Bodybuilding coach Chris Aceto joined Dave Palumbo to shed some light on Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay ahead of the 2023 Arnold Classic. During a recent podcast, Aceto discussed the possibility of Elssbiay winning the show and how he’d fare in another battle against Nick Walker.
“Obviously, if you’re going to have Nick as a frontrunner after the Olympia, you’re going to compare a big guy with him [at the Arnold], which is Ramy,” Aceto said.
Last December, the Mr. Olympia results shook the bodybuilding landscape as Hadi Choopan won his first title. Meanwhile, two-time Olympia champion Elssbiay fell to fifth place serving as one of the biggest shocks of the night. Derek Lunsford finished second with Walker taking bronze and the Olympia People’s Champ award.
Given his fall from the top, veterans and bodybuilding figureheads were quick to open up about Ramy’s performance. According to his close friend and training partner Dennis James, Ramy was on track for success a week before the event. However, he later mentioned that Ramy looked flat during prejudging.
Fans are still unsure what exactly went wrong for the former two-time Mr. Olympia. Days after losing in Las Vegas, Ramy took part in an interview and promised he would return better than ever. IFBB head judge Steve Weinberger also gave his take on the surprising outcome. He believes Ramy was dealing with injuries and was missing a few body parts, most notably his lower back.
Last week, the Egyptian native announced his entry into the upcoming 2023 Arnold Classic, scheduled for March 2-5, in Columbus, Ohio. The show’s lineup has grown since the organizers revealed the Men’s Open prize money for the winner jumped to $300,000.
In addition to Ramy, Nick Walker, Patrick Moore, and Andrew Jacked have jumped in as well. Despite his fifth-place showing at 2022 Olympia, bodybuilding coach Chris Aceto believes Ramy has the tools to win his first Arnold Classic title in less than six weeks.
Chris Aceto on Big Ramy vs. Nick Walker: “Ramy Can Do Well Under Pressure”
Chris Aceto believes Ramy could win the 2023 Arnold Classic, but not with the package he brought to 2022 Mr. Olympia.
“Ramy can do well under pressure. A lot of people can’t, but he actually can do well under pressure. He can win this show. But he can’t win this show obviously looking like he did at Olympia – and it’s not going to be a cake walk to win this show.
There’s variables and variances in physiques that could win the show. I don’t think he can dominate the show. He’s going to have to fight for the win. Can he win the show, yeah, he could win the show. And other people could win it too,” Chris Aceto said.
Having once trained Ramy, Aceto is confident the 38-year-old has the mental fortitude to make a successful comeback. Though, he specified that Ramy would likely struggle in a battle against ‘The Mutant.’
“I think mentally he could do it, physically can he do it? He’s going to be in a battle with Nick, and they both have attributes that you can argue that this guy is the winning look. I don’t want to forget other people. We can get to whoever else is in the show.”
“I think he’d struggle looking like that [against Nick Walker].”
Aceto doesn’t believe Ramy competing in March will negatively affect his progress for the next 2023 Mr. Olympia show in November.
“He’ll probably be okay because we know he can take the entire year off from training right. When he won the second Olympia, he was off the whole year. He had like marriage two and three,” Aceto explained.
“Well, I mean… if Nick wins, he’s going to be so – he’s going to be hyped up for the Olympia but he’s going to be on fire for the Olympia, meaning he’s going to be motivated beyond motivated. You’re going to see if he does win the Olympia, and he does win the Arnold, you’re going to see that motivation translate into serious gains.”