The Intense Shoulder Routine That Made Derek Lunsford the Mr. Olympia Champion


Derek Lunsford, the reigning Mr. Olympia champion, has been smashing his off-season training with intense shoulder workouts. The bodybuilding superstar, who won the 212 Olympia title in 2021 and then moved up to the Open division to claim the Sandow trophy in 2023, shared his shoulder training tips and techniques in a recent YouTube video.

Lunsford explained that he likes to train his shoulders with a high-volume approach, using a variety of exercises to target all three heads of the deltoid muscle. He also emphasized the importance of proper form, tempo, and mind-muscle connection to maximize the effectiveness of each rep.

In the video, Lunsford demonstrated his shoulder workout routine, which consisted of the following exercises:

  • Dumbbell Side Laterals: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Smith Machine Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Seated Front Raises: 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Rear Delt Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Smith Machine Press: 4 sets of 12 reps

Lunsford gave some useful tips on performing each exercise correctly and safely. For example, he said that he prefers to use the Smith machine for shoulder presses because it allows him to focus more on the contraction and squeeze of the shoulders, rather than stabilizing the weight. He also said that he likes to extend his arms and push his shoulders down and away when doing dumbbell side laterals, rather than bending his elbows and lifting them up.

Lunsford also revealed some of his secrets for achieving his impressive shoulder development. He said that he often incorporates drop sets, supersets, and FST-7 sets into his shoulder training, to increase the intensity and pump of the muscles. He also said that he trains his shoulders twice a week, once with a heavy weight and low reps, and once with a lighter weight and high reps.

Lunsford’s shoulder workout is a testament to his dedication and passion for bodybuilding, as well as his desire to improve and evolve as an athlete. He said that he is always looking for new ways to challenge himself and his physique and that he is not satisfied with being complacent or comfortable. He said that he wants to be the best version of himself and that he hopes to inspire and motivate others to do the same.

Lunsford is expected to defend his Mr. Olympia title at the 2024 contest, which is scheduled for October 10-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He will face some tough competition from the likes of Hadi Choopan, who was the runner-up in 2023, as well as other top contenders such as Brandon Curry, Roelly Winklaar, and Nick Walker. Lunsford said that he is confident and ready for the challenge and will bring his best package to the stage. He said that he is grateful for the opportunity to represent the sport of bodybuilding and that he will do his best to make his fans and supporters proud

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