Chris Bumstead Reveals Shoulder Workout Ahead of the 2023 Olympia

chris bumstead's shoulders 2023 olympia
Chris Bumstead Instagram (@cbum)

CBum believes he’ll bring the most 3D delts yet to the 2023 Olympia stage. 

Chris Bumstead stands out as the epitome of success in the sport of bodybuilding. This Canadian bodybuilder has achieved an outstanding accomplishment of four Classic Physique Olympia titles, all before 30 – the record for the most victories in his division throughout its seven-year history. A big part of this success is his shoulder development, since capped shoulders play an essential role in the Classic Physique division. That’s why we’ll look at Chris Bumstead’s shoulder workout today. 

Full Name: Christopher Adam Bumstead (CBum)
Weight Height Date of Birth
230 – 264 lbs 6’1 02/12/1995
Division Era Nationality
Classic Physique 2010s- Till Date Canadian

Did you know that Chris Bumstead has a movie in the works? This new documentary film by Generation Iron has been a project since 2022. It chronicles the life of Bumstead, his two close friends Matt Jansen and Domenic Iacovone, and their brands RAW and Revive. This is something you don’t want to miss, and we wrote a piece all about it here.

Chris Bumstead and team Raw Life Story Documentary

For this post, however, we’ll be looking at some great exercises that Chris Bumstead does to build his shoulders. In a video uploaded on his YouTube channel two weeks before the 2023 Olympia, the star talks about his delts, prep, and getting in the right mindset. Let’s take a look at some of the exercises he did below. 

Chris Bumstead’s Shoulder Workout 


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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

Bumstead started his shoulder workouts by taking a pre-workout supplement and discussing his energy levels. Research shows that a pre-workout supplement could significantly improve your power output, upper body strength, and lower body strength (1). CBum also shares that he had a high-carb day the day before, significantly improving his output, and he has his post-workout meal with him.

Talking about the timing of his preparations, Chris Bumstead shares that the Olympia is two weeks away, and he’s currently in sync with preparations. He also says that he had a difficult start to prep season, but it’s good to ride it out and remember that tough times don’t last forever. Below are the shoulder routines that he does with his training partner, Axel Lopez. 

Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Seated Machine Shoulder Press
Peck Dec Fly
Cable Front Raise
Standing Machine Shoulder Press
Cable Cross Body Lateral Raise
Seated Calf Raise

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The dumbbell lateral raise is a shoulder routine focusing on your lateral delts. This great dumbbell exercise works on all three heads of the deltoid muscles and also recruits the rotator cuff, serratus anterior, and upper traps. Other muscles this exercise works include your obliques, abs, and wrist flexors.

Chris Bumstead and Axel Lopez first do some warmup sets of the dumbbell lateral raise. Then, they take turns to do multiple sets of about 10-15 reps each. Both men use dumbbells and spot each other when needed to complete their sets. 

Seated Machine Shoulder Press

The seated machine shoulder press primarily targets your front delts and increases the size of your shoulders. It also recruits your lateral delts, triceps, and pecs

Chris Bumstead and Axel Lopez start this exercise by doing warmup sets. They then did multiple sets of this exercise, hitting around 12-15 reps. Bumstead remarks this is a good shoulder exercise and will yield great delts on stage.

“Impressive, yes sir, gonna have some great D (delts) on stage. Hopefully the best ever.”

Peck Dec Fly

The pec dec fly is a chest exercise; however, it also works on your anterior delts. It’s mainly meant to add volume to the pecs and is best done with lighter weight to protect your shoulders. Doing this exercise with the machine allows you to focus and maintain a solid mind-muscle connection, which leads to more muscle growth (2).

Bumstead and Lopez did multiple sets of the peck dec fly using the machine. They did a variation where they faced the machine and hit around 8-12 reps, also spotting each other when necessary.

Cable Front Raise

The cable front raise is an effective isolation exercise for building your delts. It primarily targets your anterior delts and recruits your lateral delts, pecs, and traps. When doing cable front raises, you must brace your core so the tension stays on your delts.

Cable front raises were the fourth shoulder exercise that Chris Bumstead and Axel Lopez did for this training. They used multiple sets of 8-12 reps to target their deltoid muscles. For this machine, they used the rope attachment and put the cable on the lowest setting. 

Standing Machine Shoulder Press

The standing machine shoulder press also builds your delts but gets your entire body involved. You’ll also use more of your core with this variation since you’re standing. However, the machine does keep the shoulder muscles isolated. 

Bumstead and Lopez did multiple sets of the standing shoulder press using the shoulder press machine. They both hit around 8-15 reps for each set before moving to their final shoulder exercise for the day.

Cable Cross Body Lateral Raise

The cable cross-body lateral raise is another great exercise for your delts. It’s done by attaching a cable to the bottom pulley of two cable stations facing each other.  This exercise also recruits your traps and upper back muscles for support. 

Chris Bumstead and Axel Lopez did the cable cross-body lateral raise as the final shoulder routine in their workout. They both took turns at their functional trainer and did multiple sets of this exercise before heading to their last movement for this video.

Seated Calf Raise

The seated calf raise is an excellent exercise for your calves. It specifically focuses on the soleus, the inner calf muscle, as the gastrocnemius is in a shortened position when you sit. Seated calf raises are also less strenuous for your joints as the only joints under load are your feet and ankles. 

Chris Bumstead and Axel Lopex rounded up their shoulder workout with seated calf raises. Both men did multiple sets of this exercise before calling it a day. 

You can watch Chris Bumstead’s full shoulder workout below:

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  1. Kaczka, P., Batra, A., Kubicka, K., Maciejczyk, M., Rzeszutko-Bełzowska, A., Pezdan-Śliż, I., Michałowska-Sawczyn, M., Przydział, M., Płonka, A., Cięszczyk, P., Humińska-Lisowska, K., & Zając, T. (2020). Effects of Pre-Workout Multi-Ingredient Supplement on Anaerobic Performance: Randomized Double-Blind Crossover Study. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(21), 8262. 
  2. Calatayud, J., Vinstrup, J., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Brandt, M., Jay, K., Colado, J. C., & Andersen, L. L. (2016). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. European journal of applied physiology, 116(3), 527–533. 
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.