Before the year 2023 ends, four-time reigning Classic Physique Olympia champion (2019-2022) Chris Bumstead has a different ambitious goal he plans to tackle at the same time as his championship defense. The bodybuilding titan has a private gym in the making — one that will likely match the intensive demands of his workouts and training as one of the sport’s biggest stars.
On June 6, 2023, Bumstead posted a video to his YouTube channel where the athlete revealed he would be building a personal gym for himself. The reveal came as part of an overall Q&A where Bumstead also alluded to changes in his diet and his continued public openness about his anxiety.
One of the main tidbits of Bumstead’s Q&A featured the bodybuilder walking through a space he aims to have completed 18 to 20 weeks out from the 2023 Mr. Olympia, a timeline which he admits is fast approaching. The space is approximately 3,000 square feet — not as large as some commercial gyms, Bumstead acknowledges, but suitable for his own customized needs.
“This is the future home of the 2023, 2024, and beyond Olympia Prep series,” Bumstead explained. “The ‘Bum Lifting Club,’ if you will. My private little gym. Something everybody dreams of when you start working out, having your own gym. But even more so, having a private gym.”
Beyond a reasonable ambition of wanting to have his own gym as one of bodybuilding’s faces, Bumstead offered up a simple rationale for the construction plans. Sometimes, he just wants more space to himself when it’s time to do things like pump his biceps.
It doesn’t appear it’ll only be exclusive to him, either.
“… During the day, it’ll be just me here if I want to train. Later at night, other people can come,” Bumstead clarified. “Being at Revive [Bumstead’s regular gym in Florida], a lot of people come to visit, a lot of people come from my work, and all this [expletive], and sometimes it’s hard to be there and be in the right mindset. It’s not my music playing, it’s this, that, whatever. It’s just being able to control the environment in here. So every day I just come in and I can set my own tone for the workouts. I think it’s something that’s really going to help me excel this year, into this prep.”
When it comes to diet, Bumstead said he’s started to scale back. While he usually eats six meals a day, at this point in his nutritional schedule, the athlete is dialing himself back.
“I’ve touched briefly on it [nutrition] in my last video, but I used to always consistently push myself to eat six meals a day or at least five meals and a shake,” Bumstead started. “And now it’s reduced down to four meals and a shake. So I have breakfast, two meals at work, and then a shake, and then one meal before bed.”
This diet change seems to be more of a permanent shift than anything related to a progressive step in Bumstead’s 2023 Olympia planning, too.
“Because I’m still trying to get the same amount of protein content, like 260 grams of protein, I’ve just increased the amount of chicken, fish, or whatever I put in my meals.” Bumstead said. “Honestly, my digestion has been so much better. And not only that. A huge key to sleeping is not having a full belly when you go to bed … So I’m eating now an hour and a half, almost two hours, before I go to sleep.”
Beyond his goals on stage and in the gym, Bumstead has maintained a significant and honest temperament about his struggles with anxiety. Even as he prepares to vie for a fifth consecutive Classic Physique Olympia title later this year, Bumstead explained that his anxiety gives him a constant test he’s learning to deal with.
It’s another worthwhile perspective from a public face at the top of his field.
“I’m still [expletive] battling it,” Bumstead said. “Learning how to relax when it [anxiety] comes. Accept that it’s there and not be too hard on myself. Just understand that it’s part of life. Whatever I’m doing, there’s probably a reason it’s making me anxious, because it’s important to me or whatever. So, not beating myself up. And also, something that took me a long time to learn and still learning, is communicating about it …. If someone can be there and listen and show you love, empathy, compassion, you feel better again.”
Featured image: @cbum on Instagram