Bodybuilder Akim Williams is gearing up to make a quick turnaround at the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic, scheduled for March 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio. In a recent interview with Muscular Development, Williams opened up about his experience competing at the latest Olympia and shared his plans to take a break after the upcoming Arnold Classic.
IFBB Pro Akim Williams started his bodybuilding journey over a decade ago in the Men’s Open class. Williams’ potential was clear from the start as he took home the top prize in the overall category at the 2013 North American Championships. He continued participating in several contests over the years and established himself as a promising contender in the division.
In 2016, Williams handily dispatched the competition at the IFBB Tampa Pro to win and secured an invite to the Mr. Olympia contest. Williams finished 15th in his Olympia debut. The next year (2017) he participated at the New York Pro and placed fifth. He went on to place runner-up at both the 2018 IFBB Toronto Pro Supershow and the 2018 IFBB Muscle Mayhem as well as 10th at the New York Pro that same year.
Williams doesn’t like to take his foot off the gas as he enjoys competing regularly. He racked up a string of impressive performances participating in six shows in 2019. He narrowly missed out on the IFBB Indy Pro title to Steve Kuclo and placed second. ’The Beast’ scored two more runner-up finishes at the Bigman Weekend Pro and the New York Pro next. His second appearance at the 2019 Mr. Olympia saw him crack the top ten and place ninth.
’The Beast’ continued his success for the next two years in 2020 and 2021. He won the 2020 IFBB Chicago Pro over the likes of Justin Rodriguez, Maxx Charles, and Nick Walker in commanding fashion. Then further improved his standing to the top six at the 2020 Mr. Olympia.
In 2021, the 38-year-old won the 2021 Puerto Rico Pro but dropped down to the ninth spot at the Olympia. Last season (2022), Williams kicked the year off with a victory at the Tampa Pro, where he beat former 212 Olympia champ Kamal Elgargni and Joe Mackey on stage. Going into the 2022 Mr. Olympia, bodybuilding Hall of Famer Chris Cormier backed Williams as the dark horse of the division. However, Williams failed to capitalize on the momentum as he placed 16th.
Akim Williams opens up on disappointing 2022 Mr. Olympia performance
In a recent YouTube video, Akim Williams opened up about his lackluster performance at the 2022 Mr. Olympia last December. He revealed it was the longest wait backstage of his career.
“Honestly, Friday really screwed me over because we had to wait so long and I was backstage at like 6:30 and we got there like 11:00 or 11:30, whatever. I didn’t bring the meals I needed to to keep me going while I was backstage. I definitely flattened out before I even got on the stage. So, lesson learned from that.
“You never know how long they’ll take. I definitely learned that the harder way and I wasn’t prepared for that long wait. Definitely the longest I’ve ever had to wait. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.”
Williams talks prep for the 2023 Arnold Classic & plans to take a break
‘The Beast’ talked about the differences in his preparations for the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic as compared to the Olympia.
“We’ve been doing a lot of carb cycling. So, a couple days I would have almost like zero carbs then I’ll have a high carb day but it’s all clean stuff. No cheat meals none of that stuff. Just stay on the hardcore diet the whole time. Sometimes, we increase the carbs and then we take it out. No cheat meals this time around. It’s a different kind of prep.”
Considering the busy schedule Williams has followed, he’s planning to take some much-needed time off following the Arnold Classic.
“Yeah. It’s been a lot of prep. I’ve been going since last August, from Tampa to Olympia and now this. I think after the Arnold I’ll take a break. I was thinking about maybe doing the New York Pro but maybe I need to give my mind a break.”
Akim Williams will look to redeem himself when he takes to the stage at the Arnold Classic in less than two weeks. He’ll need to combat fellow standouts Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, Andrew Jacked, and others to win the title.
You can watch the full video below:
Catch full coverage of the 2023 Arnold Classic, including pre-judging, event recaps, analysis, and final and full results at our Arnold Classic coverage hub: FitnessVolt.com/arnold-classic
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