Walker is preserving shut tabs on Lunsford.
Within the present bodybuilding pantheon, few names are as large as Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford. The 2 younger athletes have stormed respective paths to the forefront of the game, seemingly turning into titans in a single day. Walker first arguably got here to prominence by successful the 2021 Arnold Basic, whereas Lunsford, the former 212 Olympia champion (2021), just lately got here in second in a debut Males’s Open efficiency on the 2022 Mr. Olympia. Lunsford would fall simply in need of beating new Mr. Olympia champion Hadi Choopan. Shifting ahead, by advantage of being in the identical division, the pair will inevitable butt heads on stage every so often. This actuality is clearly not misplaced on Walker.
On Jan. 19, 2023, throughout an episode of The Mutant and The Mouth podcast, Walker talked about his official prospects on the upcoming 2023 Arnold Basic (AC) in Columbus, OH. Within the course of, the dialogue concerning the Mar. 2-5, 2023, contest — which just lately introduced a $300,000 first-place prize — ultimately centered round Lunsford. That’s to say: Walker is preserving a detailed eye on his elite peer.
One of many first notes Walker clarifies about Lunsford is his standing on the 2023 AC. Given the language Walker makes use of, it initially appeared he wasn’t conscious that Lunsford confirmed he wouldn’t compete on the contest, however Walker later clarified that they wouldn’t face one another on stage fairly but. Nonetheless, Walker speculates about his rival’s present physique and why he’d take a step again from a major tentpole competitors.
It seems Walker believes Lunsford is having to make an adjustment to the dimensions of the Males’s Open class, as opposed adhering to the 212 division’s weight restrict. Therein, Lunsford may be taking his time to practice and construct dimension earlier than he competes once more.
“I’ve heard by the grapevine that he’s [Derek Lunsford] not doing the Arnold [Classic],” Walker mentioned. “That is the place I’m going to leap in. Did he add muscle or did he simply preserve it with out shedding it? I believe he restricted himself [in previous] off-seasons [to fit the 212 Olympia weight class]. So I believe what he gained again [when preparing for the 2023 Men’s Open Olympia] is what he usually has, plus perhaps just a little bit extra, I’ll say. However he didn’t placed on an astronomical quantity of mass. He simply didn’t must endure and lose mass to make 212.”
As somebody who will probably stand in the way in which of potential coming victories, Walker famous he’ll be expecting the positive aspects Lunsford makes. Walker appears to suppose the approaching low season shall be important for Lunsford as he commits totally to the Males’s Open and tries to win the 2023 Mr. Olympia. That contest will happen on Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL.
“This would be the low season the place we’ll see how a lot tissue he [Lunsford] places on and we’ll see what he seems to be like when he stands on the  Olympia stage.”
As for why Walker elected to compete within the AC once more quite than focus his efforts completely on his Olympia preparation, the reply is easy. The brand new profitable prize incentivized him to return to the Columbus, OH, stage.
“They [The Arnold Sports Festival] gave me till after the vacations to consider it,” Walker mentioned. ” … I felt good. In order that they reached out once more, they mainly mentioned they had been going to up the prize cash to $300,000. I mentioned ‘depend me in.’”
Walker has already been fairly outspoken about what may lie forward in 2023. In early January, he famous he was happy with a third-place consequence on the 2022 Olympia however most likely may’ve completed larger in a really perfect world. Earlier than he works to enhance on such outcomes, he’ll first put his crosshairs on a second AC title. Whereas he received’t have to fret about Lunsford at that individual contest, Walker appears to know it’d solely be a matter of time earlier than he and Lunsford cross paths once more.
Featured picture: @nick_walker39 on Instagram