Walker is holding shut tabs on Lunsford.
Within the present bodybuilding pantheon, few names are as massive as Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford. The 2 younger athletes have stormed respective paths to the forefront of the game, seemingly changing into titans in a single day. Walker first arguably got here to prominence by profitable the 2021 Arnold Basic, whereas Lunsford, the previous 212 Olympia champion (2021), lately got here in second in a debut Males’s Open efficiency on the 2022 Mr. Olympia. Lunsford would fall simply wanting 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 once in a while. 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 in regards to the Mar. 2-5, 2023, contest — which lately introduced a $300,000 first-place prize — finally centered round Lunsford. That’s to say: Walker is holding an in depth 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 scale of the Males’s Open class, as opposed adhering to the 212 division’s weight restrict. Therein, Lunsford could be taking his time to coach and construct measurement earlier than he competes once more.
“I’ve heard by means of 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 feel he restricted himself [in previous] off-seasons [to fit the 212 Olympia weight class]. So I feel what he gained again [when preparing for the 2023 Men’s Open Olympia] is what he usually has, plus perhaps a bit bit extra, I’ll say. However he didn’t placed on an astronomical quantity of mass. He simply didn’t need to endure and lose mass to make 212.”
As somebody who will probably stand in the best way of potential coming victories, Walker famous he’ll be looking forward to the features Lunsford makes. Walker appears to suppose the approaching low season might be very 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 reasonably than focus his efforts fully on his Olympia preparation, the reply is straightforward. 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 ‘rely me in.’”
Walker has already been fairly outspoken about what may lie forward in 2023. In early January, he famous he was glad with a third-place consequence on the 2022 Olympia however most likely may’ve completed greater in an excellent world. Earlier than he works to enhance on such outcomes, he’ll first put his crosshairs on a second AC title. Whereas he gained’t have to fret about Lunsford at that exact 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