Chris Bumstead Gives a Full Tour of His Personal Gym; No Bench Press?

The reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion, Chris Bumstead, built his private gym in 2023 to train for a fifth consecutive title. Bumstead says his gym provides the perfect environment for laser-focused training, free from outside disruptions.

On April 17, 2024, Bumstead published a video on his YouTube channel offering a comprehensive tour of his gym and state-of-the-art training equipment.

“I wanted it to feel like a real gym rather than just cramming equipment into a storage area,” Bumstead said. The space is approximately 3,000 square feet. Although not as big as some commercial gyms, it can still house all the equipment needed for Bumstead’s intensive training demands. Check it out below: 

Despite the high cost of building the private gym, Bumstead considers it one of his smartest investments, believing it has significantly excelled his career.

“It’s not always about putting your money into stocks and bonds to make more,” said Bumstead. “It’s about putting your money into crazy things that make you better and allow you to enjoy life more.”

Leg Machines

Bumstead has two leg extension machines in his arsenal. One is the Icarian selectorized machine. While lighter than its modern counterparts, this old-school machine offers superior quad contractions. Bumstead performs supersets and drop sets machine at the end of his workouts. The 29-year-old uses his Prime plate-loaded leg extension machine when lifting heavy at the beginning or middle of a workout. 

Bumstead owns a lying and a seated leg curl machine. The Prime plate-loaded lying leg curl machine allows varying the tension curve along his range of motion (ROM). The gym is also equipped with a Cybex adductor and abductor hybrid machine. Bumstead has a sled but uses it extremely infrequently.

The seated calf raise, tibia raise, and the Panatta standing calf raise machines stand together, with the latter doubling as a standing shoulder press.

Bumstead enjoys the belt squat, which loads the lower body without compressing the spine. He uses a wide stance to bias the glutes, hamstrings, and quad sweeps. The reigning Classic Physique Olympia champ strategically employs his GHD machine in his lower body workouts to develop a powerful and functional posterior chain.

The Canadian bodybuilder owns two Cybex leg press machines. The first is a conventional machine that moves at a 45-degree angle. The other is a squat press machine that descends at an angle, allowing greater depth during eccentrics. 

Bumstead used the squat press machine in every leg workout leading up to the 2023 Olympia. “I stacked it up and was getting up to 20 reps, and it would destroy my legs,” said Bumstead. “This thing helped me win the [2023] Olympia, for sure.”

The secret to getting big legs is just range of motion.

Bumstead praises his Pendulum squat machine for how much depth it allows him to achieve each rep. The hack squat machine was the last piece in Bumstead’s leg training arsenal. 

Cables, Smith Machine, Power and Dumbbell Rack

Bumstead’s dumbbell rack features five-pound increments up to 50 pounds, with larger 10-pound jumps for heavier weights. The gym has two cable machines — a functional trainer and a multi-station eight-stack machine. Bumstead favors the former biceps curls and chest presses and uses the latter for lat pulldowns and cable rows.

Bumstead prefers vertical Smith machines over angled counterparts, so his gym features a Cybex Smith machine. His six-post power rack is equipped with landmine and dip bar extensions. Bumstead doesn’t have a bench press in the gym and uses the power rack for most compound barbell exercises, such as bench presses and squats

Arm Machines

Bumstead’s arm training setup consists of a triceps dip machine, a Gymleco preacher curl machine, a Hammer Strength plate-loaded machine, and a seated preacher curl bench. 

Back Machines

Bumstead believes the chest-supported T-bar row machine is one of the most crucial for upper back development. Other machines in his back setup include the iso-lateral plate-loaded back row machine, the old-school Nautilus pullover machine, the Panatta high-row machine, and the low-row machine.

Chest Machines

The gym’s chest section includes the Panatta decline machine, incline chest press machine, and flat machine chest press. Although Bumstead has a pec deck, he’s focused more on dedicated 10-degree and 45-degree chest flye machines for inner chest development. The pec deck is more often used to train rear delts. 

Shoulder Machines

Bumstead favors the Prime plate-loaded shoulder press machine as its vertical line of pull maximizes anterior delt activation, unlike machines with angled trajectories, which can recruit the chest. The Arsenal plate-loaded press features a closer grip and utilizes a forward pressing motion, which helps Bumstead lift heavier. 

Cardio Section

The gym’s cardio section includes a recumbent bike, treadmill, and stair climber. Interestingly, Bumstead has an inversion table in his gym. “I used it three to four weeks out of the 2023 Olympia [prep] to try and be taller; I don’t know if it did anything,” admitted Bumstead. 

Bumstead will next compete at the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV, where he will aim to secure his sixth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram

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