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IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford’s “Biceps & Calves Workouts” 3 Weeks Away From Mr. Olympia 2023 Contest

Derek Lunsford is a phenomenal bodybuilding competitor who is one of the best in the world in his weight division. In this article, we dive into his workout and training regimen and more. At the 2022 Mr. Olympia competition, Derek Lunsford made his debut in the Men’s open division and earned a second-place finish.

Derek Lunsford is one competitor to watch out for in the Olympia competition this year. After a childhood soccer career and a stint in boxing, Derek Lunsford found his passion for weightlifting in college. He made his professional debut in 2017 and has had quite the journey since then, including a switch from the Men’s 212 to the Men’s Open divisionThis post will look at Derek Lunsford’s biceps workout three weeks from Olympia 2023. 

Full Name: Derek Lunsford 
Weight  Height Date of Birth
225 – 260 lbs 5’6” 05/14/1993
Division Era Nationality
Men’s 212, Men’s Open 2010s – Till Date American

The first time Derek Lunsford competed in the Men’s 212 of the Olympia, he came in fifth place. Since then, it’s been about improving his physique until he finally netted the coveted first-place position in 2021. Derek Lunsford then switched things up when he got a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open category last year.

Being the hardworking mass monster he is, Derek Lunsford didn’t disappoint on stage and came second, only surpassed by the winner, Hadi Choopan. Part of what impresses everyone so much about Derek Lunsford is that he stands at just 5’6” but excels over many much taller athletes.

As Derek Lunsford prepares for the Mr. 2023 Mr. Olympia this year, he carries fans along the ride and shares tips and advice at different stages. For Derek Lunsford, this Olympia is a must-win for him and his child on the way. So he’s putting in his best effort and working closely with his coach to get the right results.

In this post, “we follow Derek Lunsford as he trains his biceps and a bit of calves three weeks away from Olympia. Derek Lunsford uploaded this training to his YouTube channel and shared multiple tips. Read on for more on this training and how he’s handling his Olympia preparations”.

Derek Lunsford’s Biceps Workout 

To start his biceps workout, Derek Lunsford takes a pre-workout supplement. He then explains that this won’t be a long workout as he’ll be using it as a rest day. Derek Lunsford also shares that typically, when training arms and calves, he starts with calves, but for this session, he’ll start with biceps because he wants to focus more on them.

“For his career thus far, Derek Lunsford has worked closely with Coach Hany Rambod. Rambod is an experienced trainer who works with other athletes, including the current Men’s Open winner, Hadi Choopan, and Classic Physique winner, Chris Bumstead. Rambod has also trained big bodybuilding names like Phil Heath and Jay Cutler.

Derek Lunsford explains that he has to send videos and pictures to Hany Rambod constantly. This enables him to tailor his training to maximize his gains.

“Every day you can see noticeable differences and every day H’s [Coach Hany Rambod] on me like a hawk, a watchful eye that’s always send me pictures [and ask] what’s your weight, what’d you eat, [etc.]”

Below are the exercises that he does for this biceps and calves training.

Overhead Cable Curls
Alternating Dumbbell Curls
Cross Body Hammer Curls
Preacher Curls
Standing EZ Bar Reverse Curls
Incline Calf Raises

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Overhead Cable Curls

The overhead cable curl is Derek Lunsford’s first biceps exercise in this workout. He uses an overhand grip and wears a weightlifting belt to do this routine. He then does a few sets of this exercise with arms in front of his head and the remaining sets with them behind his head.

The overhead cable curl is an effective way to add thickness and width to your arms. This exercise has biomechanics that allows you to isolate and build the short head of your biceps, leading to big guns. Using the stirrup handle attachment, the best way to do your overhead cable curl is on a dual pulley station.

Alternating Dumbbell Curls

Alternating dumbbell curls is another great biceps exercise (1). This exercise is excellent for your grip strength, and using each arm alternately can help to improve your coordination and fix imbalances. Alternating dumbbell curls, as the name implies, use dumbbells to build your arm muscles in each hand.

Derek Lunsford lifted heavily when doing them, so, at some point, he put on wrist wraps to help with his lifting. Wrist wraps stabilize your wrists when under load and can help you lift more for longer.

Cross Body Hammer Curls

Derek Lunsford does cross-body hammer curls after alternating dumbbell curls and uses wrist wraps again for this exercise. He uses a neutral grip and does multiple sets. Lunsford also explains that he’s doing three to four working sets of each exercise.

Cross-body hammer curls target your forearms, biceps, and brachialis. Due to the movement across the body for this exercise, it hits your arms differently and increases your range of motion. Research shows that a full range of motion effectively induces a bit more muscle growth during resistance training (2).

Preacher Curls

Preacher curls also primarily target the biceps, but the focus is on the long head. They get its name from the bent-over position over the slanted bench that gives the impression of a preacher. The incline of the bench prevents swaying to force the biceps to curl the load and provides a greater range of motion than other curl variations.

Derek Lunsford does preacher curls on a machine. He goes heavy with this exercise and needs some support from a spotter. After some reps, he heads to the final biceps exercise for this video.

Standing EZ Bar Reverse Curls

Derek Lunsford says he plans to hit his brachialis for standing EZ bar reverse curl. He explains that while hammer curls hit the same muscle group, it’s not enough for the results he’s looking for. Lunsford starts lightly with this exercise to get in tune with his muscles before hitting them hard.

“This is actually going to be more for this area: the forearm, the brachialis, the coracobrachialis. Like I mentioned before, so we’ve hit a lot of the biceps inside and outside of the biceps. Now, we want to hit a little bit more of this. Now, the hammer curls coming to the side here is going to hit a little bit of this area, too, but it’s not enough. We need to do a reverse grip curls, and then that’ll be it for biceps.”

The standing EZ bar reverse curl primarily targets your brachioradialis. It also recruits your outer bicep, brachialis, back, and inner biceps as supporting muscles. While this exercise might initially feel unnatural, it’s an effective way to isolate your forearms, leading to greater muscle hypertrophy.

Incline Calf Raises

Derek Lunsford rounded up this workout by doing multiple sets of the incline calf raise. He started with a lower foot placement and then an upper foot placement. Your foot positioning plays an essential role in the muscles targeted when training your calves (3).

Incline calf raises strengthen your calf muscles and induce muscle hypertrophy in your legs. They specifically target your gastrocnemius as they are a version of the standing calf raise. To do this exercise, you use the incline calf raise machine.

You can watch Derek Lunsford’s complete biceps workout below:

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  1. Marcolin, G., Panizzolo, F. A., Petrone, N., Moro, T., Grigoletto, D., Piccolo, D., & Paoli, A. (2018). Differences in electromyographic activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis while performing three variants of curl. PeerJ, 6, e5165.
  2. Pallarés, J. G., Hernández-Belmonte, A., Martínez-Cava, A., Vetrovsky, T., Steffl, M., & Courel-Ibáñez, J. (2021). Effects of range of motion on resistance training adaptations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 31(10), 1866–1881.
  3. Nunes, J. P., Costa, B. D. V., Kassiano, W., Kunevaliki, G., Castro-E-Souza, P., Rodacki, A. L. F., Fortes, L. S., & Cyrino, E. S. (2020). Different Foot Positioning During Calf Training to Induce Portion-Specific Gastrocnemius Muscle Hypertrophy. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 34(8), 2347–2351.



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