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What Chris Bumstead Has Learned About Finding Fulfillment In and Out of Bodybuilding


Four-time reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion Chris Bumstead was on a panel recently at the Carbon Performance fitness center in Franklin, TN. At the event, the Canadian bodybuilder fielded questions regarding his bodybuilding legacy and what he’s learned throughout his time in the sport.

On July 19, 2023, he posted the conference Q&A session to his YouTube channel. Among Bumstead’s answers were how much fulfillment he’s found from bodybuilding and his biggest life lessons growing up in the sport. Watch the day-in-the-life vlog below:

[Related: Shaun Clarida’s Back and Biceps Training Four Months Out from the 2023 212 Olympia]

Bumstead’s Dual Identity

Bumstead’s therapist, Jordan, asked Bumstead a question at the panel regarding the difference between “CBum,” his bodybuilding alter ego, and “Chris,” the person she has come to know behind the scenes. Through therapy and present awareness, Bumstead has tried blending the two personas. 

“What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from therapy that you wish you would have known sooner?” asked Jordan, hinting at how achieving accolades or goals wasn’t making Bumstead happy. In response, Bumstead quoted the comedian and actor Jim Carrey, saying:

I wish for everyone to realize all their dreams and fame and realize that that does not make them complete.

Bumstead explained that the Olympia titles, contracts, endorsement money, and all the trappings of an elite bodybuilder were not fulfilling. Bumstead was stuck in a loop of buying materialistic things (e.g. cars, houses, etc.), but having those items didn’t lead to happiness. 

Bumstead touched upon the duality of CBum vs. Chris. He’s found that the biggest tenet of his joy is connectionOnce he allowed himself to be seen as himself rather than as only a bodybuilder, he eradicated many of his childhood habits of feeling the need to be cool, calm, and collected in the eyes of others. 

“I realized it made me feel very alone for a long aspect of my life, especially my childhood,” Bumstead said. “I felt like there wasn’t much I could connect with my family because they didn’t really see any of my struggles. They just saw the son who had it all together. He’s good to go.”

Bumstead’s Attitude Towards Bodybuilding & Life

Nowadays, Bumstead is letting his messiest parts show. He attributes his partner, former Bikini Olympia champion Courtney King, as a tremendous help through the therapeutic process. The couple got engaged in September 2022. Their relationship has helped Bumstead achieve the connection that offers him genuine happiness. For Bumstead, fulfillment comes from his relationships.

Bumstead spoke to those in the crowd who might have reservations about showing emotions to their partners, saying, “I think there is a lot of fear around men sharing vulnerability just because of concepts of how we have to be…but if you’re someone who can show that you can be there for them and love them and support them, you can also let them be there for you sometimes…it truly will bring you closer together. It’s worked for our relationship.”

Through therapy, Bumstead realized his need for others in his life; unable to be the bodybuilder or person he wants to be alone. His answer during the panel sparked others to divulge some of their fears and insecurities through healthy vulnerability.

Bumstead’s Hamstring Workout

Once Bumstead returned to Stuart, FL, the next day, he trained his hamstrings with the following exercises:

Machine Hip Abduction 
Seated Leg Curls
Machine Hip Adduction
Machine Hip Thrusts
Barbell Stiff-Leg Deadlift
Lying Leg Curls

Bumstead’s appeared to train in the eight to 15 rep range, with three to four working sets per exercise.

Featured image: @cbum on Instagram

The post What Chris Bumstead Has Learned About Finding Fulfillment In and Out of Bodybuilding appeared first on BarBend.

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