“Ramon Lit a Fire Under My Ass” — Chris Bumstead Returns to Training for 2024 Mr. Olympia

The reigning Mr. O gives an update on his life and workouts at the onset of the 2024 bodybuilding season.

“[Ramon] is a maniac…” Chris Bumstead knows that the stakes are higher than ever in 2024. After several life-changing events in the back half of 2023 — winning a fifth Mr. Olympia Classic Physique title, tearing his lat just weeks out from the biggest bodybuilding show of the year, and announcing that he’ll soon be a father — Bumstead is getting back to the grind.

As part of a Jan. 30, 2024 YouTube vlog titled “Life update,” Bumstead remarked on a recent encounter with his #1 rival, Ramon “Dino” Rocha Queiroz, and showcased one of his workouts as he gears up for the 2024 Mr. Olympia.

[Related: The Best Bodybuilders of 2023]

“…[Ramon] says he took two months off [after the 2023 Olympia] and actually gained muscle. He’s got the Arnold Classic in a few months … seeing him lit a fire under my ass to get back to it,” Bumstead remarked during a high-intensity, low-volume bodybuilding arm workout.

Chris Bumstead vs. Ramon Dino

Bumstead’s reign atop the extremely popular Classic Physique division of bodybuilding has appeared unassailable for years. But Brazilian athlete Ramon “Dino” Rocha Queiroz is rapidly closing the gap.

  • In 2022 and 2023, Bumstead and Queiroz have finished in first and second place at the Classic Physique Mr. Olympia, respectively.
  • Queiroz has placed within five points of Bumstead on the Mr. Olympia scorecards in the past two years each.
  • In 2021, there was an 18-point margin between them. Bumstead finished in first place that year, while Queiroz ranked fifth. 

Queiroz is lauded by fans of bodybuilding for having some of the best arms in the division as well as bringing impressive conditioning and improved posing to the stage each year. 

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Though their rivalry runs deep, Bumstead and Queiroz also maintain a deep respect for each other as competitors. The duo recently trained back together on Jan. 16, 2024, in Brazil.

Chris Bumstead’s Arm Workout

“It’s gonna be minimal exercises, but high intensity,” Bumstead noted before getting into an arm day. Here’s a breakdown of what he did:

  • EZ-Bar Biceps Curl: Bumstead performed a mechanical drop set, adjusting his grip periodically to improve his leverage. Studies show that intensity techniques like drop sets can encourage extra muscle activation and power output. (1)
  • Triceps Extension: Bumstead utilized an extra-long rope attachment to increase his range of motion. Large ranges of motion induce more mechanical tension to the target muscle, which is integral for stimulating hypertrophy. (2)
  • High Cable Curl: Using one arm at a time and grasping the cable station for support, Bumstead emphasized a strong contraction at the end of each repetition, simulating the front-double-biceps bodybuilding pose.
  • Hammer Curl: Bumstead added a few sets of these in between his cable curls as a superset. Supersets are an effective way to save time in the gym while still ensuring your training is productive. (3)
  • Diamond Push-Up: This push-up variation served as an effective finisher for Bumstead’s triceps. Diamond push-ups have been shown to emphasize the triceps while reducing chest engagement. (4)
  • Dumbbell Curl: Bumstead finished his workout with a “giant set” of dumbbell curls, or what he calls a rack run; perform curls to failure, grab a lighter pair of dumbbells, and repeat. 

Bumstead didn’t outline the specific set-and-rep scheme he used for this arm workout. But if you want to give it a go for yourself, you might try something like this:

Exercise Name Sets Reps Notes
Biceps Curl 3 8 Perform a mechanical drop set at the end, adjusting your grip to improve leverage.
Triceps Extension 3 8 Use a long rope attachment.
High Cable Curl 2 12 Perform with one arm at a time and pause at the top of each rep.
Hammer Curl 2 12 Superset with the high cable curls.
Diamond Push-Up 2 AMRAP Perform to failure.
Dumbbell Curl 1 AMRAP Perform as many reps as possible with one set of dumbbells, then grab a lighter pair and go again. Repeat 3-5 times without rest.

Chris Bumstead’s Life Update

Throughout the vlog, Bumstead got candid with the camera and discussed some of the recent events that have challenged him both on and off of the bodybuilding stage. 

“Building my business, traveling, being a good bodybuilder, and having a daughter are all things I’ve dreamed of,” Bumstead said. “I’m grateful that the things that overwhelm me are good things that I’ve actually chosen to put into my life.”

[Related: How To Return to Strength Training After an Extended Break]

Bumstead and partner (and former Bikini Ms. Olympia) Courtney King are expecting their first child sometime in 2024. He continued on, emphasizing how the ability to “thrive under chaos” has helped him navigate some of the challenging developments life has thrown his way over the past year.

“Life is a game of odds. There’s a lot you don’t have control over, so all you can do is perfect the things you can control as best as you can and roll with the punches,” Bumstead said. 

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References

  1. Goto, M., Nirengi, S., Kurosawa, Y., Nagano, A., & Hamaoka, T. (2016). Effects of the Drop-set and Reverse Drop-set Methods on the Muscle Activity and Intramuscular Oxygenation of the Triceps Brachii among Trained and Untrained Individuals. Journal of sports science & medicine15(4), 562–568.
  2. Schoenfeld B. J. (2010). The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. Journal of strength and conditioning research24(10), 2857–2872. 
  3. Iversen, V. M., Norum, M., Schoenfeld, B. J., & Fimland, M. S. (2021). No Time to Lift? Designing Time-Efficient Training Programs for Strength and Hypertrophy: A Narrative Review. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)51(10), 2079–2095. 
  4. Nadzalan, A. M., Mohamad, M. H., Shafiee, M. S., Omar, N. F., Malek, N. F. A., Janep, M., & Karim, Z. A. (2021). Comparison of Muscle Activation between Traditional, Diamond and Knuckle Push Up Among Trained Men. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1874(1), 012016. 

Featured Image: @cbum on Instagram



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