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Derek Lunsford and Ronnie Coleman Spend Quality Time Building Up Their Back and Biceps


Former 212 Olympia champion (2021) Derek Lunsford switched to competing in the Men’s Open last year and barely missed a beat. The superstar bodybuilder took home a runner-up finish at the 2022 Olympia, putting himself on the precipice of immortality. In November 2023, during the latest iteration in Orlando, FL, Lunsford will try to finish the job. First, he took some training advice from an icon.

On Apr. 3, 2023, Lunsford posted a video to his YouTube channel where he works out with eight-time Mr. Olympia (1998-2005) Ronnie Coleman. The legend and Lunsford walk through a back and biceps workout together that could probably only be achieved by two bodybuilding superstars.

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Before Lunsford and Coleman hit the gym, they spent much of a day together, doing things like getting breakfast at a diner and talking about the bodybuilding training process. Then, when it was time to get down to business, they wasted no time.

Here’s an overview of the back and biceps workout from Lunsford and Coleman. The routine took place at Coleman’s Signature Series gym. Note: The exact repetition and sets for each movement were undisclosed.

Lunsford and Coleman begin the session with a traditional deadlift. Given some of Coleman’s recent health issues, only Lunsford performed the movement, working in a few sets before the pair moved on.

Lunsford and Coleman worked in some seated cable rows to center more on a horizontal training angle for the back muscles. The exercise is great for well-rounded back development if performed in a controlled fashion. Both Lunsford and Coleman powered through a few heavy sets while gradually increasing their weight.

Despite an apparent intensity, Coleman took the time to encourage Lunsford, perhaps giving him an appropriate description.

“Next up and coming Mr. Olympia is right here,” Coleman said of Lunsford as he worked out. “The future is here. You got the man in the house.”

To close out the back-focused portion of their session, Lunsford and Coleman implemented a wide-grip lat pulldown. A staple back movement in many training routines, the latissimus dorsi is under the microscope here. The duo performed a traditional lat pulldown with a wider grip before shifting to a few sets of a behind-the-neck variation.

Lunsford emphasized that contraction and technique were vital on the lat pulldown.

“Even though it looks like we’re swaying a little bit, you’ve really gotta make sure that you’re staying engaged with the muscle and keeping that constant tension,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford and Coleman isolated their muscles with preacher curls in the first part of their biceps workout. The nature of the movement restricts an athlete’s positioning, forcing improved work on the biceps. This makes preacher curls a great way to reinforce the biceps brachii muscles.

After warming up, Lunsford and Coleman pushed themselves through a few working sets as they prepped for the final segment of their day in the gym together.

To differentiate from the preacher curls, Lunsford and Coleman closed with some sets of the hammer curl variation. Hammer curls work the long head of the biceps muscles and the brachialis near the forearm. With their back and biceps sufficiently trained, Lunsford and Coleman put a neat bow on their mutual session.

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After getting the opportunity to pick the brain of a living Olympia legend, Lunsford was appropriately grateful. It’s not necessarily often a current star even gets a chance at this kind of meeting of the minds.

“What a day, man! That was a lot of fun,” Lunsford exclaimed. “It just felt like we all clicked right away. Just everybody here, and especially me and Ronnie [Coleman] hanging out and having a good time, man!”

Featured image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram

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