💪 Chris Bumstead’s 10 Favorite Exercises for Growth

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Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • Chris Bumstead’s 10 favorite exercises for muscle growth.

  • Tips for training your chest.

  • How Sylvester Stallone redefined Hollywood muscle.


CBum’s Picks

Image: @gymshark on Giphy

Most bodybuilders frequently vary their exercises during training, depending on their specific goals, the time allotted to reach them, and their current training split. As a result, competitors have hundreds of moves in their arsenal. Nonetheless, each lifter has unique biomechanics, which makes them biased toward certain exercises.

In a recent episode of the Muscle Wisdom podcast, four-time reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead revealed his 10 staple exercises for building muscle mass during his contest prep. Though many of these moves are the usual suspects — including bent-over rows and the back squat — Bumstead provided insight into his choices and gave some tips for performing the exercises along the way.


Your Chest, Explained

Image: nazarovsergey / Shutterstock

There’s a reason gym rats all over the world celebrate “International Chest Day” every Monday. For physique-minded, stringer-tank-clad gym bros and “how much ya bench?” strength athletes alike, the pilgrimage from the gym doors to the bench press is as sacred a ritual as whipping up a pre-workout protein shake.

Powerful, well-developed chest muscles steal the show at bodybuilding and strength competitions. But building impressive pecs takes more than stubborn effort — you need a level of knowledge about your chest that’s more than skin deep.

That’s why we’ve put together the only cheat sheet you’ll ever need for your chest. From a breakdown of your basic chest anatomy to actionable tips on the best way to train, it’s time to beef up your pec knowledge.


Sly’s Hollywood Influence

Credit: @rockymovie and @legend_sylvesterstallone on Instagram

You know how every major Hollywood blockbuster is accompanied by a leading actor who bulked up in real life to pull off the role? That’s certainly not a recent trend.

And while some may credit Arnold Schwarzenegger for starting this movement, he was already a bodybuilder when he first got into movies. No, if you want to pinpoint the man who truly popularized this trend, look no further than Schwarzenegger’s fellow Planet Hollywood batterymate, Sylvester Stallone.

From 1976, when the first Rocky movie premiered, through 1988, when the original Rambo series came to a close, Stallone was the poster child for physique transformations, thanks to some extreme dieting and a dedicated workout routine devised by a former Mr. Olympia winner. In the process, he helped redefine the Hollywood action hero and still serves as the model for the genre today.


Kaltwasser’s Dominance

Image: @ashleykfit on Instagram

  • Three-time Bikini Olympia champion Ashley Kaltwasser made history over the weekend by winning her 40th — 40th! — pro show. Read all about it here.

  • If you need to add serious bulk, you might benefit from a mass gainer. And here are some of our favorite brands.

  • The unassuming plate raise requires minimal loading and little-to-no learning curve to be effective. Here’s how to master this simple move for big results.


Franchise Showdown

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‘90s Charm

Image: @thedorianyates on Instagram

In the June 27, 2023, edition of The Ripped Report, we asked you to vote on your favorite Mr. Olympia winner from the 1990s. Here’s how you voted:

  1. Ronnie Coleman (38.84%)

  2. Dorian Yates (38.01%)

  3. Lee Haney (23.15%)