunsford did a few sets on the machine unilaterally and moved on to the next exercise.
Superset: Overhead Cable Triceps Extension And Hammer Curl
Lunsford finished the workout with this superset. While the overhead cable triceps extension works the triceps holistically, the hammer curl targets the biceps brachii, brachioradialis, and brachialis. The elite bodybuilder performed all sets of these exercises in rapid succession with minimal rest periods in between and wrapped up the training session.
Lunsford 2022 Olympia Arms and Calves Workout
Overall, the workout included:
- Machine Seated Calf Raise
- Machine Donkey Calf Raise
- Barbell Standing Calf Raise
- Single-Arm Cable Triceps Extension
- Rope Pushdown
- Horizontal Cable Triceps Extension
- Standing Cable Triceps Kickback
- Smith Machine Close-Grip Incline Bench Press
- Standing Concentration Curl
- EZ Bar Curl
- Single-Arm Machine Preacher Curl
- Superset: Overhead Cable Triceps Extension and Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Although Lunsford is focusing on gaining size and strength, he looked comparable in size with other open division bodybuilders like Nick Walker, Brandon Curry, and Hunter Labrada while guest posing at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro. If he adds more size to his already massive physique, there is no denying that he can emerge as a serious threat to the other Open division contenders.
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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