Chris Bumstead, otherwise known as Cbum, has established himself as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He recently won his fourth consecutive Mr. Olympia in the classic physique division, and he’s considered one of the most aesthetic bodybuilders. Bumstead has seen an exponential rise to fame since turning pro in 2016, and thus many people question what it takes to achieve such a level of fitness.
The remainder of this article is a look into the life of Chris Bumstead. We’ll talk briefly about his upbringing, his contest history, his workout routine, and his diet. Please note most of this information was collected from interviews or directly from Bumstead’s YouTube.
Bumstead is Canadian, being born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. He was primarily involved in sports growing up, but he began to take an interest in weightlifting when he entered high school. Chris started lifting more seriously his freshman year of high school, and he remained consistent from that point onwards. He gained roughly 20 pounds between his junior and senior year which laid the foundation for his incredible musculature.
Truth be told, Bumstead was a cut above the rest in terms of genetics and his training. He was always an athlete and he seemed to pack on muscle easier than most people. This caused bodybuilders like Iain Valliere to take notice and urge him to pursue the sport.
Interestingly enough, Iain Valliere was in a relationship with Bumstead’s sister, so the connection was an easy one to make. Valliere took Chris under his wing and turned him into a stage-ready bodybuilder by 2014.
Below is a picture of Chris Bumstead when he was in high school (source). This picture became popular on the internet recently as the fitness industry questioned whether Chris was natural at the time. Bumstead is 27 years old at the time of writing this article, so this picture was taken right before he started competing.
Chris Bumstead recently released a Q/A video and this photo was one of the topics. He claimed in the video that he was 100% natural in this photo and several years into training. This shows how impressive his physique was before turning to steroids, and it’s a true indication of his good genetics.
Bumstead’s bodybuilding career began in 2014 when he won his first regional show. He earned his IFBB pro card by winning the 2016 North American Championship (Heavyweight) and proceeded to win two events the following year. Just one year after earning his pro card, he qualified for his first Mr. Olympia.
- Earned pro card in 2016
- Won 2017 IFBB Pittsburgh Pro in Classic Physique
- Won 2017 IFBB Toronto Pro in Classic Physique
- Mr. Olympia runner-up 2017-2018 in Classic Physique
- 4-time Mr. Olympia winner from 2019-2022
Chris Bumstead had a rather exponential rise to stardom in bodybuilding because of his aesthetic proportions. Judges knew as early as 2014 that Bumstead was special because of the mass and shape he had at his age. To many followers of the sport, he has the golden-era physique that the classic division strives for. Below you can see a picture from early on his career, sourced from his instagram.
As you can tell from the photo above, Cbum was incredibly well developed for his age in 2014. He was 19 years old at this time and still considered a junior bodybuilder. Despite his junior status, he managed to win first in three different classes at this competition.
Winning this competition helped launch Bumstead’s career to new heights. He proceeded to devote himself to bodybuilding and turn pro in the following two years.
Mr. Olympia Wins
The pinnacle for any bodybuilder is to be crowned Mr. Olympia. Most competitors can only dream of qualifying for the annual competition which requires winning an IFBB pro show or a special invite. For Chris Bumstead, however, winning the Olympia is a regular occurrence.
Bumstead recently won his fourth consecutive Mr. Olympia title in 2022. This accolade places him in an elite category of bodybuilders who are repeat champions. Only Ronnie Coleman (8), Lee Haney (8), Arnold Schwarzenegger (7), Phil Heath (7), Dorian Yates (6), and Jay Cutler (4) have equal or more wins than Chris Bumstead.
It’s important to note that no individual has as many Mr. Olympia wins in the classic physique division. The other bodybuilders listed above competed in the open division which doesn’t have weight restrictions. In a sense, this implies Cbum is the greatest classic physique competitor of all time. Quite frankly, there’s no one to compare him to.
Mr. Olympia History
- 2017 – runner-up in classic physique (Breon Ansley won)
- 2018 – runner-up in classic physique (Breon Ansley won)
- 2019 – first Mr. Olympia win
- 2020- second Mr. Olympia win
- 2021 – third Mr. Olympia win
- 2022 – fourth Mr. Olympia win
Bodybuilding is most commonly associated with working out, but what does this look like at the highest level? To tell the truth, Chris Bumstead’s workout routine is what you’d expect from an IFBB pro bodybuilder. He hits certain muscle groups on certain days while focusing on volume and intensity.
