A narrowly missed second Arnold Classic win in 2023 marked the end of a stressful competitive session for Nick Walker and he is now able to focus on making off-season gains without worrying about the timeline. Recently, Walker trained his chest and triceps and experimented with innovative equipment that the Torture gym had to offer.
Walker is one of the most dynamic young talents in the IFBB Pro League’s Men’s Open division. He debuted with a fourth place finish at his 2020 Chicago Pro. Soon after, the dominant wins at the 2021 New York Pro and Arnold Classic turned him into one of the highly touted prospects.
Walker achieved all of these accolades within one year of earning the IFBB Pro card. He finished fifth at his Mr. Olympia debut in 2021 and decided to take a break to improve his physique further. Walker hoped to take his physique to the next level and beat the top crop of the division.
The longest off-season of his career bore fruits as The Mutant improved his standing at the 2022 Mr. Olympia and finished third. He made a quick turnaround after the show and went after a second Arnold Classic title in 2023. However, he lost to the surging Samson Dauda by a razor thin margin and walked away with a runner-up finish.
Nick Walker now trains to cross the final and toughest phase of his career where a competitor beats the absolute best and establishes himself on top of the food chain. His recent chest and triceps workout was a part of this effort. So let’s follow Nick Walker through this workout and see how he is packing some serious muscle mass.
Nick Walker goes through a chest and triceps workout
The Mutant’s actual off-season is yet to start and he is experimenting with different gym equipment to see which suits him the best. This exercise is an attempt to iron out the training routine when the competition prep starts ahead of the 2022 Mr. Olympia.
“I’m still trying out new equipment and seeing what I like the best so when my ‘prep’ actually starts, I know exactly what I like, what I want to keep using for the remainder of my prep for the most part.”
Walker primarily worked the chest and triceps in this training session and also sprinkled a deltoid movement in the mix as well.
Pec Deck Flyes
Walker got going with this pec isolation movement. Pec deck flyes help improve the adduction ability of the upper body muscles and rank among the top three exercises in terms of pectoral muscles activation.
Walker did the first set for ten reps and increased the weight in the second set to get a good and hard squeeze in the pectoral muscles. After wrecking some solid sets to get the blood flowing into pectoral muscles, the 28-year-old went on to do a few compound movements.
Machine Incline Bench Press
Incline bench press on a plate-loaded iso-lateral machine followed the pec deck flyes. Both weight stacks of an iso-lateral machine move independently which facilitates removing strength imbalances. Walker admired the piece for the benefits it offered and said:
“Here’s what’s cool about this machine. It’s got two different grips – one a little lower and it still hits the incline , (the second one) is a little higher and it hits the upper chest and a little bit of shoulder too.”
Complying with slow and controlled movements, he carried out a solid set of the exercise and targeted seven to eight reps with rest pause method for the second set. After finishing a few sets, the New York native shared his opinion on high volume training and how his body responds to it. He opined:
“I think everything has its place but I just feel like for better muscle recruitment, so to speak, with longer rest periods. If you’re going faster, you won’t be able to get the most out of it which means… less growth in my opinion. I think it’s good to do volume at the end of the workout just to create that volume and a little bit of roundness. But I just don’t think it’s something you should do for the whole workout.”
With that, the 2021 Arnold Classic winner took to another pressing movement next.
Seated Machine Chest Press
Walker next performed the seated machine chest press for stimulating the pectoral muscles further to improve the pushing strength. After getting a few sets of the movement under his belt on a plate-loaded machine, he closed on to another chest isolation exercise.
Standing Cable Chest Flyes
This cable machine exercise is often stereotyped as the final pump-inducing movement at the end of a chest training session. However, this could not be further from reality. Cable flyes activate the pectoral muscles to an extent where only a handful of exercises like bench press and pec deck flyes can. Additionally, the cable machines keep the muscles under tension throughout the duration of the rep, making them far more effective in bringing about hypertrophy.
Walker performed this exercise on a machine that has a supporting pad to rest the back against it and maintain an erect posture without slouching forward.
“So now, I can put my back and really flye instead of worrying about wobbling back and forth. I can really focus on the stretch here.”
He pushed through some hard sets of standing cable flyes and jumped into the final chest movement.
Chest Dip Press
Walker performed the chest dip press on the machine to wrap up the chest exercises and shifted his focus on training the triceps next.
Always a good finisher,” Walker exclaimed after doing the dip press.
Cable Triceps Pushdown
The Mutant’s triceps workout kicked off with this isolation movement. The cable tricep pushdowns work all three heads of the muscle and they are one of the most common exercises in the gyms around the world.
Nick Walker performed a few sets of the exercise with a straight bar attachment before taking up the second and final triceps exercise.
Machine Overhead Triceps Extensions
Walker next performed the overhead triceps extensions on a plate loaded machine. Unlike the pushdowns that work the tricep muscles from a neutral position. The overhead triceps extensions work the muscle from a stretched position. According to many studies, this contributes more towards strength gains and muscle hypertrophy.
Machine Lateral Raises
This lateral / medial deltoid movement served as the only shoulder movement of the session and Nick Walker included some sets of the exercise in the session.
The chest and triceps session comprised of following movements:
- Chest Dip Press
- Machine Lateral Raises
Walker shares his current weight and training update
Nick Walker is training at a fairly comfortable pace at the moment. However, he is slowly ramping up the training and diet to start the off-season training. It will subsequently transition into the competition prep for the 2023 Olympia.
Giving an update on his current weight and training progress, Nick Walker spoke at length and explained:
“It’s another day forward to getting ready for the actual off-season to begin which will lead into the Olympia prep. Weight is around… 268 or 270ish (lbs)… I was as high as 274-275 (lbs) and that was after a night of eating too much cheesecake. So I think the cheesecake is finally out of my body now. So I feel good.”
“Yeah, things are now moving in the right direction. Strength is now really starting to progress quickly. Food’s pretty high. So I’m trying to have some fun, enjoying the process. Just fortunate enough to be in the situation that I am. Just gonna keep grinding,” Nick Walker stated.
The 2021 Arnold Classic winner has brought a massively improved physique every time he has stepped on stage. Nick Walker has to fend off up-and-comers like Andew Jacked and Samson Dauda at the 2023 Olympia while getting past the reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford. He is planning his off-season and competition prep in advance to bring the best version of himself on stage which is a good sign, to say the least.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Nick Walker’s personal YouTube channel: