Derek Lunsford’s Grueling Leg Day: Unveiling His 2023 Mr. Olympia Prep

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In the realm of bodybuilding, success hinges not only on dedication and perseverance but also on a meticulously crafted workout regimen tailored to the athlete’s specific goals. 

Derek Lunsford, the 2021 212 Olympia champion and 2022 Mr. Olympia runner-up, is no stranger to the grueling demands of the sport. 

With his sights firmly set on capturing his first Mr. Olympia Sandow trophy in 2023, Derek Lunsford recently provided a unique insight into his leg-focused workout routine as part of his Olympia preparation. 

In this article, we delve into the details of Derek Lunsford’s intense leg day, designed to sculpt his quads and elevate his conditioning for the upcoming 2023 Mr. Olympia, scheduled for November 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.

The Importance of Strategic Workout Programming

derek lunsford workout split
via derek lunsford instagram

Bodybuilders, especially those operating at the elite level, understand the significance of tailored workout programming throughout the year. 

These programs undergo adjustments based on whether the athlete is in a bulking, cutting, or maintenance phase. 

While snippets of their workouts are often shared with the public, the intricacies of their programming remain closely guarded secrets to maintain a competitive edge. 

Derek Lunsford, however, sheds light on the importance of precise programming, emphasizing the need to strike a delicate balance between productive training and overexertion. 

He eloquently says, “You do what’s necessary each day. You don’t do extra things that can be counterproductive, and you only do what you need to or what you should. You must do precisely what will elicit the best result daily.”

Derek Lunsford’s 2023 Olympia Leg Workout

As the 2023 Olympia loomed nine weeks away, Derek Lunsford graciously offered a detailed glimpse into his high-volume, lower-body workout routine. 

This leg-intensive regimen is pivotal in his quest to attain peak conditioning and muscle preservation during his calorie-deficit phase in preparation for the Olympia.

derek lunsford leg workout
via derek lunsford instagram


Ten minutes on the treadmill at a seven-percent incline.

Leg Extension:

Five sets of 15, 10, 10, 10, 20 reps.

The final set includes a drop set, featuring 20 reps with six plates, followed by 15 reps with three plates.

Front Squat:

derek lunsford squat
via derek lunsford instagram

6 sets of 12, 10, 6, 4, 10, 15 reps.

The final set incorporates knee wraps and entails 405 pounds for 10 reps, followed by a back-off set of 15 reps with 315 pounds.

Pendulum Squat:

4 sets of 12, 12, 12, 9 reps.

The final set includes a drop set of six reps with four plates.

Single-Leg Leg Press:

3 sets of 12 reps per leg.

The weights used progressed from four to six and then eight 45-pound plates.

Standing Leg Curl:

To target the hamstrings, Derek Lunsford concludes his leg day with standing leg curls, focusing on controlled repetitions to engage the hamstrings effectively.

The Path Forward

derek lunsford weight
via derek lunsford instagram

During this rigorous leg workout session, Derek Lunsford revealed an exciting development—his conditioning currently sits two to three weeks ahead of schedule compared to the previous year, precisely eight weeks out from the Olympia. 

This promising advancement underscores his unwavering commitment to refining his physique and attaining peak form for the upcoming showdown at the 2023 Mr. Olympia.

As the silver medalist at the 2022 Olympia, Derek Lunsford secured direct qualification for the 2023 contest, establishing himself as a formidable contender and a significant threat to the reigning champion, Hadi Choopan

However, Derek Lunsford’s journey to the coveted Sandow trophy will be no easy feat, as he faces formidable competition in the likes of Samson Dauda, the 2023 Arnold Classic Champion Nick Walker, the 2022 Olympia bronze medalist and former champions Brandon Curry and Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay.

Derek Lunsford’s relentless pursuit of the 2023 Mr. Olympia title is characterized by unwavering dedication and meticulous preparation. 

His leg-focused workout routine, as unveiled in this article, serves as a testament to the rigorous training required to excel in the world of professional bodybuilding

As the Olympia draws nearer, fans and fellow athletes eagerly anticipate witnessing Derek Lunsford’s awe-inspiring physique on the grand stage. 

The 2023 Mr. Olympia promises to be a fierce battle, and Derek Lunsford’s commitment to achieving his personal best ensures that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the quest for bodybuilding’s most prestigious honor, the Sandow trophy.

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