No one can say for sure what Chris does on a daily basis because there’s likely a lot of fine-tuning involved for certain muscle groups. Despite this, we can use information collected from his gym session videos to come up with a rough idea.
Bumstead follows a pseudo-push, pull, legs type of routine. He follows a 5-day split and each day emphasizes certain muscle groups. Below you’ll see an example of how Chris organizes his training days.
Day 1: Back (pull heavy)
- Assisted pull-ups, 4 sets of 12-15 or AMRAP unassisted pull-ups.
- Barbell bent-over rows, 4 sets of 8-12 reps .
- Deadlifts, 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
- Lat pulldown variations, 4 sets of 12-15 reps.
- Single-arm dumbbell rows, 4 sets of 10-15 reps.
- Seated cable rows or other machine rows, 3 sets of 15-20 reps.
- Hyperextensions, 2-3 sets AMRAP
Day 2: Chest and Biceps (push heavy)
- Incline dumbbell bench press, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Machine bench press variations, 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell fly variations, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Machine or cable flys, 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Barbell bicep curls, 3 sets of 15 reps
- Reverse barbell bicep curls, 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hammer curls, 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Day 3: Glutes and Hamstrings (legs, pull heavy)
- Romanian deadlifts, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Prone leg curls, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Hack squats, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Single-leg glute kickbacks, 3 sets of 10-15 reps
- Standing or walking lunges, 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Day 4: Shoulders and Triceps (push heavy)
- Barbell or dumbbell shoulder press, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lateral raises, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Barbell or dumbbell front raises, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Upright rows, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Face pulls, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Skullcrushers, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Tricep kickbacks, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Day 5: Legs (quad isolation work, push heavy)
- Barbell back squats, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Quad extensions, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Leg press, 4 sets of 15-20 reps
- Lunge variations, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Smith machine squat work, 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Again, this routine is based solely on publicly available information. We can’t say for sure what Chris Bumstead is doing each day, but we know his workouts are volume-heavy and revolve around compound lifts. I encourage you to check out some of Bumstead’s training videos if you really want to model your routine after his.
An IFBB pro’s diet is going to be vastly different from your casual gym-goer. Bodybuilders pay strict attention to their caloric intake and macronutrient profile of all foods they consume. Diet requirements will vary based on whether a bodybuilder is in the off-season or show season, but one thing’s for certain – there’s always an emphasis on eating clean.
Off-season bodybuilders tend to increase their caloric intake substantially to put on additional mass. This is often referred to as the bulking phase because you’re putting on weight and getting bigger over time. Bodybuilders preparing for a show drastically decrease their caloric intake to come in as lean as possible for their show.
Elite athletes like Chris Bumstead, for example, can easily eat over 5000 calories per day in the offseason, and drop to as low as 1600 daily calories when approaching peak week for shows. This is typically a grueling process on both sides of the coin but it’s required to compete at a high level.
As a general disclaimer, professional bodybuilders are going to have a much higher TDEE than your typical person. This implies they can consume more calories to maintain their weight. Knowing this, you shouldn’t model your caloric needs exactly after an IFBB pro because it simply won’t be accurate.
A person’s nutrition plan is always subject to change, but below are some foods that are staples in Chris Bumstead’s diet.
- Filet mignon (or other steak cuts)
- Rice (usually jasmine or white)
- Sweet potatoes
- Red potatoes
- Chicken breast
- Whole eggs
- Egg whites
- Green beans
- White fish
- Shredded lettuce
Chris Bumstead is inspiring to a lot of people, and for good reason. He’s quickly turned into one of the best bodybuilders of all time because of his work ethic and honest personality. Below you’ll find some key takeaways from this comprehensive article.
- Chris started competing in 2014 and earned his pro card in 2016 by winning the North American Championship.
- He recently won his fourth Mr. Olympia title in the classic physique division.
- His workout routine is volume-heavy and incorporates a lot of compound exercises.
- Lean meats, fish, complex carbs, and vegetables make up the bulk of Bumstead’s diet.
Outside of bodybuilding, Bumstead has a large following as a fitness influencer. He sells his own merchandise and regularly posts content on social media.