Men’s Open bodybuilding star Nick Walker is gearing up for his third Mr. Olympia competition taking place November 2-5, in Orlando Florida. In a recent Mutant and the Mouth Podcast, Walker discussed taking harsh criticism and revealed how he’s approaching his latest prep.
‘The Mutant,’ equipped with mass, conditioning, and vascularity, quickly found success in the IFBB Pro League. In 2021, he turned in back-to-back victories at the New York Pro and Arnold Classic shows. His victory on the East Coast qualified him for his first Mr. Olympia, an opportunity he embraced 100% with a fifth-place debut.
Walker sidelined himself for most of 2022 to bring his best physique to date. Despite encountering obstacles earlier in the season (like temporarily losing his trainer Matt Jansen), Walker still made a statement on the Olympia stage. Last December, he narrowly took third place against the champion Hadi Choopan and runner-up Derek Lunsford. He left Sin City feeling like a winner and redirected his focus immediately to the 2023 Arnold Classic.
In March, Walker attempted to become a two-time AC champion. However, he was denied in the finals by Samson Dauda, who appeared to have brought up his conditioning and leg density. In a recent HD Muscle interview, Walker honestly assessed Dauda’s physique. He called his back shit but predicted Dauda would still crack the top five in three months.
Nick Walker ‘Not Bitter’ After Losing to Samson Dauda, Discusses Taking Criticism In The Sport
“I think what bothers me is anybody can say what they want about me and my physique and this and that, and there’s no problem, no one bats an eye. But when I do it… it’s the biggest issue in the fucking world. It’s like – if I take it personal – people think I was going to be dead by the time I was 26, 27 years old. Why is okay for people to say shit like that and no one cares? But if I say this person has a shit back, it’s like oh my God, ‘You’re fucking hating.’ No. Not at all,” Walker shared.
“I’m not bitter. Am I upset? Yeah, I’m allowed to be. I lost, it’s fine. I took second, it sucks. I have no ill feelings toward Samson at all. I think Samson is great. I think he’s a phenomenal bodybuilder more so a phenomenal person at that. But we’re critiquing physiques. It’s nothing personal.I get critiqued 24/7. Everyone knows me, especially Guy, when I lose, it normally doesn’t happen again. People need to understand there’s a fire lit under my ass. I’m not the type of person to feel sorry for myself at all. I took a loss. I’m going to be angry about it for a few hours and then I move on to bigger and better things,” said Walker.
“Yeah [I thought about quitting bodybuilding] after my first Olympia. I just think you know… it’s really hard to explain because I feel like even I still don’t know. I just think I let the quick success so to speak get to my head. I felt like I just had to keep going and had to keep going. You know, that ultimately led to a bunch of other things that happened.”“I felt like I had to continue to stay on top, stay relevant, keep my name known and all this… which we all know it’s not the truth. But when you are getting that quick success and people are talking about you and rooting for you, you feel like if you stop for a little bit you’ll lose that.”
Walker ‘Feeling Fresh’ Talks 2023 Mr. Olympia Off-Season & Training During Prep
According to Walker, he consumed less food and less performance-enhancing drugs during his latest off-season.
“Food was probably a little less this off-season. The other aspect – gear – it was probably a little less than normal. I didn’t have a long break, so we couldn’t just jump into a high off-season. Within three months, if I was able to substantially put on this much mass… that’s crazy bro.That says a lot. Granted, I know I’m a genetic freak where not many people could probably do that. But it does go to show that me changing something and trying something new really did benefit. And if it worked for me, maybe someone who is not as genetic could maybe reach a better potential than training a body part once a week and things of this nature.”
“I feel like now that the training has changed and everything, I just feel fresh. I don’t really get joint pain,” said Walker. “It [my training] was always slow, right but it was never a full range type of thing where I’m just only executing the muscle itself.Granted yes, a lot of these times I train extremely slow but there’d be times, and you can let me know if you think it’s beneficial, I personally don’t think it is. When you’re starting a set and your first rep you’re already shaking, I don’t think that’s productive in my opinion.”“That’s not the way. You shouldn’t be shaking until the end of the set.”