Eddie Hall continues to gain bodybuilding wisdom from IFBB Pro bodybuilder Jamie Christian-Johal in an attempt to try his hand at competitive bodybuilding. This comes after Hall spent years making a name for himself as a Strongman competitor, with his career peeking in 2017 when he became the World’s Strongest Man. Prior to that, he became the first person in history to deadlift 500 kg (1102.3 lbs), having achieved the feat in 2016. The record was later broken by Hafthor Bjornsson in 2020, which caused a domino effect over then next the next two years.
Following his retirement from the strongman sports, Eddie Hall had a short but spectacular stint in professional boxing where he went up against archrival Hafthor Julius Bjornsson. Billed as the ‘Heaviest boxing match in history’, the fight garnered widespread attention due to the sheer strength aspect of it. Although Eddie Hall lost the fight via unanimous decision, both men were praised for making the transition to boxing the right way and showing legitimate boxing skills in the fight.
With that chapter in the past, Hall has now set his eyes on trying his hand at competitive bodybuilding, which looks to be an even more difficult challenge than his transition to boxing. He is set to make his stage debut towards the end of 2024 and has started training for the show already.
In recent weeks, Hall has taken guidance from IFBB Pro bodybuilder Jamie Christian-Johal to understand bodybuilding training. Known as ‘The Giant’, Johal has an unusually tall stature for the sport of bodybuilding. In spite of that, he carries an insanely aesthetic and well-proportioned physique.
Jamie guided Eddie Hall and his son Maximus – who has become Eddie’s most consistent training partner – through a chest and triceps workout and shared bodybuilding wisdom. So without further delay, let’s take a closer look at the detailed account of this training session.
Eddie Hall goes through a chest workout under Jamie Christian-Johal’s guidance
Hall and Christian-Johal partnered for a back workout a few weeks ago, where Hall learned some very important aspects of bodybuilding. Speaking about his learnings and experience from the session, Eddie Hall stated:
“It was very eye opening. It really did open my eyes to some of the sets and reps and the tempos and everything we should be doing.”
Eddie Hall once again gave the reins of workout to Jamie and approached the session with an open mind to gain bodybuilding knowledge from him.
Prime Pec Deck Flyes
Jamie guided Hall through the pec deck flyes as the first exercise of the day. He stated that most people recommend starting the workout with a pressing movement for strength benefits. However, the former strongman competitor has ‘plenty of it’ already, therefore the 6ft-5in tall bodybuilder started the training session with pec deck flyes. He explained the logic for employing this exercise to kick off the session and said:
“I usually try and start with a pec deck just to get the chest connected with the brain and then get into pressing.”
The team did a few warm-up sets of Prime pec deck flyes first and then performed working sets to fully activate the pectoral muscles. Following this, the Halls and Jamie Christian-Johal took to the next exercise of the day.
Machine Incline Chest Press
Eddie and Maximus followed Jamie Christian-Johal to the machine incline chest press next. They performed a few warm-up sets while maintaining an eight to twelve-rep range.
Jamie explained that the other method to build up to the working sets is doing the warm-up sets with two to three sets. While that method does save energy for the working sets, Jamie feels that it is a lot safer to do more reps during the warm-up sets even if it means lifting relatively lighter weights in the working sets.
Hall performed a working set followed by a back-off set to failure and took to another pressing movement next.
Machine Chest Press
Hall and company went on to perform a seated chest press on the plate-loaded machine next. Jamie Christian-Johal guided Eddie Hall through the ‘Ten to One’ set for this exercise. This method involves pausing at the end of the concentric phase of the exercise for a decreasing amount of time during the ten reps. Specifically, the person must pause ten seconds at the end of the concentric phase of first rep, nine seconds for the second rep, and so on till you pause for one second by the tenth rep.
“There’s a lot of time under tension…” Jamie Christian said about the benefit of this training method.
Eddie Hall did the set with two plates on each side and jumped into the next exercise.
Superset – Prime Pec Deck Flyes and Machine Lateral Raises
Christian-Joh instructed Hall to do a taxing superset next, consisting of two exercises, thr prime pec deck flyes and lateral raises on a machine. While explaining the method for doing these exercises, he explained:
“Well, what we want to do now is take a little bit of control away by speeding it up. You imagine just pumping blood into it.”
He then instructed Hall to do the sets of both exercises for ten reps and cautioned him not to go too fast either in order to maintain time under tension.
“Obviously, we’ve still got an element of control there. Not too fast but you’re not going super slow…” Jamie Christian added.
Hall performed the superset adhering to this technique. Christian explained that a weighted hold (e.g. holding the pec deck flye after the concentric phase at the end of the chest workout or a dead hang at the end of the back workout) can really damage the muscle fibers further and help achieve hypertrophy more effectively.
Following this superset, Christian gave posing lessons to Hall and they switched to working the triceps.
Superset – Triceps Rope Pushdown and Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
Eddie Hall and Jamie Christian-Johal started the short triceps training session with another superset. However, this one combined triceps pushdowns using a rope and overhead cable triceps extensions. The team did a few sets of these exercises in rapid succession with minimal rest periods. Following this, they took to the final exercise of the day.
Crossbody Cable Triceps Extensions
Eddie, Maximus, and Jamie wrapped up the training session with a triceps isolation movement manifested in the form of crossbody cable extensions. Stability in the shoulder joint and full elbow flexion are the two most important criteria for triceps activation. This exercise checks all the boxes and therefore it is one of the most effective triceps exercises. The trio performed a few solid sets of this movement and wrapped up the training session.
Overall, the workout included:
- Prime Pec Deck Flyes
- Machine Incline Chest Press
- Machine Chest Press
- Superset – Pec Deck Flyes and Standing Pec Flyes
- Superset – Triceps Rope Pushdowns and Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
- Crossover Cable Triceps Extensions
Eddie Hall has proven that he can adapt to a completely new sport if he decides to go through it. With plenty of time at hand, it is certain that his bodybuilding debut will be very memorable. Perhaps even more exciting than his boxing match with Hafthor Bjornsson.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Eddie Hall’s personal YouTube channel: