Mitchell Hooper Tries Sam Sulek’s Chest Day

The World’s Strongest Man copies the young bodybuilder’s brutal chest workout

Although he was unable to defend his World’s Strongest Man (WSM) title against three-time champion Tom Stoltman, Mitchell Hooper is having a great 2024 so far. The 2023 World’s Strongest Man ranked as the runner-up to Stoltman at the competition, and performed great at the Arnold Strongman Classic and the Arnold Strongman Classic UK in Birmingham.

Aside from just competing in and dominating the World’s Strongest Man competitions, the Canadian strongman (who is also a kinesiologist) is exploring some new fitness horizons, more specifically he is trying out some different workout regimes, including bodybuilding routines.

On May 14, 2024, Mitchell Hooper gave Sam Sulek’s intensive chest workout a shot, diving into the world of training to failure across all exercises, something that Sam Sulek is very well known for. Let’s check it out. 

Sam Sulek’s Chest Routine

Sam Sulek keeps his chest routine simple, yet effective, putting only 3 exercises on the menu, but brutalizing the muscles on each one.

Incline Smith Machine Bench Press

The first exercise that Hooper does is the Smith machine bench press, completing five sets ranging from seven to fourteen repetitions, which was to failure each time. On the first set, Hooper completed 14 reps and then increased the weight to pull him back into the six to eight-rep range, slipping on some wrist wraps for additional support as he destroyed his upper chest. 

On his second set, Hooper loaded on 365 pounds for a total of seven reps, then discussed the nuances of bench pressing on a Smith machine versus using free weights.

Hooper stated “If you’re training for size, [the] Smith machine is great, so is bench press, but [the] Smith machine probably takes the edge. If you’re training for strength, [the] bench press will take the edge because it helps control all of these small muscles that stabilize and create that solid foundation to push from a stable platform.”

Chest Cable Flye

The next exercise on the list was the chest cable flye, which Hooper adopts a Strongman approach to, performing five sets of 10 to 12 repetitions. Hooper recommends concentrating on contracting the chest at each repetition’s apex, and selecting an appropriate weight to be able to get that contraction.

He rests for about 2 minutes in between each set to allow for a bit of recovery, although isolation exercises like chest flyes don’t require as much recovery time between sets. On the other hand, compound movements like the incline Smith machine bench press do require more rest time.

After completing the the cable chest flyes, Hooper noticed a sensation in his biceps and chest, and elaborates that adopting the correct form for exercises like this is unfamiliar territory for him as a strongman athlete, where the main focus is being as strong as possible in lifts that may not be so common for others. However, with Sam Sulek’s guidance he is determined to master it.

Pec Deck

The last exercise was the pec deck, executing a single set to failure. “Rounding out the workout, one set [to] absolute failure with the pec dec, aiming between 12-15 reps for failure. I will stack the weight to [the] maximum and hit as many as possible”. 

Wrap Up            

Overall, Mitchell Hooper is really stepping out of his comfort zone by taking on some bodybuilding workouts, and Sam Sulek is someone that really shows how to maximize your time in the gym with less exercises. 

What do you think of Mitchell Hooper taking on Sam Sulek’s chest workout?

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.