Hadi Choopan finally got the opportunity to train in his coach Hany Rambod’s presence. Choopan is training relentlessly to successfully defend the top spot at the 2023 Olympia and continue the title reign. But the path ahead is full of challenges and adversities.
Iranian professional bodybuilder Hadi Choopan made the entire country proud when he won the 2022 Mr. Olympia title by dethroning Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay. After starting his career in the 212 division, Choopan made the transition to the Men’s Open division and his career graph has only gone upwards in the years that followed.
‘The Persian Wolf’ firmly held the top four positions at the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Olympia before winning the coveted trophy in 2022. His journey to the top was not an easy one. Choopan had to deal with a lot of difficulties related to visa and travel restrictions imposed by the ongoing geopolitical conflict between the USA and Iran.
In spite of being a consistent top finisher, Hadi Choopan’s geographical location and language barrier has kept him relatively unnoticed on the internet and social media. As a result, his name was pushed under the carpet in the lead-up to 2022 Olympia as rising contenders and highly touted prospects like Michal Krizo, Andrew Jacked, Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford grabbed the media attention.
But Choopan killed all the hype with a strong performance and took home the prestigious 2022 Mr. Olympia title. He now trains to secure the first defense of his crown at the 2023 Olympia. Choopan has been making steady progress as witnessed in several physique updates and workout videos posted by him.
Hadi Choopan goes through a chest workout
Inaccessibility and language barrier are two of the major hurdles in Hadi Choopan’s way of training. While his head coach Hany Rambod is well-versed in the Farsi language, he admits that Choopan finds it difficult to understand the Americanized version. Additionally, the travel restrictions on Iranian citizens make it difficult for them to travel to other parts of the world. So most of Hany Rambod’s training with Hadi Choopan takes place virtually.
But Coach Rambod was able to meet up with his star pupil in Kuwait and Dubai for a joint training session. He said:
“Great thing is we finally got together, doing our first workout, very excited…”
Rambod also shed light on the training method their team will employ for the remainder of the competition prep and stated:
“Now we’re going to slice and dice all the way to the Olympia focusing on body parts like quads, chest, building up the back and more. Separation and his conditioning is already good…”
With that, the coach-student duo jumped right into the workout and tackled it by employing the FST-7 bodybuilding system invented by none other than Hany Rambod himself.
Standing machine Lateral Raises
Hany Rambod first instructed the reigning Mr. Olympia to perform standing machine lateral raises to warm up the shoulders and work the lateral/medial delts. Following a few sets of the exercises, the duo moved on to do the main chest exercise.
Incline Dumbbell Press
Hadi Choopan next tackled the incline dumbbell press under his coach’s watchful eye. Incline pressing movements put more emphasis on the clavicular head of the pectoralis major muscle, commonly known as the upper pecs. Additionally, it is a compound movement that activates the anterior deltoid as well as triceps muscles. Choopan cranked out a few solid sets with incrementally heavier weights and took to the next exercise.
Incline Machine Chest Flyes
Rambod next guided Choopan to perform the incline machine chest flyes on a selectorized machine with rollers. Performing this exercise on a roller machine eliminates the need to use grip and forearm strength, which directs the tension to the pectoral muscles and helps stimulate them to a greater degree.
While explaining the benefits of a roller machine, Hany Rambod stated:
“I love the machines that use rollers because you have a really nice range of motion. You get some constant tension as you put your hands together really, really nice. So we’re going to add a little more weight to make sure we don’t go too heavy because we want to keep that tenson on the chest and not the shoulder.”
Choopan executed a few good sets of the exercise, making cautious increments in weight before taking up another isolation exercise.
Low-to-High Cable Crossover
Cable crossover is one of the most effective movements for pectoral muscle isolation. Performing different variations of this movement helps work the muscles from different angles, resulting in overall complete development. The 35-year-old bodybuilder annihilated some effective sets of the exercise as Coach Rambod observed and corrected him whenever needed.
Incline Bench Press
Rambod instructed Choopan to go back to the pressing movements once again and guided him through the incline bench press. The reigning Mr. Olympia cranked out some heavy sets of the exercise before proceeding to the finisher.
Seated Dip Press
This machine variation of the dips served as the finisher to Hadi Choopan’s chest workout. He performed some solid sets in the concluding part of the workout to add the last bit of stimulus to the pushing muscles of the upper body and called it a day in the gym.
Overall, the workout composed of these exercises:
- Standing machine Lateral Raises
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Incline Machine Chest Flyes
- Low-to-High Cable Crossover
- Incline Bench Press
- Chest Dip Press
Coach Rambod,, who trains both Hadi Choopan and previous year’s runner-up Derek Lunsford as well as Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead, has been balancing his time between several of his star pupils. However, he is excited for the clash of the titans at the 2023 Olympia and said:
“Him and Derek (Lunsford) is going to be a battle guys. Two of the baddest dudes on the planet.”
Rambod also gave a brief explanation about Hadi Choopan’s progress so far and stated:
“He feels very strong, very good… Definitely in good conditioning…”
“He’s definitely on point for being just under seven weeks out.”
Hadi Choopan has a huge task ahead of him at the 2023 Olympia. Not only does he have to edge past Derek Lunsford again, but he also needs to fend off other formidable opponents like Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, and Andrew Jacked to name a few. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the biggest test of his career. As the old saying goes, it is easier to reach the top but not easy to stay there.
Watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Evogen Nutrition’s official YouTube channel: