Shaun Clarida, an American professional bodybuilder, has announced his entry into the prep for the 2023 Olympia. In a recent pull day workout video on his YouTube channel, Clarida discussed the challenges of being at the top of the division. While he has had success in both the Men’s Open and 212 divisions of the IFBB Pro League, Clarida’s career reached new heights when he won the 212 Olympia title at the 2020 Olympia. However, he was dethroned by Derek Lunsford at the 2021 Olympia, ending his hopes of a long title reign. Undeterred, Clarida made the bold decision to move up to the Men’s Open division and surprised the bodybuilding world by winning his debut in the division at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro. This victory earned him a direct qualification to compete in the Men’s Open division at the 2022 Olympia, but he ultimately decided to stay in the 212 division and won his second 212 Olympia title in 2022. He then attempted to secure a win at the 2023 Arnold Classic in the Open division but finished in fifth place.
Now, Clarida is focused on defending his 212 Olympia title in 2023 and has started his competition prep 16 weeks out from the show. He has made rapid progress in the off-season and feels comfortable with his current stage. Winning a title is one thing, but defending it is where many people falter, and Clarida is well aware of the challenges that come with being on top of the division. He acknowledges that there is a target on his back and that everyone is gunning for him. However, he is known for his ability to improve year after year and bring something new to the stage, and he plans to continue that trend in his quest for a third title.
While a competitive legacy is important to Clarida, his biggest motivating factor in life is being a father. He welcomed a baby girl in 2022, and he believes that being a dad gives him the energy and drive to overcome any difficulties. He sees his role as a provider, educator, and leader for his daughter as more motivating than any title he could win. This is one of the reasons why he decided to move back to Texas. However, he acknowledges that being Mr. Olympia is a great feeling and is proud of his accomplishments.
With his sights set on the 2023 Olympia, Clarida is pushing himself in his training. In his pull day workout, he started with assisted pull-ups, which he believes are essential for building a strong back. Despite being an elite bodybuilder, Clarida prefers the assisted version as it allows him to focus directly on the back muscles without relying on momentum. He then moved on to Meadows Rows, an exercise that he incorporated into his routine to target the upper and outer areas of his latissimus dorsi muscles. Clarida learned this exercise from the late John Meadows, who taught him how to thicken up his lats. He followed Meadows’ training method, using feeder sets to determine the appropriate weight and then performing working sets with progressively heavier weights.
Next, Clarida tackled T-bar rows, which he considers one of the best exercises for adding thickness to the back. He used a chest-supported T-bar rows machine and improvised his grip to be in between a neutral grip and an overhand pronated grip. Clarida believes that this exercise allows for a better range of motion, especially for someone of his height. He completed his back workout with other exercises, including cable rows and bicep curls, to ensure a comprehensive training session.
With his competition prep well underway and his determination to defend his title, Shaun Clarida is focused on making history at the 2023 Olympia. As he continues to improve year after year and face the challenges of being on top, he remains motivated by his role as a father and the desire to provide for his daughter. Clarida’s journey is one of perseverance, dedication, and the pursuit of excellence in the sport of bodybuilding.