Chris Bumstead Leg Workout

Train Legs Like CBum With These Tips & Example Workouts

By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: March 27, 2024

Chris Bumstead is possibly the most famous bodybuilder in the world right now and 5x winner of the Mr. Olympia Classic Physique division.

One reason for Bumstead’s success is his work ethic in the gym and the workout principles he uses to maximize muscle growth. This is especially true of his grueling leg training sessions.

In this article, I’ll share the hypertrophy training principles he uses to grow big quads and hamstrings. And you’ll see two examples of Chris Bumstead’s leg workouts during contest prep and offseason training phases.

Chris Bumstead Leg Workout

Chris Bumstead Legs

Chris Bumstead, aka CBum, has built some legendary legs on his way to winning multiple Classic Physique championships. His world-class legs perfectly balance size, proportion, and definition.

During his brutal leg workouts, Bumstead has squatted nearly 500 lbs for reps (5 plates on each side). But more recently, knee pain has caused Chris to change up his leg training to keep his body healthy.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

Chris Bumstead’s Leg Size

Chris Bumstead’s legs are truly massive and measure approximately 30 inches (76.2cm) in circumference. That’s the same size as legendary Tom Platz’s legs (although Chris is much taller).

In comparison, the average male thigh size is about 20 inches (50.8cm). So CBum’s legs are 10 inches, or 50% larger than the average guy’s!

And it’s not just Chris Bumstead’s legs that set him apart. In the table below, you can see how his other body measurements compare to average.

Table 1. Chris Bumstead vs Average Male
Measurement Chris Bumstead Average Male Difference
Arms 20″ (51 cm) 14.6″ (37 cm) +37%
Chest 51″ (130 cm) 40″ (102 cm) +28%
Waist 30″ (76 cm) 40″ (102 cm) -25%
Thighs 30″ (76 cm) 20″ (53 cm) +50%
Calves 20″ (51 cm) 15″ (38 cm) +33%

Most of the year, Chris Bumstead trains his legs once or twice per week most of the year to achieve these superhuman dimensions. So let’s take a closer look at his leg workouts routine.

Chris Bumstead Leg Workout Routine

Like most professional bodybuilders, Bumstead’s training routine varies throughout the year based on his contest schedule. The most prestigious is the Mr. Olympia contest, which occurs in December each year.

Therefore, CBum’s training calendar is split into two general phases. First, he typically has a 16-20 week contest prep cutting phase starting in late summer and leading up to the big show in December.

After the contest, Chris lightens his training schedule for a few months to let his body recover from the stress. Then he begins an offseason muscle-building phase in the spring.

Furthermore, the training intensity, volume, exercises, and rep ranges can vary drastically between the two seasons, as do his diet, supplements, and performance-enhancement regimens.

Recently, Chris Bumstead shared a leg day workout where he is trained by Joe Bennett, the “Hypertrophy Coach.” In this video, Coach Bennett gives Chris some pointers on maximizing leg growth.

Feel free to check it out for yourself below. However, the video is over 30 minutes long, and you really have to pay attention to hear the little gold nuggets of information sprinkled throughout.

Chris Bumstead Leg Workout Tips

I’ve summarized the key points and leg training tips from Chris Bumstead’s workout with Joe Bennett for your convenience.

First, this workout consisted of a light warm-up with leg extensions and leg curls to get the blood flowing, and joints loosened up. Then Chris did a few sets on the pendulum squat, followed by a Smith machine Bulgarian split squat and prone leg curl to finish up.

During the workout, Joe guided Chris’s form, reps, and tempo to help him get more activation from his quads and hamstrings.

