Bodybuilding coach Chris Aceto has helped numerous athletes reach the top of the sport during their time competing. In a recent video, Aceto discussed reigning 212 Olympia winner Derek Lunsford’s chances at 2022 Mr. Olympia in the Open.
“He’s going to destroy that show, Lunsford. Top five for sure. For sure,” says Chris Aceto.
Aceto, who has coached bodybuilders for over two decades, has a wealth of knowledge to fall back on when shaping new talent. The bodybuilding guru is responsible for training some of the greatest athletes the sport has seen. He helped develop and train former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, four-time Olympia winner Jay Cutler, and 212 standouts like Jose Raymond and Guy Cisternino.
One athlete to show up on Aceto’s radar is last year’s 212 Olympia champion Derek Lunsford. After guest posing in Pittsburgh months ago, Lunsford left the world shocked by his size and ability to stand with other top Men’s Open competitors. Weeks after, his coach, Hany Rambod suggested that he and Lunsford were eying the Open class because making weight for 212 became unsafe.
Last month, following heaps of speculation, Lunsford received and accepted a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open division at 2022 Mr. Olympia. Reflecting on his special invitation, Lunsford shared that his body ‘wanted to grow’ this year, and he looks forward to testing his resolve against the sport’s best in a new category.
With Lunsford in the middle of preparations for his Men’s Open debut, bodybuilding guru Chris Aceto sat down to discuss the 212 standout’s chances at Olympia later this year. Aceto sees a lot of promise in Lunsford 10 weeks away from the contest.
Chris Aceto Willing to Bet Derek Lunsford Makes Top 5 At 2022 Mr. Olympia
In a video with Dave Palumbo, Aceto predicted Derek Lunsford will do a lot of damage at Olympia this year and place in the top five. He added that Tonio Burton’s recent victory at the 2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro is a sign that Lunsford will dominate at Olympia.
“Tonio Burton winning this show [2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro] is a foreshadowing of destruction for Derek Lunsford at 2022 Olympia. Absolute destruction. He’s going to do unbelievably well,” says Chris Aceto.
Chris says Lunsford had to get “emaciated” in order to make the weight for 212.
“If you go back, and you look at him from the 212 — he was just emaciated to get down [to that weight]. So, Dan Solomon was right — or someone said, ‘he should get the special invite for his health,’ I’m just kidding.”
When asked if Derek Lunsford could have won the 2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro, Aceto kept it short and sweet:
“Oh my goodness. Easy. Slam dunk.”
He argued that Michal Krizo and Andrew Jacked had similar conditioning to Lunsford when he guest posed in Pittsburgh.
“Just tell me this, how much of a difference was there between his condition in Pittsburgh, and [Michal] Krizo and Andrew Jacked’s condition? Not that far off. Not that far off,” says Aceto.
According to Aceto, including 212 champions in the Men’s Open division at Mr. Olympia adds an exciting dynamic to the contest.
“There’s history there. People will always remember them [212 champions]. So, why not let them jump into it and do any show they want. [He’s] very dangerous. Very dangerous.”
When examining his physique, Chris believes Lunsford had to sacrifice some of his assets to make weight for 212. He said his quads were ‘gone’ the last time he made weight. Given his structure and balance, Aceto is willing to bet money Lunsford makes the top five at Olympia this year.
“The quads are like gone [when he competed in 212]. The width was there. The width and the structure, that front double almost looks like it has droopy pecs,” says Aceto. “I’ll bet [he makes top five]. Bring in the money, my taxes are due in three days.”
Chris added that Lunsford’s delts aren’t ‘phony baloney’ and look real.
“His delts don’t look all that phony baloney. It all looks like it flows and is real…”
Last month, reigning two-time Mr. Olympia Big Ramy received criticism from fans about his alleged pointy/inflamed delts. In response to the public outcry, Ramy issued a physique update to dispel those rumors.
In addition to Ramy, Lunsford will be tasked with facing a crop of elite talent in the Men’s Open division. Despite a number of new faces expected to compete at this year’s Olympia, Aceto doesn’t see Lunsford placing anywhere below the top five when all is said and done.