“Maybe It Was a Good Thing” — Nick Walker Reflects During First Full Leg Day After Hamstring Tear

On Oct. 31, 2023, 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker revealed that he’d suffered a grisly hamstring tear during his prep for the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest. The injury forced Walker to withdraw from the event rather than risk poor placement in the biggest bodybuilding show of the year.

Walker has slowly rehabbed his injury since. On Jan. 3, 2024, Walker took to YouTube to showcase his “first official leg day” since suffering his injury.

[Related: Why Mr. Olympia Derek Lunsford Believes Walking Lunges Are “Essential”]

“I finally feel confident enough to put [the workout] on video,” Walker says, remarking that he’d been taking it easy in the gym so far. “I’m doing a bit of a deload this week, so I’m not going to go crazy heavy. I want to focus on form and contraction.” As injured as he is, Walker’s quad-and-hamstring-focused leg workout is nothing to balk at intensity-wise.

Nick Walker’s Post-Injury Leg Workout

Walker’s leg workout was comprised of eight bodybuilding exercises: four for the quadriceps and four for the hamstrings. His preferred warm-up while rehabbing is a few sets of leg extensions to get the quads firing before training compound exercises

The Workout

Walker did not specify his set-rep scheme for each exercise but performed at least one warm-up set on each exercise before one to two working sets. He focused intently on a slow tempo and pausing in certain positions. 

Seated Hip Press

Power Squat

Leg Extension

Lying Leg Curl

Seated Leg Curl

Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Hip Abduction Machine

Cyclist Squat

Hip Adduction Machine

For hamstring exercises, Walker specified he’s been working through his injury by adjusting his range of motion to omit the fully stretched position. He has also dialed back on load — Walker is renowned as one of the strongest bodybuilders in the sport — choosing to use a pair of 40-pound dumbbells for stiff-leg deadlifts.

“Getting injured humbles you. You have to use lighter weights and end up feeling it more than the way you used to. Maybe it was a good thing,” Walker reflected during the session.

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Walker may see the glass half full regarding his hamstring, but his rehab protocol has real clinical support behind it. A 2021 literature review on exercise tempo during resistance training noted, “… during slower movement tempos, it is easier to control particular phases of movement, which may be beneficial in the recovery process of injured athletes.” (1)

By slowing down, Walker can make lighter weights more stimulating while avoiding instability or potentially hazardous ranges of motion. Despite the necessary adjustments, Walker still left the gym having completed an effective workout and moved one step closer to his return to the pro show stage.

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Wilk M, Zajac A, Tufano JJ. The Influence of Movement Tempo During Resistance Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy Responses: A Review. Sports Med. 2021 Aug;51(8):1629-1650. doi: 10.1007/s40279-021-01465-2. Epub 2021 May 27. PMID: 34043184; PMCID: PMC8310485.

Featured Image: Nick Walker on YouTube

The post “Maybe It Was a Good Thing” — Nick Walker Reflects During First Full Leg Day After Hamstring Tear appeared first on BarBend.


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