Nick Walker is gearing up for contest prep ahead of this year’s Mr. Olympia competition, taking place Nov. 2-5 in Orlando, Florida. In a recent Mutant and the Mouth Podcast, Walker received advice on his front double biceps pose from Jose Raymond and discussed his quad growth over the last several weeks.
Last December, Walker witnessed a seismic shift first-hand in the Open class as the former champion, Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay was knocked off his throne by Hadi Choopan. Walker took third and the Olympia People’s Champ Award while his rival, Derek Lunsford, took silver in a nail-biter finale.
Walker used the momentum from Las Vegas at the 2023 Arnold Classic show in March. He battled with finalists Andrew Jacked and Samson Dauda for the second most prestigious title in the sport as well as a $300,000 check. In what many deemed controversial, Dauda was awarded first place and Walker finished runner-up. Dauda’s win sparked debates online and even got the attention of athletes rep Bob Cicherillo.
Cicherillo has gone on record sharing insight on how to judge contests. In addition, he laid out why Samson defeated Walker in Columbus, Ohio. Cicherillo contends that Dauda presented a better combination of factors such as shape, symmetry, proportions, and balance. Walker has been open about his future plans. He intends to show up this year on the Mr. Olympia stage and win the show.
Walker connected with Jose Raymond in his latest undertaking. Raymond led a successful 212 bodybuilding career. During Jose’s tenure, he won several Pro shows and pushed himself against greats of his category like seven-time 212 Olympia Flex Lewis and Hidetada Yamagishi, who is currently in preparations for the upcoming Masters Olympia contest.
Nick Walker Takes Posing Advice from 212 Veteran Jose Raymond, Talks 2023 Mr. Olympia + Quads
Jose Raymond asked Walker how he planned to hit his front double biceps pose moving forward. He believes when Walker opens up more as opposed to crunching and performs a vacuum pose, his waist is slimmer and he has a more impressive v-taper.
“Are you going to implement that front double with more of a vacuum as opposed to crunching down? Do you intend to master that pose? Do you like the ab crunch better, do you think it looked better… I know that it was – it made a big change in your physique when you hit the Arnold and won the Arnold and did that. But I just wonder, because I know when you do open up and do it, you look gigantic. Absolutely. It changes the flow of your physique. There’s more taper,” said Jose Raymond.
“When I did that before, the more [open front double] at North Americans before I turned Pro. You know, I know it makes my waist look smaller and everything a little wider but I was told it makes my legs look shorter. That’s why I went with the crunch,” replied Walker.
Walker seemed receptive to the new changes and Raymond mentioned it would give him comparable shape to Derek Lunsford.
“Yeah, that’s something [vacuum poses] I need to work on to get the feeling down of it,” Walker added.
“I think if you master that pose, you will have a size and shape not unlike Lunsford with how it just opens up, it’s so crazy,” said Raymond.
Before his efforts ramp up for the contest, Walker is taking a break from all stimulants including coffee.
“I haven’t even drank coffee in like three to four weeks, I’ve taken a full break from any type of stim,” said Walker. “Nothing. I haven’t had it. I’ve noticed I sleep better.”
“I would only do one [cup of coffee]. I’d go to Starbucks. Like a normal day, not now – because I have cardio at the house but I’d normally drive to the gym up the street. Do cardio, then right after drive to the Starbucks drive-thru and get a Venti Cold Brew.
Then I’d come home and mix like the pump products with the stim products together as a pre-workout but I haven’t done any of that for like four weeks. Yeah [I’m going to go back to it]. Once I’m deep into prep and tired and need a little pick me up I’ll start adding those back in again. But I do feel like every once in a while, you need a break.”
For his latest Olympia campaign, Walker specified that he developed better mind-muscle connection by using a full range of motion on movements like the incline dumbbell press.
“You have to be very intuned with this type of training like you have to – pay very close attention to it. I also think me training less volume is – I just feel like I’m so intuned with how much I can connect with the muscle that I don’t need to do three or four or five sets for an exercise.
I like to go where I feel I have the most pump within whatever that exercise I’m doing. Get the most out of it and move on. I just, I feel like when you’re able to connect so well with the muscle you can certainly get away without doing so much volume over time,” said Nick Walker. “No, for today, I did incline dumbbell. I’ve been working on full full full range of motion which is something Jared did teach me. I wasn’t doing full range.”
“The more frequently I’m able to hit a body part, I grow faster. I’ve found my quads have grown very quickly in a short amount of time so I kind of want to keep that going,” said Nick Walker. “No I don’t think so [they won’t be flat].”
Prime Shaun Clarida versus Prime Flex Lewis?
While Clarida is one of the freakiest bodybuilders Walker has ever seen, he’s unsure how he’d fare against a prime Flex Lewis. Raymond, on the other hand, believes Lewis would overwhelm Clarida with size and shape.
“Listen, Shaun in person is… it’s freaky as fuck. Because now, every – the week before the Olympia we pretty much stay together. I see how his body changes… by the day. It’s insane. It’s incredible. It really is.”
“Who would win peak Shaun or peak Flex Lewis? asks Jose Raymond.
“That’s a really good question. I plead the fifth,” said Walker.
“I’m going to go with Flex, and I’ll say this, I’m going with Flex because of the simple fact that they both have a lot of factors that go into it and both I can argue, I can argue Flex and I can argue Shaun. However at the end of the day if they’re both 100%, Flex is that much bigger, period,” Guy Cisternino said.
“Yeah. I will say though, Shaun almost beat Big Ramy,” added Walker.
Looking ahead to the next Mr. Olympia, Nick Walker has been open and honest about his competition. In late June, he appeared in an HD Muscle video and doubted the potential of Big Ramy, Andrew Jacked, Regan Grimes, and Samson Dauda.
Walker has publicly stated that Hadi Choopan will not successfully defend his title later this year. He believes the finals will see either himself or Derek Lunsford taking gold. Veterans of the sport have placed their bets as well. Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman predicts Lunsford will become the next champion in Nov.
With the right balance of freak factor, mass, and conditioning, many believe Walker to be a future Mr. Olympia winner. Time will tell if he’s able to secure the prestigious title this year, but he’s more confident than ever as he inches closer to the show.