Derek Lunsford raised the Men’s Open bar monumentally high following his big win at the 2023 Mr. Olympia. In a recent YouTube video with Desktop Bodybuilding, Lunsford opened up about his game plan for a potential title defense in October.
Before embarking on a daring journey in the unrestricted Men’s Open division, Derek Lunsford reached the pinnacle of the sport in the Men’s 212 Bodybuilding division. In 2022, he was offered a special invite to compete in the Open class at the Mr. Olympia. He accepted the honor and proceeded to push Hadi Choopan on his way to claiming second place.
This outcome only fueled Derek Lunsford in 2023 to take time off, adjust his physique, and come back accordingly. When it was time for his big appearance on the 2023 Olympia stage, he battled his teammate Hadi Choopan for gold. Ultimately, the power of Lunsford’s back shots prevailed. As the newly hunted champion, he is now taking the opportunity to discuss his mindset as he aims to become a two-time Mr. Olympia winner.
Derek Lunsford Discusses ‘Game Plan’ to win 2024 Olympia, Weighs His Confidence Levels
Simply put, Lunsford intends to win the Olympia show again with a successful title defense.
“The game plan is to win it again, man. Back to back. To defend that title. I’m excited, man.”
As for his confidence levels, Lunsford has made it clear he doesn’t like to focus on the outcome. Instead, he tries to be a little bit better each day.
“I can’t think too much of the outcome. I just have to think about how can I be better than I was yesterday? If i can be better than I was yesterday each and every day all the way till the 2024 Olympia, that result will be there in the end but if I think too much about just winning, winning, winning then, to me, that can be a massive distraction because that can kinda feed this anxiety of what if it doesn’t happen? Or what if something goes crazy at the end?”
“I really just need to hone in and go alright you know who you are Derek, you are Mr. Olympia and you have never ever not given 100% each and every day. So, know that about yourself and keep getting after it. That’s where my confidence comes from and whatever the outcome is, if it goes a different way for some reason, because somebody was better then you know what? Respect to them because I’m not an easy guy to beat and neither are these guys.”
Given the rise in talent among active Men’s Open Pros, Lunsford admits the trend has only made him more motivated:
“We are all holding each other accountable and that’s why right now you got some of the most exciting Olympias of all time these last couple of years and I can guarantee you that this year is going to be on the next level for sure.”
Lastly, Derek Lunsford compared taller and shorter bodybuilders. While stature sometimes plays a role in the eyes of the judges, Lunsford believes that the most complete bodybuilder always wins in the end.
“This is a bodybuilding show and look I don’t want to say it is a tall versus short competition. It is a bodybuilding competition and the most complete guy, the guy that comes out and wows the crowd, wows that judges, and brings something special to the stage, that’s Mr. Olympia to me.”
“If you look back at the previous Mr. Olympias , you saw Lee Hany came out with just an unbelievable physique for his time and then you had, let’s skip forward, Dorian Yates. He just had, like I said, their jaws dropped when he came out,” said Derek Lunsford.
“When you see that and you are wowed by that it’s like wow that guy is next level. Then you had Ronnie Coleman come and do something that nobody has ever seen before and Jay Cutler dethroning him towards the end of his career and bring just this wow factor, this different physique, this different look, this different aura that he brought to the stage on and off stage and so it is absolutely a physique competition.”
Since winning the prestigious Mr. Olympia title, Derek Lunsford has been nothing but open with his massive fanbase. From ‘super effective’ tips on walking lunges to a cryptic meeting with Olympia President Dan Solomon, it’s clear the sport will have a few surprises in store as we head into the second quarter of 2024.
With Derek Lunsford’s motivation levels at a new high following the birth of his daughter, he remains dedicated to evolving his physique in preparation for the sport’s greatest proving grounds — Mr. Olympia, taking place October 10-13.
Watch the full video below:
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