With the 2023 Mr. Olympia on the horizon, reigning runner-up Derek Lunsford continues his relentless quest to claim the crown. The 30-year-old recently partnered with 7x 212 Olympia champion Flex Lewis for an insightful chest training session.
They discussed various aspects of bodybuilding preparation while motivating each other through the intense workout.
Introduction to Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis
Despite lacking the mass of veterans like Brandon Curry and Hadi Choopan, Derek Lunsford shocked audiences by pushing Choopan for the title. Ultimately, he settled for 2nd place in an admirable Open debut.
Derek Lunsford has since put on quality size in the offseason to better match up with the division giants. With renewed confidence, sharper conditioning, and a revamped game plan, many view Lunsford as the frontrunner heading into the 2023 Mr. Olympia.
Hailing from Wales, Flex Lewis dominated the lighter 212-pound division, winning an Olympia record seven straight titles from 2012-2018. At just 5’5″, Lewis combined phenomenal shape, flowing lines, and razor-sharp conditioning with surprisingly full muscle bellies to consistently overpower opponents.
Since retiring from bodybuilding, Flex Lewis has continued pushing his physique to new levels. He often trains at the Dragon’s Lair gym in Florida alongside the sport’s current elite like Derek Lunsford.
Detailed Overview of Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis’ Chest Workout
The two champions began their workout with cable crossovers to activate the pecs. Cable crossover provides constant tension and allows a significant contraction at the bottom and peak squeeze at the top. Executed properly, it can build bottom and inner chest thickness.
After warming up the joints and priming their chests for growth, they moved into pressing movements like the seated machine chest press.
A free weight and machine option is beneficial since machine pressing reduces injury risk and provides variety. Derek Lunsford focused on feeling the deep squeeze and contraction on every rep.
For bodybuilders, developing a thick but separable upper and lower chest is crucial for displaying a complete wardrobe from all angles.
They wrapped the workout with machine incline flies to target the often-underdeveloped inner pec fibers. Flyes provide constant tension and allow significant adduction of the pecs through a fuller range of motion versus presses.
Derek Lunsford squeezed his hands together explosively on each rep and flexed the pecs hard.
In total, their workout consisted of:
|3 Warm-Up Sets, Three Working Sets
|Seated Machine Chest Press
|4 Working Sets
|Incline Machine Chest Press
|4 Working Sets
|Incline Machine Flyes
|3 Working Sets
This exercise selection, rep scheme, and focus on peak contraction are typical of Derek Lunsford’s training style. He intuitively finds the optimal intensity and volume needed for a body part to progress weekly.
Flex Lewis and Derek Lunsford Discuss the Evolution of Competition Training
According to Flex Lewis, when competing, he would train each muscle twice weekly in prep versus once weekly in the offseason.
However, he kept the number of exercises and sets per body part reasonably consistent year-round. His overall training volume didn’t change drastically.
Derek Lunsford said he’d learned the benefits of “backing off” slightly in the offseason to allow his body to recover fully.
He’ll have the occasional brutal session, but lighter, more athletic-focused training prevents overtaxing his muscles and nervous system.
He keeps protein around 1 gram per pound of body weight in the offseason versus 1.5 grams when prepping. Their discussion provided valuable insights into evolving training variables throughout a competition cycle.
Derek Lunsford’s Unique Approach to Building a Narrow Waistline
While many bodybuilders follow very regimented six or seven small meals per day, even in the offseason, Derek Lunsford takes a different route. He said, “You need to take a break from how many meals you eat.
A lot of guys, they’re eating six or seven meals a day year-round. That’s tons of protein. I think you need to give your body a break.”
Instead, Derek Lunsford likes to moderate protein intake at around 150 grams daily during the offseason growth phases. He follows intermittent fasting, eating three bigger meals in an 8-hour feeding window.
Derek Lunsford feels this intermittent fasting approach allows his midsection to tighten by restating his digestive system. It also helps keep his appetite strong when he needs to force-feed during competition diets.
Focus on feeling every rep, not just moving weight. Quality over quantity lifts builds more muscle. Use a variety of free weights, cables, and machine movements for balanced development.
Incorporate both pressing and fly movements for complete chest activation. Strategically evolve training variables and nutrition between the offseason and competition.
Taking a break from excessive protein and meals can benefit waistline control. Having great training partners provides accountability, support, and knowledge sharing.
At 30 years old and seemingly in his prime, Derek Lunsford looks poised to ascend to the pinnacle of bodybuilding with his first Mr. Olympia title. He has all the tools – dense, balanced muscle, a tiny waist, and monk-like discipline to improve consistently.
If Derek Lunsford nails his conditioning and avoids significant injuries, we may witness history with the first-ever 212-pound to Open division Olympia champion. Flex Lewis, who dominated 212s for nearly a decade, believes Lunsford can pull off the remarkable feat.
He sees parallels between Derek Lunsford and legendary two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor in their self-belief and ruthless drive to keep conquering new challenges.
Between his work ethic, refinement, and wise guidance from mentors like Flex Lewis, Derek Lunsford’s destiny is finally within reach. Sixteen weeks stand between him and potential all-time greatness upon the coveted Mr. Olympia stage.