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Roger “Rock” Lockridge
Roger "Rock" Lockridge is Muscle Insider's Senior Writer and has been involved in the fitness industry in multiple roles since 2002, including as a personal trainer and supplement sales associate for multiple locations. He is best-known as a freelance writer whose work has been featured by publications such as Muscle & Fitness, Men's Health, BarBend, Bodybuilding.com, and others. As of 2022, he's had over 2,100 articles published in print and digitally in ten languages on six continents. His personal transformation and story has been featured in a variety of outlets such as Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Huffington Post, Deseret News, Muscle & Strength, and Bodybuilding.com. Lockridge has contributed to Muscle Insider since 2021. He lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.
The Challenges and Advantages That Lie Ahead for Chris Bumstead and Hany Rambod
By Roger Lockridge
Chris Bumstead could arguably be called Canada’s greatest physique athlete. The three-time Classic Physique Olympia champion has reached mainstream fame since his reign began in 2019. So, when he makes an announcement, the bodybuilding world pays attention.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re likely aware that Bumstead announced that he is now working with Hany Rambod as his coach for the 2022 Olympia prep, which he hopes will lead him to a fourth consecutive title. Rambod brings a treasure chest of knowledge and experience, and Bumstead is on top of his game at a young age, so this appears to be a dream team in the making.
It could very well be a match made in heaven, but there are certain aspects that will need to be addressed. Let’s talk about the challenges and advantages that come with this newly formed uniting of bodybuilding powers.
New Coach for CBum - Bumstead and his former coach, brother-in-law Iain Valliere, opted to make this joint decision so Valliere could focus on himself while CBum had a coach he could have focus on his needs as a priority. The downside to that is Valliere is the only coach Bumstead has worked with for his pro career and much of his amateur career. A coach and athlete can be friendly, but working together brings a new dynamic into the relationship. They will need to get a feel for how the other operates because both men in this situation are established winners.
Starting in Prep Instead of Offseason - Bumstead and Rambod both stated that they agreed to work together in August, which is the beginning of Bumstead’s prep period. Rambod traditionally had liked to start with athletes in the offseason so he can learn more about how the athlete’s body works, habits, and so they can develop a chemistry. Rambod is certainly capable of learning on the fly, but it’s not the optimal situation for any coach to be in.
Rambod Had Never Started with a Defending Champion – Rambod has led athletes to the Olympia title on 20 different occasions, but he’s never joined forces with the defending champion of any division. Remember, he joined forces with Jay Cutler in 2009 after Cutler lost the 2008 Olympia to Dexter Jackson. That means Rambod may have to deal with extra pressure to keep the wolf on top of the hill instead of helping him climb the hill. He also had coached many champions, but never one in Classic Physique, so that is also new territory for the founder of Evogen Nutrition. It may new ground for “The Pro Creator,” but winning is winning, and Rambod knows that very well.
Rambod’s Experience – Valliere obviously knows how the sport works, but Rambod has experience that only comes with time, and that can be beneficial for a defending champion like Bumstead. Many of Rambod’s champions have won multiple titles, so he knows a lot about staying on top. Bumstead has been on top of Classic Physique for three years, which could be the start of a dynasty. This may be the best time to lean on someone like Rambod.
A Coach that Can Focus on the Athlete – Valliere was great at what he did, but it can be difficult to coach an athlete when you’re competing yourself on the same weekend, especially the biggest contest of the year. With Rambod available to help guide and support Bumstead, the champion can focus on doing what he needs to do in order to claim Olympia number four and likewise for Valliere.
Bumstead’s Dominance – With all due respect to former champion Breon Ansley and contenders such as Terrence Ruffin and Urs Kalecinski, Bumstead can be considered the one favorite to defend his title that may be a lock. Many experts believe that Bumstead would have to be off the mark in order for a contender to come in and take the title. As long as the native of Canada does what he needs to do, then that space on his mantle will be filled come Christmas time.
Will Bumstead take number four, and will Rambod win number 21? The only way to know exactly how this plays out will be to see the Olympia when it happens in Las Vegas on December 16th and 17th. The Classic Physique Olympia will definitely have a lot of eyes on it, and history will surely be made.
*© Images courtesy of Instagram