American bodybuilder Justin Shier marked his return to competition after taking a year off since his last outing. He came out on top of his pro debut at the 2023 Chicago Pro, earning an entry to the Mr. Olympia competition. In a recent appearance on The Mutant and The Mouth, Shier shared his experience of winning his pro debut, plans for the upcoming 2023 Mr. Olympia, and the intense competition in the Men’s Open division.
There has been a rise in talent in the Men’s Open division over the last few years. With the entry of the likes of Nick Walker, Samson Dauda, Andrew Jacked, and Michal Krizo, the competition seems to grow fiercer with time. Besides the new faces in the game, former Men’s 212 Olympia champion Derek Lunsford’s addition to the Open injected a lot of excitement into the division.
The 2022 Mr. Olympia saw a change in the landscape of the Open as former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay got knocked off the throne by proven veteran Hadi Choopan. Lunsford shocked the world with a runner-up finish whereas Walker leaped to third place. Dauda impressed in his maiden showing as well with a sixth-place finish. On the other hand, Hunter Labrada dropped down to seventh place.
Following the event, many of the fresh competitors made a quick turnaround for the 2023 Arnold Classic. Considering Walker was the highest-ranked Olympian going into the show, many backed him to reclaim the coveted title. In the end, Dauda stole the show and defeated Walker to win the trophy. As for Walker and Jacked, they rounded up the top three ahead of Big Ramy.
Justin Shier first gained attention for his impressive blend of muscle mass, size, and sharp conditioning after starting his run under the NPC. He kicked off his career with two silver medals before scoring his first win at the 2019 NPC Cascadian Classic.
Shier continued to work his way up the ranks. He handily dispatched the competition in the heavyweight group at the 2021 NPC National Championships to win the top prize and earn his Pro card. He took to the sidelines to get ready for making a splash in the Pro class.
Justin Shier Aims for Mr. Olympia Top 10 after Debut Pro Win at Chicago Pro
In a recent YouTube video, Justin Shier shared his thoughts on winning his Pro debut at the 2023 Chicago Pro, which took place July 21-22. He took first ahead of Jonathan Delarosa, Stanislas de Longeaux, Blessing Awodibu, and Patrick Moore.
“I got to go really go out there and put on a show and pose and work and I got to win. I was just so thrilled,” said Shier. “I told you guys I’m going to win the show. I came in to win I felt like I knew I was going to win. I believed in myself but when it actually happens like there’s no way to quantify how that’s going to feel. That’s what I believed I was going to do. It’s what we came to do but when it actually happens.”
Shier believes he needs to pack on more muscle
“I think I can grow a little bit. I really do and I think I can also kind of be in a better position to fill out. We’re kind of coming down really hard in those last final weeks.”
Shier: “I want to be in the top 10. That’s my goal. I think I could do it. I believe I can do it. We’ll see how its goes like a lot of guys got to qualify still and there’s still more shows. I’m not sure exactly who is all qualified but you know now I’m looking at the list, at people I want to take out.”
“My best pose is front double. Worst pose, probably rear double,” said Shier.
Shier & Guy Cisternino recalled Walker’s criticism of Dauda’s back
Justin Shier believes Walker’s inflammatory comments about Dauda’s back are good for the sport since they attract more attention.
“Samson he looks pretty,” said Shier.
Guy: “The topic came up about Nick and Samson so it was about well because you brought up like the Samson back, and I go okay. Let’s just call a spade a spade. If you have every bodybuilder that has their best pose and they have the weakest pose. Nick Walker’s best pose, you could argue there’s one or two. His worst pose you can name one now.”
Guy: “Everybody has their best pose and their worst poses. Just because somebody says it a little more brash than somebody else. That’s neither here nor there. Let’s refer to the statement that Nick made about him, it constantly gets brought up and can we let this go please.”
Shier: “It was also a candid moment where you were just f**king around, bullsh**ing, and chatting with somebody. We don’t say s***. It’s honestly like yeah, his back sucks. Who cares? It’s not like whoa, Nick just said that. It’s also good to cause a little bit of controversy and get people talking like it’s good for the sport.”
Shier says Hunter Labrada will win Texas Pro & lauds the growth of talent in the Open
Justin Shier plans to skip the upcoming 2023 Texas Pro as he’s confident Hunter Labrada would take the top prize home.
“Hunter, he’s going to win this. I’d be done. I would shut it down. I wouldn’t even do Texas. I would not push the two weeks I would just, it’s two valuable weeks. Enjoy the win and let sh** go for the Olympia and let Carlos and Andrew.”
Shier and Cisternino praised the growth of talent in the Open division and argued any of the top contenders could potentially win.
Guy: “All those guys have similarities and differences but they’re all so good. When was the last time we could say that literally you could probably take eight of those top guys and say they have the potential to win the O.”
Shier: “I agree with that. You didn’t even mention Ramy. Ramy wasn’t I’d even say I mean there’s guys that I could have mentioned on top of Ramy. It’s pretty wild. There’s a lot of talent in that top ten, five, eight, like I think this Olympia is going to be way more competitive than last year’s Olympia. Last year was pretty competitive.”
Ross Flanigan is a budding contender who earned an invite to the Mr. Olympia contest. He turned in a strong performance at the 2023 Musclecontest California Pro and secured the victory over Tonio Burton and legacy bodybuilder Sergio Oliva Jr.
Carlos Thomas Jr. is another fast-rising prospect who made waves for his jacked physique. Although he hasn’t made his Pro debut yet, his insanely huge chest and lower body muscle development have the people talking about a showdown with the elite contenders. His latest guest-posing appearance at the Victor Martinez Legends Championships generated even more hype for his first pro show.
Justin Shier’s successful entry into the Pro League and qualification for the Mr. Olympia contest will have fans on the edge of their seats for an epic battle of the elites on stage.