Nick Walker is feeding off the energy of fans before making his way to bodybuilding’s crowning event of the year. In a recent Mutant and the Mouth Podcast, Walker opened up about his preparations and is embracing that fans expect him to drop placings on the 2023 Mr. Olympia stage in November.
“They think because the taller guys are making their way through but it’s like how many more fucking times do I have to prove myself? I’m just going to keep doing it. I love it,” Walker emphasized.
Obsessed with his craft, Nick Walker at a young age proved he could not only cultivate impressive mass but also knew how to dial in his conditioning for contests. He secured consecutive victories at the 2021 New York Pro and Arnold Classic, springboarding him to his first Mr. Olympia show, which saw him take fifth place in a memorable debut.
Having rejoined his coach Matt Jansen just a few months before 2022 Olympia, “The Mutant” lived up to his nickname when he stepped on stage, shocking the world with dense muscles and freak factor. He placed third behind Derek Lunsford and Hadi Choopan but nabbed the Olympia People’s Champ Award before leaving Las Vegas.
As for his 2023 season, Walker made a detour to the Arnold Classic in March after the organizers pumped the prize money up to $300,000. His status as the on-paper favorite was challenged by Samson Dauda, who outsized and out-shaped Walker to secure gold. With his eyes on the sport’s ultimate prize, the 29-year-old joined Guy Cisternino for an honest discussion about his progress thus far.
Nick Walker in ‘High 270s’ 7 Weeks from 2023 Mr. Olympia, Talks Fans Counting Him Out “It Doesn’t Trigger Me”
Tipping the scales in the “high 270s,” Walker said the fatigue of his current prep is starting to set in:
“Oh, it’s good bro. Now, it’s like that time where… Yeah. The crankiness, not cranky, but irritable, I’m more fatigued than normal, a little tired now,” Nick Walker shared.
“Even with other things, because I’m very structural. So, if somebody changes time, I’m like, ‘Oh, well we’ll do it another day.’ I plan everything accordingly to make sure everything is functioning, some say it’s a bad habit, some say it’s a great habit to have but it works for me.”
“Prep is good. We’re in the high 270s right now. Training is still really really good,” specified Walker. “The lowest I got was 279. So, and we’re getting harder. Each and every check-in is just better. Matt is very happy. I’m very happy. Maria sees me every day so she’s like, ‘Yo, you’re getting better.’ So.”
Despite having never slipped on the Mr. Olympia stage, fans seem to believe Walker will this year. He added that he’d “rather be doubted and shock everyone,” than have everyone pat him on the back before taking to the stage.
“I’d say a day or two before the show, protein is like 112 grams, like three or four ounces, which is for me, nothing.”
“We’re just cruising along. I kind of embraced that everyone is counting me out,” Walker said. “But I’m just embracing the fact that a lot of people are thinking I’m going to drop placings at the Olympia, so it’s nice. I enjoy it.”
“No, it’s just every comment I read, you know it’s nothing. Guy everywhere Guy! Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, Samson is going to place one or second, Derek is going to be one, Hadi is going to be that. And then there’s Nick… oh he’ll be lucky to take top six this year.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t trigger me in a negative – I enjoy it. I rather be doubted and shock everyone, than have everyone pat me on the back before I get on stage.”
Walker underlined that his prep has gone phenomenal so far.
“I’ve just learned, it’s funny. I don’t – I think it’s very humorous. I just use it as fuel like okay cool. I said I was third at the Olympia, watch me work, keep watching me work man. We’re golden over here. This has been knock on wood, a really good prep so far.”
“There’s still muscle maturity that’s not there yet [on my physique].”
Before calling it a day, Walker touched on his mental health after his quick rise to the top in 2021.
“If I’m going to be 100% honest why I went to that dark place in terms of a couple years ago, I don’t know… I think because I used to be fine. I used to handle pressure fine. I used to be able to handle everything fine. And I think like I said, I want to say it was the quick rise to the top that I had and I guess I didn’t expect it. I also didn’t know how to handle it. With the pressure that came with it, I think that I self-induced triple the amount of the pressure on top of it.”
In a sport as cutthroat as bodybuilding, Walker admits it’s been challenging to take a step back to appreciate what he’s accomplished.
“I’m always striving for the next best thing right? I get it all the time,” added Walker. “No [things don’t sink in for me in my life]. Knock on wood but even with this house I’m going to own, it’s like okay, what’s next? If you really think about it, Matt’s right.
In the bodybuilding industry to have cars, to have – to own a house, it is – I don’t want to say rare… But it’s not the most common thing, you know?”
Even though Hadi Choopan will enter the 2023 Mr. Olympia as the reigning champion, Walker seems more concerned with former 212 Olympia Derek Lunsford. When envisioning himself competing, Walker insists the gold medal will come down to an epic showdown between himself and Lunsford.
If you ask Samir Bannout or Ronnie Coleman, a pair of former Mr. Olympias, they have both gone on record predicting Derek Lunsford to become the next champion. There is no shortage of contenders this year and time is running out for athletes to secure their qualifications. Fans look forward to seeing Nick Walker vie for the sport’s grand prize from November 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.