Preparations for the 2023 Mr. Olympia contest are ramping up for Open class talent. In a special Olympia TV production, Derek Lunsford and Samson Dauda gave physique updates and pushed each other with a back workout battle/posedown.
“We’re going to have – we need some intensity guys. This is not going to be a show for powderpuff training. It’s going to be hardcore, I want to see everybody going all-out. I mean this – we got to bring it today. You guys ready?” Cormier said.
Many fans believe the Men’s Open division has never been more exciting. There have also been major shake-ups in the category over the last several months. At the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest, a new hierarchy was established after Hadi Choopan claimed gold. After receiving a special invite for the Open class, former 212 Olympia Derek Lunsford proved himself with a second-place finish. This event also served as Samson Dauda‘s Mr. Olympia debut where he placed sixth.
While Lunsford decided to sit out the 2023 Arnold Classic, Dauda had other plans. With momentum from Las Vegas, Dauda brought his best to Columbus, Ohio, and ultimately defeated finalists Nick Walker and Andrew Jacked to claim gold. Veterans and figureheads of the sport took notice of his Mr. Olympia-winning potential. Athletes rep Bob Cicherillo has gone on record saying that Choopan’s biggest threats are Lunsford and Dauda.
Ronnie Coleman, a name that carries a lot of weight in the IFBB Pro League, has suggested that Lunsford will become the next Mr. Olympia champion. He specified that the former 212 winner will likely dethrone Choopan later this year. When tasked with choosing his favorite bodybuilder of this generation, Coleman said it was a tie between Lunsford and Dauda.
Meanwhile, Nick Walker, who also aims to win Mr. Olympia, doesn’t see Dauda as a concern despite losing to him in March. In ‘The Mutant’s’ opinion, the next Sandow trophy will be awarded to himself or Lunsford, depending on who brings better improvements in November. Though, for Samson Dauda, he has never been more confident, and believes with a bigger back, he can become the number one bodybuilder in the world.
Derek Lunsford, Samson Dauda Give Physique Updates & Test Limits with Back Workout Battle
Led by Chris Cormier, Lunsford, and Dauda pushed each other through a series of back workouts. Lunsford believes his back is currently better than Dauda’s. Samson, on the other hand, said he would have won the 2023 Arnold Classic even if Lunsford entered the contest.
“Yeah man, I mean back has always been my strong point. So, I figured we’d get in here today and have some fun,” said Lunsford. “Like I said, I think my back shots are my strong points, so as of right now, I would say yes [my back shots will beat Samson Dauda at 2023 Olympia] and I’m prepared to improve it for this year.”
“Bodybuilding is judged on more than just a back shot right, it’s about who is the most complete and that’s what I bring. At the same time, I know I can learn a thing or two like I’ve always done in the past, I’ve taken my opponent’s strengths and made them my own, and use the same strengths to beat them,” said Dauda. “Oh yeah [if Derek Lunsford was at the 2023 Arnold I would have beat him] damn right. I don’t back down for no one.”
Cormier predicted that there would be palpable tension during the training session since they share the same goal of wanting to become Mr. Olympia.
“I think they’re going to have to show each other who is going to be the more dominant competitor on stage. And I think it’s all going to start right here with Olympia Battle 3. I think my man [Samson Dauda] is large and in charge and I think being second at the Olympia [for Derek Lunsford] there’s going to be some tension today,” Chris Cormier said.
Find their full back workout list below:
- Lat Pulldown Machine – 4 sets
- Barbell Rows – 5 sets
- Seated Cable Row Machine – 4 sets
- Stiff Arms Pulldown Aka Straight Arms – 4 sets
- Chest Supported Low Row Machine – 4 sets
“That’s the bodybuilding mentality,” Lunsford shared. “This is fun for me to come out here, train with the Arnold Classic champion Samson. It’s a big back day.”
“This is the off-season. This is bodybuilding. This is a big man’s game,” said Dauda.
Following the workout, Lunsford and Dauda removed their pump covers for a posedown. They both hit mandatory poses on command before ending the battle.
Even though Choopan hasn’t been competing in the U.S. or guest posing doesn’t mean he’s not attacking his off-season with a chip on his shoulder. Last week, ‘The Persian Wolf’ gave fans a sneak peek into the off-season physique he’s been building. In addition, Choopan continues to push himself with heavy workouts posted on Instagram.
As for Derek Lunsford, he joined his coach Hany Rambod for The Truth Podcast recently. They sat down to discuss anxiety, depression, and obstacles in the way of his 2023 Mr. Olympia prep. Despite some setbacks during the off-season, Lunsford assured his fans that ‘everything is good’ as he eyes the next stage of his preparations.
Many believe Lunsford and Dauda cemented themselves as Mr. Olympia favorites during the 2023 Pittsburgh Pro guest-posing event. Given their dedication and work ethic, fans look forward to seeing how they fare in Orlando, Florida this November.