Chris Bumstead Leverages Tempo Training For Chest & Triceps Hypertrophy

The reigning five-time Classic Physique Olympia champion, Chris Bumstead, has a vice-like grip on the division. He refuses to rest on his laurels and is continually improving his physique. 

On June 8, 2024, Bumstead published a video on his YouTube channel sharing his chest and triceps workout, wherein he adopts tempo training to maximize hypertrophy. A review published in the Sports Medicine journal found that a combination of slower eccentrics and faster concentrics is the most favorable for hypertrophy. (1)

Chris Bumstead’s Chest & Triceps Workout

Here is an overview of the workout:

Incline Dumbbell Press

Machine Chest Press

Giant Set — Barbell Skull Crushers, Machine Dips & Cable French Press

Overhead Triceps Extensions

Check out the video below:

[Related: A Guide to the Best Pre-Workouts]

Incline Dumbbell Press

Bumstead employs a 3:1:1:0 rep tempo: a controlled three-second eccentric, followed by a brief pause in the fully stretched position, a one-second concentric, no pause at the top.

This deliberate tempo amplifies the time under tension (TUT), maximizing muscle stimulation for enhanced strength and hypertrophy gains. Research has found that explosive concentric repetitions enhance fast-twitch muscle fiber recruitment, applying greater hypertrophy potential. (2)(3)

Machine Chest Press

Bumstead retracted and depressed the scapula with a proud chest throughout the range of motion. He controlled the weight on the way down, avoiding bouncing or resting throughout the movement.

On the final set, Bumstead employed rest-pauses; 15-second rest intervals. This training volume and intensity can elevate muscle protein synthesis.

Giant Set — Barbell Skullcrushers, Dips & French Press

Bumstead flared his elbows during barbell skull crushers to bias the long and medial triceps heads. He maintains an upright torso to limit chest recruitment during machine dips. Bumstead used a rope attachment on the cable French press and spread his hands during concentrics to further activate the triceps.

Overhead Triceps Extensions

Bumstead concludes his workout with single-arm overhead triceps extensions. Pinning the pulley at head height, he grabbed the rope attachment with a neutral grip. Adopting a staggered stance for stability, he maintained his upper arm parallel to the floor.

The Canadian bodybuilder prioritized a full range of motion for a deep stretch at the bottom and a sharp contraction at the top. 

Bumstead will next compete at the 2024 Olympia (Oct. 10-13) in Las Vegas, NV, where he will vie for his sixth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title. 


Wilk, M., Zajac, A., & Tufano, J. J. (2021). The Influence of Movement Tempo During Resistance Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy Responses: A Review. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 51(8), 1629–1650.

Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, et al. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. 2012;590(2):351-362. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2011.221200

Nardone A, Romanò C, Schieppati M. Selective recruitment of high-threshold human motor units during voluntary isotonic lengthening of active muscles. J Physiol. 1989;409:451-471. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1989.sp017507

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram

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