Reigning 212 Olympia champion Derek Lunsford is set to vacate that title to compete in the Men’s Open at the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV, thanks to a special invite received in September from the Olympia committee. While Lunsford is no stranger to competing at bodybuilding’s biggest showcase, the anticipation of stepping on stage in an attempt to dethrone reigning Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay can be nerve-racking.
On Oct. 7, 2022, Lunsford took to his YouTube channel for a brief Q&A to discuss all things Olympia, including his predictions for the 212 division this year. Check it out below:
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During a Q&A, in what appears to be either during or immediately following a training session at the gym, Lunsford updated fans on his current mindset and how he is feeling so close to game time.
I feel better than yesterday. Yesterday, I hit my legs, and…my energy was a little lower.
Regarding how Lunsford feels now being almost 10 weeks out from the Olympia, he can tell his body is changing and will continue to rapidly in the coming weeks. While energy levels are still decent, he feels them dropping incrementally despite his strength remaining intact.
I’m getting good pumps…keeping good strength. I am trying to maintain the size and strength of the muscle…as I get leaner.”
During his Q&A, while training on the pec deck, Lunsford was asked about the positioning of his elbows. He explained that it depends on what pec deck he uses, as most gyms have slightly different pec decks. His form across the board uses the cue of visualizing bringing his biceps together at peak contraction.
Who Will Win the 212 Olympia?
Lunsford doesn’t feel any one athlete stands out as a likely runaway favorite. He thinks the top two will be two former 212 division champions: Kamal Elgargni and Shaun Clarida.
You can never count those two guys out.
Lunsford also mentioned Angel Calderon, he placed fourth in 2021. While Lunsford believes Elgargni, Clarida, and Calderon will battle it out as the top three, he wouldn’t be surprised to see Lucas Coelho, Keone Pearson, Kerrith Bajjo, or Ping Yunlong make moves into that space.
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Lunsford ground out his final set of pec deck flyes and discussed how different he feels his Mr. Olympia journey has been compared to competing in the 212 division. In years past, making weight was the first priority, as he had a weight cap he needed to meet in order to compete. In the Open, he doesn’t have to worry about the scale.
This is way different. By now [in 212], I’d already be really suffering, really low energy.
Not having to make weight at all, Lunsford can focus on bringing his best possible package. He doesn’t see it as any easier in terms of getting shredded, but he believes it won’t feel as long and drawn out as in years past. Lunsford answered more questions while training abs:
Current Training Split?
Lunsford trains six days a week. Here is his weekly split:
- Sunday — Legs
- Monday — Chest
- Tuesday — Back
- Wednesday — Arms and Calves
- Thursday — Legs
- Friday — Shoulders
- Saturday — Rest
Lunsford trains with high intensity and high volume, believing “you’ve got to go heavy. Bodybuilding is a hybrid of all types of training.”
Weakest and Strongest Body Parts?
Lunsford’s goal for the 2022 Olympia is to bring up his chest and legs. He feels the strongest part of his physique is his back.
Fats in Pre-Workout Meals — Yay or Nay?
Lunsford does not currently include fats in his pre-workout meal. An example of Lunsford’s pre-workout meal typically consists of either chicken or cod and rice with no added fats. Lunsford’s fat intake is usually lower when prepping.
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FOMO During Prep?
“Absolutely!” Lunsford retorts. Anyone who follows Lunsford training on his YouTube channel is aware of his lifestyle:
I’m at the gym, I’m at home, I’m at the gym, I’m at home. Do I fear missing out? I think everybody does to some degree.
Lunsford doesn’t go out and do anything other than train during prep. While he would like to travel for vacation or enjoy nights out on the town, he doesn’t so that he can focus on bringing his best for the biggest show of his pro career.
Last Leg Day Before a Show?
In 2021, Lunsford’s last leg day was the Sunday before he competed at the Olympia on the following Friday. Lunsford believes he should have done it on Saturday to give his legs the additional rest and feels he shouldn’t have gone as hard on the intensity. For any competitor, he feels the last leg day before a show should not be full intensity, as the body is not in a position to properly recover such a large muscle group on the calories consumed during peak week.
Featured image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram