To be the very best, you must beat the very best.
Contemplating how shut he got here to taking residence the title in his Males’s Open debut, 2022 Mr. Olympia runner-up Derek Lunsford actually appears able to toppling Hadi Choopan from his throne in only a few weeks. But though the previous 212 Olympia winner represents a significant menace to Choopan’s possibilities of claiming the crown in consecutive years, that doesn’t imply the 2 titans can’t profit from some pleasant collaboration.
With the 2023 Mr. Olympia present set to happen the weekend of Nov. 3-5, Lunsford just lately teamed up with the reigning champion for an intense chest workout led by legendary coach Hany Rambod. In a poignant instance of iron sharpening iron, the 2 bodybuilders showcased their unbelievable physiques and work ethics in a pec-focused coaching vlog posted on the Evogen Diet YouTube channel on Oct. 19, 2023.
Previous to hitting the weights, Rambod put all the things in perspective by declaring that every one the athletes within the Males’s Open division have leveled up, which ought to make this 12 months’s Olympia “an absolute dogfight.” With two of the highest contenders becoming a member of forces for a muscle-building session at Evogen Diet HQ in Irvine, Texas, the exercise kicked off close to the 1:20 mark.
Incline Machine Chest Press
After consuming a serving of Evogen Diet EVP AQ Liquid Glycerol, a specialised pre-workout supplement that enhances blood and muscle quantity, Lunsford began out on the incline chest press machine. Working with three 45-pound (20.4-kilogram) plates per aspect on his first set, he made certain to utterly lockout his triceps on the prime of the motion.
Choopan adopted with a set of his personal earlier than Rambod ramped up the depth by including one other 45-pound (20.4-kilogram) plate per aspect. In the course of the preliminary a part of the exercise, Lunsford credited the 22-time Olympia-winning coach with serving to him make enhancements in 2023.
“That connection is so significantly better this 12 months, it’s loopy,” Lunsford informed Rambod. “When you informed me within the offseason to sluggish it down, again off the burden somewhat bit, management it, then I truly began connecting with the muscle. Then I began including extra weight, and now I really feel actually robust and linked with the muscle.”
Incline Machine Energy Press
Earlier than diving into the following train, Rambod famous the numerous variations in coaching kinds between two of his prime athletes.
“Derek’s used to doing a lot much less quantity, usually,” he stated. “Hadi’s used to doing a ton of quantity. So he goes in and does 4 or 5 units. He’ll do like eight workouts. It’s like we’ve received to drive him typically to chop again.”
Lunsford and Choopan proceeded to blast their pecs and triceps on the incline machine “energy press,” utilizing a neutral-grip to regulate muscle recruitment. The coaching crew began out with three 45-pound (20.4-kilogram) plates per aspect. Because the load elevated and fatigue set in, Rambod inspired Lunsford to complete with partial reps.
Incline Machine Flye
Subsequent, the duo made their method to the incline flye machine for 4 units of this staple chest train. Emphasizing each the stretch and the squeeze parts of the motion, Choopan labored with a barely heavier load than his peer.
Between units, Lunsford shared some perception into what it’s like to coach alongside somebody who he’ll intention to defeat in Orlando, FL.
“So far as the competitors’s involved we’ll depart it to the day of the present,” Lunsford defined. “However all in all we’re brothers in iron, we’re brothers and teammates right here at Evogen, and I’m completely satisfied to be coaching with him, and you bought to respect the champion.”
Incline Dumbbell Press
Following three machine-based actions, Rambod switched issues up by having his athletes work with dumbbells on an incline bench press. Choopan began with 119 kilos (54 kilograms) in every hand, rigorously reducing the dumbbells to his chest earlier than driving them again up.
In the meantime, Lunsford labored with a weight that seemed to be somewhat lighter than his counterpart. Nonetheless, he made certain to squeeze out each rep of an train designed to focus on the higher pec and entrance delts.
Flat Machine Chest Press
Subsequent, Ramod went with one other bench press variation, this time calling upon Panatta’s distinctive “Tremendous Horizontal Multi Press” machine for a flat model of the push-oriented motion. He helped Lunsford get aware of the mechanics of this specifically designed chest press machine, which permits the person to get the same expertise as utilizing a barbell with the additional advantage of with the ability to change the bar place, vary of movement, and sort of bar grip for a considerably extra focused method.
“It really works nice for not solely chest however you too can use it for triceps as a result of you’ll be able to go forward and invert the bar, and it’ll take you right into a cambered place so you are able to do a close-grip bench,” Rambod defined.
Lunsford and Choopan’s coach additionally took a while to level out widespread errors he sees athletes make when coaching chest, together with attempting to push with their shoulders as an alternative of their chest, having weak triceps, and never bringing the bar or dumbbells instantly throughout their chest. These technical errors can stop lifters from maximizing their skill to construct greater, stronger pecs.
Decline Machine Flye
To focus on the decrease pec, Rambod had Lunsford and Choopan make the most of the decline machine flye. The eccentric portion produced vital pressure on the decrease portion of their chest muscular tissues, forcing each bodybuilders to dig deep to squeeze their fingers as shut collectively as attainable on the concentric portion.
The second-to-last train Lunsford and Choopan carried out hit their chest from a distinct angle. They executed high-volume units of dips on a plate-loaded machine, specializing in sluggish and managed actions.
Rambod emphasised the significance of physique positioning and sustaining a powerful core all through the train. Though dips are sometimes seen as a triceps builder, he famous that leaning ahead “will activate way more chest” than staying upright, which recruits extra of the triceps.
Lastly, the group made their method to the cable machine for a number of units of flye variations. Lunsford and Choopan hit their pecs from a number of angles — one thing Rambod expounded upon close to the tip of the exercise.
“Change up the place of the pulley,” he defined. “Go excessive, go mid-point, go low. What you need to do is you need to have the ability to create variation in order that your chest doesn’t get used to the identical workouts week to week. Once you give variation, you’ll get muscle growth.”
Championship-Caliber Chest Day Exercise
- Incline Machine Chest Press — 4 x 8-15
- Incline Machine Energy Press — 4 x 8-15
- Incline Machine Flye — 4 x 8-15
- Incline Dumbbell Press — 4 x 8-15
- Flat Chest Press Machine — 4 x 8-15
- Machine Decline Flye — 4 x 8-15
- Machine Dip — 4 x 12-15
- Cable Flye — 4 x 12-15
As two of the favorites to win the 2023 Mr. Olympia, Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford carry elite physiques and unparalleled dedication to the combination. Becoming a member of forces for a chest exercise confirmed they’re each humble sufficient to place any egos apart as a way to carry out the very best in one another. Nonetheless, just one man can depart Orlando with the Mr. Olympia title, and solely time will inform whether or not Choopan, Lunsford, or one other competitor will earn that coveted crown.
Featured Picture: Evogen Diet / YouTube