International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League Men’s Open bodybuilder Nick Walker is looking to become the 18th man to call himself Mr. Olympia when he steps onstage at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL during the 2023 Olympia Weekend of Nov. 2-5, 2023. Based on recent updates, “The Mutant” will likely be one of the larger athletes in the lineup, but he’s leaving nothing to chance, which is why he seems to be training with even more conviction during his current contest prep.
Walker is known for sharing details with his fans, which is why he posted a video of a recent leg workout on his YouTube channel on Aug. 24, 2023. Walker reported that he weighed 285 pounds on the morning of this workout, which he was pleased with. He said he weighed in the 270s at this point in his prep one year ago.
Single-Leg Lying Hamstring Curl
Walker began by targeting his hamstrings and he focused his individual legs by doing lying curls with one leg at a time. He would lift the pad up and slowly control the negative back to the starting position. When he finished one leg, he would train the other, then rest. After two work sets, he did a final set with lighter weight using the rest-pause technique — performing repetitions to muscular failure, pausing very briefly, and then completing additional reps — to achieve 15 total reps for each leg.
Smith Machine Stiff-Legged Deadlift
Walker said that he traditionally used a barbell for this deadlift variation, but on this day he opted for the Smith machine to achieve a stronger muscle contraction and smoother technique. While some styles of Smith machine have built-in safety blocks, the machine Walker used allowed the barbell to reach all the way to the floor which allowed him to maximize his range of motion.
Walker also loaded the bar with a smaller diameter 10-kilogram (22-pound) plate on each side to start with, and he explained why he made that choice. He added a second 10-kilogram plate to each side for his final work set.
“We’’’re focused on the muscle and the muscle only. Holding that stretch, controlling the negative.”
Following two hamstring-focused movements, Walker switched his focus to the quadriceps, beginning with the leg press. Walker was unsure how heavy he was going to go on this exercise, but he ultimately chose to perform 15 reps with eight 20-kilogram (44-pound) plates loaded onto the machine. He lowered the sled as close to his body as he could before slowly pressing it back up, This helped keep tension where he wanted it — on his quadriceps. Four more 20-kilogram plates were added for his next set and he achieved the same reps.
The 2021 Arnold Classic champion moved to a squat machine for his next quadriceps exercise. Even though he enjoys training with heavy weight on legs, he is focused on more than building power for the Olympia.
“It’s cool to go heavy on legs and really get that stimulus, but then it’s also okay to go a little high-rep and really create the roundness there.”
Following his second work set of 12 reps, he went from two plates to one and performed 20 reps for his final set.
Bulgarian Split Squats and Abductors
Walker concluded the session with two movements in a superset — alternating exercises with minimal rest between each set. He started with Bulgarian split squats with a dumbbell in one hand. Following a set with each leg, he went to an abductor machine to focus on his outer thighs. He performed this combination for a total of two supersets. This concluded Walker’s second leg day of his week, as he had shared that he follows a training split that targets each body part every four days.
Complete Leg Workout for More Muscle
If you want to try a sample version of Walker’s workout, you can follow the guide below.
- Single-Leg Lying Hamstring Curl — 2 x 8-10 per leg, 1 rest-pause set for 15 total reps per leg
- Smith Machine Stiff-Legged Deadlift — 2 x 10-12
- Leg Press — 2 x 15
- Squat Machine — 2 x 12 reps, 1 x 20
- Bulgarian Split Squat — 2 x 12 (superset with the following exercise)
- Abductor Machine — 2 x 12
Walker placed third at the 2022 Mr. Olympia, behind champion Hadi Choopan and runner-up Derek Lunsford. At the 2023 Arnold Classic several months later, Walker was runner-up to champion Samson Dauda. The 2023 Olympia will be Walker’s third appearance, having captured a respectable fifth place at his Olympia debut in 2021. The 29-year-old is looking to become the first champion under 30 years old since Lee Haney won his fifth of eight titles in 1988.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram