Preparations for the upcoming 2023 Olympia contest in November are heating up. Contenders in the Open class are aiming to bring their best to dethrone the reigning Mr. Olympia Hadi Choopan. In a recent Mutant and the Mouth Podcast, Nick Walker and bodybuilding coach Chris Aceto discussed his potential of winning the coveted crown later this year.
Walker entered the IFBB Pro League brimming with potential, having laid claim to his first Pro title at the 2021 New York Pro. From there, he wasted no time in performing against elite talent. He stormed Columbus, Ohio for his debut on the Arnold Classic stage. ‘The Mutant’ even predicted beforehand that he would leave the town victorious, and that’s exactly what happened.
At Walker’s first Olympia competition, he shocked the world with a fifth-place finish. His combination of freakish muscle mass and conditioning set him apart from his peers. Despite encountering obstacles last year (like temporarily splitting from his trainer Matt Jansen), Walker still shined in his sophomore Olympia appearance.
In the 2022 Olympia finals, Walker faced off with Hadi Choopan and Derek Lunsford – two men trained by bodybuilding guru Hany Rambod. In the end, Walker settled for bronze and the Olympia People’s Champ Award. As for Choopan, he secured his first Sandow trophy against Lunsford and became the only Iranian-born Mr. Olympia titleholder.
Chris Aceto has served as a long-time bodybuilding coach to several high-profile names in the sport. He’s worked with Mike Francois, Jay Cutler, Paul DeMayo, and helps shape Men’s Open pros of today, like Andrew Jacked. In his latest undertaking, Aceto took a closer look at Nick Walker and the physique he’s bringing to 2023 Olympia.
Chris Aceto Talks Nick Walker’s 2023 Olympia Potential, Derek Lunsford’s Flow & Hadi Choopan’s Muscle Maturity
Aceto admits he was ‘100% wrong’ about Nick Walker’s potential as a Men’s Open bodybuilder.
“I think for me the problem is when people talk about me it’s no big deal, right? People are like, ‘Oh you look like a fridge, you got a wide waist.’ No one is like, ‘True,’ right? The moment I say something that has some validity to it, everybody just loses their fucking mind,” said Walker.
“They say, ‘Stay in your lane,'” Aceto shared.
“Exactly, what people don’t understand, I respect all of them. I’m friends with all of them but I’m – you asked me my opinion, I’m going to give you what I truthfully think. Just like I would expect people to be honest about what they truthfully think about my physique. Chris, Chris has said multiple times I’ll never be good I believe on many podcasts,” said Walker.
“I said that over and over. This is the most improved terrible body in the history of the sport, I’m serious. You know what, how many times on the radio have I said, I’m wrong, I was only 100% wrong in terms of Nick Walker. I mean, I wasn’t 40% wrong. Yeah, you look crazy,” Aceto explained.
While Aceto has been critical of Walker’s structure in the past, he was blown away by Nick’s accomplishments in such a short period of time. Aceto mentioned that moving forward, Walker should always be in title discussions for 2023 Olympia.
“When I post my updates tomorrow, that’s what I’m going to write as my caption, the most improved terrible physique,” said Walker.
“You know what, obviously, Nick, you’ve accomplished more I think than the collective expectation has been for Nick Walker. You know what, most, the hardest thing – the best way to get to your peers – which is as important as the judge’s respect, is for people to say, ‘Ah Nick sucks. Oh, wait, he beat me.’ Then he did it again. He beat so and so and beat so and so. It shuts people up. It makes people go like wow I was really wrong on Nick Walker. I never thought he’d accomplish what he’s accomplishing,” Aceto shared.
Chris also discussed Derek Lunsford’s flow and Hadi Choopan’s game-changing muscle maturity.
“That’s why when people say, now people say, Olympia, when your name is not mentioned I’m like, what? Even when I came from Kamal’s right. I said impossible lowest is third. Lowest is third. I said the lowest was third. I put all my money on Derek and Hadi would just surprise me like I didn’t know what to do with him, you know what I mean? He’s [Choopan] hard to handicap because he has a lot of strengths. He has a lot of tools. Obviously, I wouldn’t say he – this is not a knock against anyone, he does not have a flow of Derek even though he has more density than Derek and more maturity than Derek, so there’s a contrast.”
“Last year, he [Hadi Choopan] was either going to be first or third,” added Aceto.
One of the last times fans heard from Chris Aceto, he took issue with the 2023 Arnold Classic scorecards. Like many others, Aceto thought Walker could have won in Ohio. He shared that Walker would have defeated Samson Dauda in a ‘one versus one’ comparison but never got the opportunity. Other veterans of the sport such as Samir Bannout also thought Walker won the show soundly.
With so many contenders hungry for Choopan’s title, this year’s Olympia show will be packed with action. Walker has been open about his game plan and is currently growing a huge chest and quads to balance out his appearance. Given the way the wind is blowing, Walker is confident either he or Derek Lunsford will win the next Mr. Olympia title.