Derek Lunsford Shares Quad-Growing Leg Workout 8.5 Weeks Out Of Olympia

@dereklunsford_ Instagram

Derek Lunsford shared a massive quad day ahead of the 2023 Olympia.

Derek Lunsford has emerged as one of the top competitors in Men’s Open Mr. Olympia. Despite competing in just one show, Lunsford has put together an elite physique and has his sights set on the 2023 Olympia title. To prepare, he recently showed off an insane quad day to build his legs, and we are here to truly dissect this Derek Lunsford leg workout.

Lunsford received a special invitation to compete in Men’s Open during the biggest show of the year in 2022. After winning the 212 Olympia title in 2021, Lunsford put on incredible size and would be unable to return to make weight. He was able to show this off during the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro as a guest poser and stood out immediately. The plan quickly became to try to compete in Men’s Open after putting on an incredible amount of muscle mass.

In the early summer months last year, there were questions whether Lunsford would be able to compete at the Olympia because he did not have this special invitation. Also, he would be unable to compete in Men’s 212 because of the weight restrictions. He would not be able to cut down in time if he wanted to defend his title from the 2021 Olympia.

On his YouTube page, Lunsford recently showed off his most recent leg workout.

Derek Lunsford

Derek Lunsford Leg Day

Derek Lunsford has some massive, and shredded legs, and for him to craft those tree trunks, his leg day is no joke. He utilizes a mix of exercises to really hit his legs hard. Let’s break down this Derek Lunsford leg workout.

Leg Extension

Derek Lunsford began the leg workout to pump his quads with leg extensions. He began with two plates and completed four sets, adding one plate each time until reaching five. This came after a treadmill warmup. Lunsford walked for 10 minutes at 3 mph on a 7% incline.

  • 1 set 15 reps
  • 3 sets 10 reps
  • Drop Set: 6 plates of 20 reps
  • Drop: 3 plates of 15 reps

“Don’t tell me I’m not breathing. Breathe through my nose. People are gonna be like ‘you’re gonna pass out. You gotta breathe.’ I’m breathing here, through my nose.”

Front Squats

Lunsford hit front squats for his next exercise and showed off his strength. He completed a total of six sets and spoke on his strength following.

  • 135 for 12 reps
  • 225 for 10 reps
  • 315 for 6 reps
  • 365 for 4 reps
  • 405 for 10 reps
  • Drop: 315 for 15 reps

“Man, I was so excited to come in today to do this. I didn’t know if I could or would. I know two weeks ago I did eight reps and it was a tough eight reps. That was a solid 10, with the pre-exhaust that we did, which was the same…I’m getting stronger as I’m getting shredded and my motivation is just going higher. I want this, bad.”


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Pendulum Squats

The next exercise during this Derek Lunsford leg workout was pendulum squats. Lunsford prioritizes this workout when he can, especially if the machine does not hurt his knees.

  • 2,4,5 plates: 3 sets of 12
  • Drop Set: 6 plates for 9 reps
  • Drop: 4 plates for 6 reps

“I love this exercise. I feel like this machine, specifically, I can really push my feet through the platform and my butt through the pad. I really just drive those quads. No pain in the knees. This is a really good one. I typically don’t start with this exercise. I’ll put it at least third or fourth, somewhere toward the middle or the end, just so I can do some other stuff first.”

Leg Press

Lunsford completed leg press isolating each leg, which helps to eliminate any muscular imbalances that can arise with standard bilateral training. This allowed him to focus on each quad separately. He was able togo up two plates each set but explained that if four was enough, he would have left it there for all three sets.

  • 4,6,8 plates: 3 sets of 12 each leg

“This is where we’ll start and we’ll go from there. We could just do three set like this, if it feels heavy, but I can imagine that this is going to feel moderately heavy so we’ll do a couple more plates, a couple more sets. We pretty much fried the quads so I want to target a little bit of the hamstrings too.”

Standing Single-Leg Curls

  • 3 sets of 15

To end the workout, Derek Lunsford wanted to focus on the hamstrings for a bit. He did this in a way beginning with leg presses and burned them out with leg curls to end the session.

You can check out the rest of the workout below:

The Olympia is approaching rapidly, and Derek Lunsford is amongst the favorites for the top spots. Where do you think Lunsford will place at the 2023 Mr. Olympia competition? Do you think he can dethrone Hadi Choopan? Let us know!

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.