This year’s 2023 Mr. Olympia contest is fast approaching, and retired Pro Flex Lewis has organized a special sit-down between two of the sport’s biggest stars. In the latest episode of the Straight Outta the Lair Podcast, Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford discussed their confidence levels, preparations, and protein intake less than three months before facing each other in Orlando, Florida.
Lunsford expressed his excitement for this year’s Olympia, stating, “Everybody is young. Everybody is hungry. And as exciting as last year’s Olympia was… this one is the 2.0 version. Every single person has improved. Myself, Nick, Samson, I’m sure Hadi, we haven’t seen him but we know he’s training hard. Everybody is going to be improved this year.”
Nick Walker, also known as “The Mutant,” made a strong impact on the Open division from the moment he entered the scene. In 2021, his impressive physique and muscularity led him to consecutive victories at the New York Pro and Arnold Classic. At his second Olympia appearance in December, Walker improved from fifth to third place and also received the Olympia People’s Champ Award.
Derek Lunsford’s journey to the Open division was quite different from Walker’s. As the reigning 212 Olympia champion last year, Lunsford received a special invitation to compete in the Open division after guest posing at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro. His debut in the Open division at the 2022 Olympia was one of the biggest surprises of the night, as he finished one spot above Walker in second place, with his teammate Hadi Choopan securing the gold.
Both Walker and Lunsford have been open about their progress leading up to the 2023 Mr. Olympia. Lunsford aims to step on stage with added muscle after having more time to grow in the off-season. Walker, on the other hand, has focused on improving his quads since his last competition, where he placed second to Samson Dauda at the 2023 Arnold Classic.
Despite his confidence, Walker maintains a humble attitude as a bodybuilder. He expressed his gratitude for inspiring others and acknowledged the life-changing impact of his journey. Walker also shared that his trainer, Matt Jansen, is pleased with his progress so far and that his food intake is gradually being reduced while cardio sessions are incorporated into his routine.
Walker emphasized that no one’s spot is guaranteed at this year’s Olympia, given the number of contenders vying for the title. He acknowledged the improvements made by his fellow competitors and predicted an epic battle for the top five spots. When asked about his own placement, Walker stated, “One [is where I see myself placing].”
Lunsford believes that the outcome of the 2023 Mr. Olympia is beyond his control, emphasizing the importance of giving their best effort. Walker, on the other hand, expressed confidence that if Lunsford slips even slightly on the Olympia stage, he will defeat him.
In terms of nutrition, Walker revealed that he has lowered his protein intake to improve his digestion. He attributes this change to a decrease in bloating and discomfort. Most of his protein comes from sources like ground turkey, chicken, or steak. Lunsford, on the other hand, prefers fish but admitted to struggling with consuming it during his preps.
Both athletes are focused on optimizing their gut health and ensuring proper digestion to support their training and physique goals. They have made adjustments to their protein intake and have incorporated digestive enzymes to aid in the process.
As the 2023 Mr. Olympia draws nearer, the anticipation and excitement continue to grow. Fans and athletes alike are eagerly awaiting the showdown between Nick Walker and Derek Lunsford, as they strive to showcase their best physique on the Olympia stage.