Veteran bodybuilding coach Milos Sarcev has a proven track record training some of the world’s best IFBB Pro League talents. In a Muscular Development interview, Sarcev discussed the physiques of 2023 Arnold Classic frontrunners Nick Walker, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay, and Samson Dauda less than four weeks from the show.
“He’s [Big Ramy] going on the [Arnold Classic] stage – the only guy he lost to was Nick Walker. I’m sure that he’s going there for redemption. He believes he can fix the fullness part,” Sarcev shared.
When the smoke cleared from last year’s Olympia contest, the Men’s Open hierarchy underwent dramatic changes. By the end of the event, a pair of former 212 athletes – Derek Lunsford and Hadi Choopan finished first and second whereas the former champion Big Ramy, fell to fifth place, respectively. However, the bodybuilding calendar has shifted its focus to the nearing Arnold Classic, set to take place from March 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio.
In January, the official list of competitors was revealed for the 35th annual Arnold Classic. Within a day of this announcement, Blessing Awodibu and Charles Griffen dropped out, sparking new rules from the IFBB should an athlete withdraw from a final competitors list for invitationals.
To attract more competitors to join the Arnold Classic roster, organizers increased the prize money for the Men’s Open winner to a staggering $300,000, only $100,000 less than what Olympia offers its Open class champion. As a result, Nick Walker, Andrew Jacked, and Patrick Moore threw their names into the mix. Meanwhile, in a surprising announcement, Elssbiay also entered the contest.
Speaking with Giles Thomas, Sarcev opened up on whether Big Ramy can fix the problems that held him back at 2022 Olympia. Additionally, he took a closer look at a future battle between Nick Walker and Samson Dauda.
Milos Sarcev on 2023 Arnold Classic: Samson ‘Can Beat’ Freaky Nick Walker
Like many other veterans of the sport, Sarcev refused to count out Big Ramy before the 2023 Arnold Classic. He added that the Egyptian native is still ‘top five in the world,’ but mentioned Samson Dauda has the tools to defeat him in March.
“People don’t consider that a guy that placed sixth or seventh has business beating guys that are second or third. It’s not even a contest. All these YouTube comments, when I say yeah of course, Samson can beat Nick. It’s a laughingstock of a statement. It’s possible,” says Milos Sarcev.
“People don’t understand, ‘oh Ramy placing fifth,’ it’s top five in the world. One of the top five best physiques.”
Sarcev highlighted that one of Walker’s best weapons is his thin skin.
“Going into the Arnold Classic… I know that Nick just has a that freaky thin skin. I was a fan of his at Dragon’s Lair, I’ve seen him there. I had to touch his skin right, it was like holy shit. I remember back in ’83 when I touched John Brown’s arm. It’s super impressive. This is what bothered me, people think I’m a Nick hater. I love Nick. I take my hat off to him in many aspects.”
He later complained that shows used to be ‘judged and appreciated’ but now bodybuilding contests are largely determined by ‘muscle-building’ and mandatory poses.
It used to be bodybuilding was a sport, now it’s muscle-building. Now it’s muscle-building, now and mandatory poses and okay — in this new sport, yeah he [Nick Walker] can win every show right. In muscle-building, eight mandatory poses bodybuilding shows. Bodybuilding was supposed to be judged and appreciated and you know… [if it was], he wouldn’t. That’s for me, I’m not a judge,” says Milos Sarcev.
Sarcev: Ramy’s ‘Lower Lat Insertions Cannot Be Fixed’ But He Can ‘Beat’ Nick Walker With ‘X-Frame and V-Taper’
According to Sarcev, Ramy can still be ‘super’ competitive against Nick Walker at the Arnold Classic despite having an unfixable lower lat insertions problem.
“Part of me of course agrees with you [fixing triceps, lower lats, calf muscles), part of me never discourages anyone to compete because I competed 110 times. I have guys that ask me… yes. Competition is a deadline; it brings everything up a notch. Instead of waiting one year, maybe do one more Olympia Ramy – no! You had all this size going into the Olympia — I mean there was hype and we all believed that he would bring it and be even better than in 2021.”
“Ramy has a v-taper and x-frame. So, beating Nick Walker in x-frame and v-taper, 100% there’s no question. Shaun Clarida dangerous little giant killer right,” added Milos Sarcev. “Ramy is super competitive in those front poses if he does them correctly, side poses, 100%. Then, there was that back double biceps that was problematic because of the lower lat insertions and that cannot be fixed,” says Milos Sarcev.
Sarcev refused to speculate about Ramy’s lower lat issue, but suggested nerve damage could be a relevant factor.
“I’m no medical expert so it would be needless for us to give expert advice, we are bro science. It doesn’t take much of a rocket scientist to see that nerves fires the muscles, muscles contract, and are able to hypertrophy or maintain size. When there’s no delivery of an impulse, it atrophies, that’s the only explanation.”
To prepare his body for another intense bodybuilding contest, Ramy has utilized intravenous stem cell treatments. Ramy’s doctor, who also recently treated Fouad Abiad, confirmed that Elssbiay responded well to the therapy and believes he looks better than before. Dr. Khan also mentioned that he plans on fixing Ronnie Coleman so the bodybuilding legend can walk again without assistance.
With the annual Arnold Sports Festival approaching, Ramy and his coach have kept physique updates under wraps. Time will tell if Elssbiay’s recent stem cell treatment will reinvigorate his physique for the 2023 Arnold Classic, where he’ll rematch Nick Walker.