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Ever since the start of the pandemic, people in the bodybuilding and fitness industry have had to make adjustments to support their lifestyles. This included people at the Olympia level as well. For evidence to back this up, look no further than two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead. His home country of Canada still has restrictions in various districts. As he told Dennis James on this week’s episode of The Menace Podcast, he and his crew had to go across the country so they could train at a gym the way they prefer to.
“We just visited Vancouver for a month. We’re back now, but we were on the West Coast for four and a half weeks just because there were no gyms here,” he told James. “All of Ontario, the province I am at, everything’s still shut down. They’re just slowly starting to open right now.”
Fortunately for Bumstead, there is a rule that allows gyms to open for professional athletes like himself. His cross-country venture showed that he is willing to do whatever is necessary to remain atop the Classic Physique division. He credits positive thinking to being in the position he is at the moment.
“My body just responded to being in a better mindset, and then my mental state was just being a lot more confident. That translated into my training, my consistency, and my recovery was better from a lack of stress,” he explained. He also said that a great prep phase helped as well.
“2020 was my first year that it was just smooth. My body was just waiting for that opportunity to have a smooth offseason. I’m also still pretty young. I’m at an age that I can still pack on some muscle pretty quickly.”
What stood out most on Bumstead at the Olympia was the improvements of his back and arms. He told James that he went back to the drawing board and applied a new strategy, which he credited for his drastic improvements.
“I was like, ‘I can deadlift six-, seven -hundred pounds, I can row three-, four-hundred pounds, but I’m not growing. Switch it up,’” he says. “I dropped the weight, I changed the exercises, I practiced posing within my training so I can get a better mind-muscle connection, and all of those things kind of compiled together to what you saw onstage.”
Whether you’re a fan of Bumstead, the Classic Physique division, or bodybuilding in general, don’t miss this episode of TMP with the champ, who feels there is a lot more to come in his career. This episode and every episode of TMP is available over at the Muscle & Fitness YouTube channel on Sundays at 3 p.m. Eastern Time.
0:30 – Training and Restrictions in Canada
3:35 – Rise to Olympia Champ
7:05 – Improvements
9:28 – Just the Beginning?
11:22 – What is He Focusing On/Mindset?
12:30 – Autoimmune Disease
15:47 – His Confidence for the 2020 Olympia
19:16 – Dangerous Competitors
22:42 – 2021 Olympia Strategy
24:20 – Breon Ansley
27:01 – Open?
28:42 – Popularity
31:16 – Girlfriend
32:51 – Melissa and Iain Valliere
37:34 – New Stars and Open Mr. Olympia
42:35 – Prize Money Difference/Business Ventures
44:18 – How Long Will He Compete?
46:07 – Classic Competition vs. Open Competition
46:40 – Classic Olympia Prediction