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Walker is holding shut tabs on Lunsford.

In the present bodybuilding pantheon, few names are as huge as Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford. The two 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 Classic, whereas Lunsford, the previous 212 Olympia champion (2021), not too long ago got here in second in a debut Men’s Open efficiency on the 2022 Mr. Olympia. Lunsford would fall simply wanting beating new Mr. Olympia champion Hadi Choopan. Moving 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 Classic (AC) in Columbus, OH. In the method, the dialogue in regards to the Mar. 2-5, 2023, contest — which not too long ago introduced a $300,000 first-place prize — ultimately centered round Lunsford. That is to say: Walker is holding a detailed eye on his elite peer.

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One of the primary 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 Men’s Open class, as opposed adhering to the 212 division’s weight restrict. Therein, Lunsford is likely to be taking his time to coach and construct measurement earlier than he competes once more.

“I’ve heard through the grapevine that he’s [Derek Lunsford] not doing the Arnold [Classic],” Walker mentioned. “This is where I’m going to jump in. Did he add muscle or did he just keep it without losing it? I think he restricted himself [in previous] off-seasons [to fit the 212 Olympia weight class]. So I think what he gained back [when preparing for the 2023 Men’s Open Olympia] is what he normally has, plus maybe a little bit more, I’ll say. But he didn’t put on an astronomical amount of mass. He just didn’t have to suffer 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 anticipating the beneficial properties Lunsford makes. Walker appears to suppose the approaching low season will likely be important for Lunsford as he commits absolutely to the Men’s Open and tries to win the 2023 Mr. Olympia. That contest will happen on Nov. 2-5, 2023, in Orlando, FL.

“This will be the off-season where we’ll see how much tissue he [Lunsford] puts on and we’ll see what he looks like when he stands on the [2023] Olympia stage.” 

As for why Walker elected to compete within the AC once more relatively than focus his efforts completely on his Olympia preparation, the reply is easy. The new profitable prize incentivized him to return to the Columbus, OH, stage.

“They [The Arnold Sports Festival] gave me until after the holidays to think about it,” Walker mentioned. ” … I felt good. So they reached out once more, they principally mentioned they have been going to up the prize cash to $300,000. I mentioned ‘count me in.’”

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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 outcome on the 2022 Olympia however in all probability may’ve completed increased in a perfect world. Before he works to enhance on such outcomes, he’ll first put his crosshairs on a second AC title. While he received’t have to fret about Lunsford at that specific 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

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