Derek Lunsford is the reigning 212 Olympia champion however gained’t be defending that title on the 2022 Mr. Olympia after not too long ago getting a particular invitation to the Men’s Open division. The International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFFB) Pro League member and his coach Hany Rambod not too long ago had a candid dialog about what went into the division transition. Plus, they rapidly diagrammed how the athlete will strategy his upcoming coaching for the competition.

On Sept. 19, 2022, a video of their dialogue was posted to Rambod’s YouTube channel. 

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According to Lunsford and Rambod, the pair initially considered shifting the bodybuilder to the Men’s Open division in May 2022. After the athlete had guest-posed — and held his personal — on the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro alongside names like two-time reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay, Nick Walker, Brandon Curry, and Hunter Labrada, Lunsford and Rambod started to think about the likelihood. 

Notably, Rambod had considerations that Lunsford wouldn’t be capable to make weight for the 212 class once more. When Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon steered that Lunsford was “nowhere near 212 pounds” in a July episode of Olympia TV on YouTube, the writing might need been on the wall for Lunsford’s eventual particular invitation.  

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To clarify his rationale behind transferring to the Men’s Open, Lunsford maintains that he had a need to maintain constructing mass.

“I could just feel my body wanting to grow,” mentioned Lunsford. “After earning the 212 Mr. Olympia title last year [2021], I took a break for a little bit, but I just wanted to keep getting better every single day. For me, it was like we achieved something, and now I want to see how much better I can be. So, I just didn’t want to stop.”

In the aftermath of his 212 Olympia victory, Lunsford famous that he stored coaching laborious and gaining weight it doesn’t matter what he did to mitigate the expansion.

“After the Olympia, I kept training, eating clean, doing cardio, and feeling good, but I started to gain weight,” Lunsford mentioned. “I tried to keep my weight under 240 pounds, and if we could max out at 240, we’d be good.”

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Lunsford and Rambod know they’ll face robust sledding in a aggressive division with Elssbiay, Walker, Labrada, and Curry. To put together for the slate of elite friends, Rambod clarified the bodybuilder’s subsequent steps, which is able to focus rather a lot on making ready his higher physique. 

“For him [Lunsford], it’s going to be about his back, his chest, his shoulders, his arms, and continuing to grow his outer sweep,” Rambod mentioned. “His legs are going to look stronger now.”

As for why Lunsford finally wished to maneuver as much as the Men’s Open, weight fluctuation wasn’t the one purpose per Rambod. The reply is straightforward — Lunsford desires to be within the firm of all-time greats.

“Derek [Lunsford] wanted to win the Sandow Trophy [in the Open division] and be like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Haney, Jay Cutler, Phil Heath — all of them,” Rambod mentioned. “It’s about what your end goal is and what your dream of winning is.”

If Lunsford had been to win the Mr. Olympia, he’d be the primary man to win two Sandows in two Olympia divisions. The 2022 Mr. Olympia is about to happen in Las Vegas, NV, from December 16-18, 2022. 

Featured picture: @dereklunsford on Instagram