Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis Insightful Chest Day Chat While Prepping for the 2023 Olympia

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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

derek lunsford vs flex lewis
via instagram

Derek Lunsford initially made his mark in the 212-pound division, winning the 2021 Olympia title. Rather than defending his crown, Derek Lunsford boldly stepped up to the Open class in 2022. 

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

However, Derek Lunsford remains focused, motivated, and hungry to keep improving. The workout partner for his recent chest training session was fellow 212 legend, Flex Lewis

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

Flex Lewis was the perfect mentor to provide wisdom and inspiration to Derek Lunsford as he readies for potential Olympia glory.

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.

Incline pressing emphasizes the upper chest more than standard flat pressing. So next, Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis hammered some heavy, controlled reps on the machine incline press. 

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:

Cable Crossovers3 Warm-Up Sets, Three Working Sets
Seated Machine Chest Press4 Working Sets
Incline Machine Chest Press4 Working Sets
Incline Machine Flyes3 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

derek lunsford height and weight
via instagram

While completing the workout, Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis discussed how their training and nutrition strategies evolved from off-season to competition prep.

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.

The two former 212-pounders also touched on dietary strategies. Derek Lunsford feels taking a break from excessive protein intake gives his digestive system a rest. 

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

Posing together after the workout, Flex Lewis commented on Derek Lunsford’s notably narrow and tight midsection. Lunsford credited this to his somewhat unorthodox dietary approach.

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.”

derek lunsford 2022 olympia
via instagram

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.

The Takeaways

This motivational chest workout and discussion between Derek Lunsford and Flex Lewis provided many valuable takeaways:

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.

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Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali is a freelance writer, proofreader, English tutor, editor, and content strategist. He has over 06 years of experience, specializing in health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Before becoming a freelancer, Maqsood held part-time staff positions at various companies and agencies, including Faizi Homeopathic clinic. Maqsood became heavily involved in CrossFit and fitness after finishing his Master's degree in English at the University of Okara. You can find his work at Tikkaykhan, GetSixpackab, and other fitness and nutrition companies and media outlets.

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