Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford is determined to bring a complete package to the 2023 Olympia stage and challenge newly crowned Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan. With his mindset, training, and physique updates, the 30-year-old is showing promising signs of potentially winning the title. Lunsford, an elite bodybuilder, earned his IFBB Pro card in 2017 and has since made significant strides in the competitive sphere. He became the 212 Olympia champion in 2021, dethroning Shaun Clarida. However, after his appearance at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro guest posing, things began to change. As expected, Lunsford moved up to the Men’s Open division at the 2022 Olympia, where he exceeded expectations and secured a runner-up finish alongside Hadi Choopan and Nick Walker. Now, in the midst of his competition prep for the 2023 Olympia, Lunsford is following a rigorous training regimen and a five-meals-a-day diet to fuel his intense workouts. Based on his previous year’s performance and current progress, experts believe that Lunsford has a strong chance of winning the 2023 Olympia and becoming the first bodybuilder to earn titles in two separate weight classes.
To prepare for the 2023 Olympia, Lunsford recently underwent a grueling leg workout. The session began with bodyweight walking lunges to warm up the target muscles. Lunsford then moved on to leg extensions, a quad isolation exercise that is essential for emphasizing the rectus femoris head of the quadriceps. Despite some criticism surrounding this exercise, when performed with proper technique and moderate weights, leg extensions can be beneficial for quad development and knee warm-up. Lunsford completed several sets of leg extensions before transitioning to lying leg curls, which primarily target the hamstrings and serve as an excellent knee warm-up exercise.
Next, Lunsford incorporated Smith Machine front squats into his routine to further activate the quads. Starting with a light weight, he gradually increased the load and completed a top set with 405 lbs. This marked a significant improvement compared to his performance thirteen weeks out from the previous year’s Olympia. Lunsford acknowledged feeling vulnerable during each rep but demonstrated better control over the weight than before. Following the top set, he performed a back-off set with 315 lbs before moving on to pendulum squats.
Pendulum squats, an alternative to free weight squats, prioritize spinal health and allow for lower body gains without placing excessive stress on the lower back. Lunsford performed the working sets with slow eccentric movements, focusing on building strength. He emphasized the importance of continuous improvement and expressed satisfaction with his progress thus far. After completing the working sets of pendulum squats, Lunsford proceeded to leg press, using an iso-lateral leg press machine. He initially performed a few sets unilaterally to establish a mind-muscle connection before concluding the workout with a finisher set of leg presses.
Lunsford’s dedication to his training and his commitment to building strength are evident in his leg workout. As he continues to prepare for the 2023 Olympia, he remains focused on improving and pushing his limits. With his impressive track record and the progress he has made, Lunsford is a strong contender for the title and has the potential to make history in the world of bodybuilding.