Here are some of the leg training tips provided during Chris Bumstead’s leg workout:

  • Tempo: Put more emphasis on a slower controlled negative (eccentric) phase and a smooth positive (concentric) motion.
  • Squeeze: Use a slight pause in the contracted portion of the range of motion to squeeze the muscle and make the exercise more challenging.
  • Rep Ranges: Most leg exercises are performed in the 8-12 rep range, although some may be slightly lower or higher.
  • Stretching: Between sets, static holds or stretches may be used to loosen the muscle fascia and increase blood flow in the legs.
  • Drop Sets: This technique of lowering the weight and performing another set without rest is often used in exercises toward the end of the leg workout to exhaust all muscle fibers.

These are strategies and techniques that Chris Bumstead regularly uses in his leg workouts. But the training session with Hypertrophy Coach Joe Bennett was a good refresher and reminder of best practices.

On a related note, check out my free Hypertrophy Training Guide for ten easy tips to maximize muscle growth.

Chris Bumstead Leg Workout Smith Machine Squat

Chris Bumstead Leg Workout Examples

Now is the fun part! Let’s take a look at some examples of full Chris Bumstead leg workouts. First, I’ll show you one of CBum’s contest prep workouts about 10 weeks out from the Mr. Olympia contest.

In this workout, Chris is at the world-famous Bev Francis Powerhouse Gym in New York. And he lifted some massive weights because he was not super depleted, as he would be closer to the contest.

Then, I’ll show you a late off-season leg workout where Chris shares some advice on working around knee pain while growing your quads.

Related: Leg and Shoulder Workout Examples

Chris Bumstead Contest Prep Leg Workout

Again, this workout takes place early in the contest prep phase, so Chris’s workout intensity is still very high. And his total workout volume is relatively low, with just 13 working sets.

Later in the contest prep, you will see Bumstead’s leg workouts shift towards more total sets with less intensity and weight. The reason for this is to increase calorie expenditure and burn the remaining body fat.

Here is a video of this exact leg workout if you want to watch CBum’s intensity and work ethic.

Now let’s take a look at one of Chris Bumstead’s leg workouts during the offseason. This next workout is an entire leg training session about six months out from the Mr. Olympia contest when Chris is at his heaviest.

In this workout, Bumstead uses plenty of warm-up sets to prepare for some heavy compound movements. Then finishes the workout with some isolation exercises and calf raises.

Chris Bumstead Offseason Leg Workout

  • Warm Up on Stairmaster
  • Single Leg Extension
    • 2 sets of 20 reps or more
  • Hip Adduction Machine
    • 1 warm-up set
  • Smith Machine Squats (quad focused)
    • 3 warm-up sets 3-4 reps
    • 1 heavy weight set 6-10 reps
    • 1 moderate weight set 15-20 reps
  • Single Leg Press (foot low)
    • 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • Hip Adduction Machine
    • 2 sets 8-12 reps
  • Leg Extension (superset with previous)
    • 2 sets 8-12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises
    • 2 heavy weight sets 12-15 reps
    • 3 moderate weight sets, as many reps as possible

As you can see, this workout combines heavy weights and relatively high volume with 20 total sets. You’ll also notice this leg workout is a bit more quad-dominant with several knee-focused movements.

Again, here is a video of Chris doing the workout if you want to see his form and technique.

More Chris Bumstead Workouts

It’s also important to realize that Chris Bumstead doesn’t always train quads and hamstrings on the same day. Sometimes, Bumstead uses a 6-day push, pull, legs training split.

One thing Chris likes about this split is that he can train every muscle group twice per week, including the legs. And this allows him to have quad-focused and hamstring/glute-focused leg days.

Click here for Chris Bumstead’s complete push, pull, legs workout.

Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs

Another reason Chris Bumstead is a repeat Mr Olympia winner is his massive arms. But he is the first to admit he doesn’t have great arm genetics.

For that reason, Bumstead’s arm workouts must be more strategic and intense to build the massive biceps and triceps that take home bodybuilding trophies. Click here to see Chris Bumstead’s arm workouts.

Chris Bumstead Arm Workout

Or, if you’re CBummed out, below is some of my other informative content! You’ll find useful tips on all things related to fitness and nutrition.

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