Men’s Open bodybuilder Nick Walker is eying his next competition taking place in November at 2023 Mr. Olympia. In a recent Going Deep Podcast, Walker discussed leg training, chasing the pump, and the importance of embracing suffering during contest preps.
“People need to understand when you’re suffering, you’re hungry, you’re tired, your strength goes down, you’re in a good spot, it’s a good thing,” Walker shared.
Over the last three years, Nick Walker’s presence in the IFBB Pro League was impossible to ignore. In 2021, he secured consecutive victories at the New York Pro and Arnold Classic. With an imposing combination of muscle density and conditioning, Walker quickly found himself in the top five at his first Mr. Olympia contest.
Following the success, Walker laid out goals for his 2022 season, which included adding size and trimming down his waistline. He opted out of the Arnold Classic won by Brandon Curry to focus on improvements for bodybuilding’s biggest show of the year. Ultimately, the 2022 Olympia event was won by Hadi Choopan, though Walker once again proved himself in third place.
Unlike his rival Derek Lunsford, who chose to stay on the sidelines after the Las Vegas show, Walker entered the 2023 Arnold Classic on short notice. He was denied the title by Samson Dauda in a close-fought battle. In spite of the setback, Walker is fully committed to bringing his best when he returns to the stage in less than six months.
Nick Walker ‘Embraces Suffering’ in 2023 Off-Season, Talks Chasing the Pump & Leg Training
Walker reflected on his average rep count during leg workouts and looked back on a tough training session.
“Yes 12-15 reps on leg exercises,” Walker shared. “He didn’t give zero fuc*s. He just ran me through it very very hard. I remember our first actual exercise was a superset of banded leg press and then walking lunges. I could have been done after that, I’m going to be honest, I’m like I’m good.
And then he’s like okay time for hacks. I’m like what? Then we move to hacks and he’s like okay time to move to – I’m like what the fuc*? I went home woke up the next day and felt like I was legit hit by a school bus, so that was fun I enjoyed it. But then I kept coming back every week. People wanted to train legs with us and then we would put them through it and make them throw up.”
As for intensity, Walker explained that he used to train to near failure, but nowadays prefers to stop the movement once he feels an adequate pump.
“I like to think I will stop like as soon as that rep you know you hit, you’re like, ‘Whoa that’s the one.’ Then I kind of rack it,” explained Walker. “Yeah, I normally would get that feeling pause at the top and keep you know… I think that benefits, yes, do I think it helped me get to where I am today? Yes. Do I think I need to do it now? No. I don’t.”
“When I think rest and reserve, I’m honestly not going to be like oh I did like three. No, I’m going to be like, oh I left like one or two in the tank, something like that. It’s like, yeah, as skilled as I believe I am, you want me to believe I did a three r and r? I don’t really fuc*ing know that shit man.”
While it may surprise his audience, Walker believes suffering is an essential ingredient to future success. He added that when he’s struggling with strength, hunger, or energy levels, that’s typically an indicator that he’s losing body fat and getting peeled.
“It’s working [if I’m suffering] that means I’m getting peeled. Then things are going to plan,” said Walker. “Obviously there’s levels but when you’re suffering that hard – you don’t want to do – you’re tired, you’re suffering, you don’t want to get out of bed. That 315 squat last week feels like 600 pounds this week, it’s fuc*ing okay. It’s part of what it is. You have to be so mentally strong that you have to realize that this is part of it. This is what it is. Look at yourself in the mirror.”
“People think they get so caught up in losing muscle, that’s fine, but how do you look? Are you getting peeled? If so, then it’s okay. If you have a good coach, he’s going to know when to give you food again, when to pull. You just have to shut the fuc* up, do as your told and listen and embrace the suffering. A lot of people lack that, embracing.
I embrace this shit I fuc*ing love it. I complain a little bit but at the end of the day, that’s the part I know where it’s fuc*ing go time. I work even harder the more I suffer. That’s when things really start to move. And for me, I want that shit to happen faster now. So I’m going to work even harder to make it happen faster,” said Nick Walker.
This isn’t the first time Walker’s passion and mentality toward the sport was brought up. In a recent The Truth Podcast, Fouad Abiad and coach Hany Rambod laid out why Walker has been so successful at a young age. They stressed that Walker lives bodybuilding 24/7 and his commitment to the sport is unrivaled.
Walker is determined to endure the pain necessary to claim a Mr. Olympia title. As the winner of the Olympia People’s Champ Award last year, he has a strong chance of pushing Choopan at the upcoming contest.