On the precipice of bodybuilding immortality, Lunsford needs to place his finest Olympia foot ahead this 12 months.

Derek Lunsford, a former 212 Olympia champion (2021), competed for the primary time within the Men’s Open on the 2022 Mr. Olympia. After a sterling second-place end to eventual champion Hadi Choopan, Lunsford actually maximized his debut on stage within the sport’s flagship division. As the 2023 calendar 12 months begins to unfold, Lunsford is already organising his excessive private expectations for the months forward.

In a podcast look with Fouad Abiad Media on Jan. 1, 2023, Lunsford mentioned his upcoming plans after his second-place end result on the 2022 Olympia. Among the extra notable tidbits was the athlete revealing he wouldn’t compete on the 2023 Arnold Classic this March as he’ll middle a majority of his power on capturing his first profession Olympia title in November 2023.

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With a much bigger image in thoughts, Lunsford is particularly forgoing a possible look on the 2023 Arnold Classic to enhance features of his total physique, like his chest and leg muscle tissue. This plan typically falls in keeping with Lunsford’s singular Olympia method from 2022. As a brand new 12 months begins to roll alongside, he’s losing no time getting after it in his coaching for the subsequent Olympia.

“I’m right back at the gym training, getting ready for next year,” Lunsford stated. “I just knew this was a new beginning for me.”

Lunsford had congratulatory phrases of appreciation for Choopan, who he is aware of had been chasing bodybuilding’s highest peak and developing simply quick for years. At the identical time, Lunsford famous how shut the ultimate end result was and the way grateful he was to have an opportunity to push the eventual victor.

“I’m happy for Hadi [Choopan], man,” Lunsford defined. “He’s been at this for so many years. People have argued that he should have had an Olympia title already. So, I’m happy for him, man. And me, coming in with my Men’s Open Olympia debut getting second, and it was really close. I think it was a one-point difference in prejudging. It was just awesome, man. I was just there to put on a show and have a good time.”

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While Lunsford appeared glad together with his Men’s Open debut, he alluded to understanding that there’s nonetheless plenty of work to do. Like many elite athletes earlier than him, Lunsford put his crosshairs on enchancment and ending the job the subsequent time round.

When one comes as near victory as Lunsford did, it’s solely pure to give attention to the place to fill within the gaps.

“Dude, you can’t complain coming into your Mr. Olympia debut getting second place and, like, arguably pushing for that title,” Lunsford stated. “I was really on cloud nine, and I still am, to be honest. Then, I just talked to myself, ‘Okay, well, you’re this close. What do you need to get better?’. For me, how awesome is it to be this close to walking away with the title, and I know how many more improvements I can make? As I said, that’s where my mindset is. I’m one step away [from victory] in my first Olympia.” 

Featured picture: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram