One of bodybuilding’s biggest stars, Nick Walker, is inching toward a return in May after injuries forced him out of 2023 Mr. Olympia. In a recent YouTube video, Walker gave his thoughts on jumping into the 2024 New York Pro and not receiving a special invite from Olympia. In addition, ‘The Mutant’ opened up on his Dorian Yates-style training split.
At only 29 years old, Nick Walker has achieved the unthinkable as a Men’s Open Pro. He won the 2021 New York Pro and Arnold Classic, kickstarting his career. When it was time for his first test on the Mr. Olympia stage, Walker secured fifth place in a jaw-dropping debut. Walker carried that momentum en route to the 2022 Mr. Olympia, where he shocked the world with a bronze finish.
Fresh off the biggest show of the year, Walker decided to jump into the 2023 Arnold Classic but took second behind Samson Dauda. All signs pointed to Walker exacting his revenge on the Mr. Olympia stage until a hamstring and calf tear sidelined him from competing. With time to heal, Walker elaborates below on his decision to enter the 2024 New York Pro on May 18.
Nick Walker Opens Up On Dorian Yates-Inspired Training Split and Making Splash Into 2024 New York Pro
The annual New York Pro is considered the third-most prestigious contest on the IFBB Pro League calendar excluding the Arnold Classic and Mr. Olympia. If all goes according to plan, Walker hopes to leave New York with a second title.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m very excited. I’ll be honest. New York is a very prestigious show. I won it once. I remember the feeling I had when I won it and I expect nothing less going into this one. I expect to win this one pretty clear. That being said, I don’t take anyone who is doing it lightly. I personally don’t know who is doing it.”
As for potential bodybuilding threats, Walker named the defending champion Tonio Burton, Stu Sutherland, and Rubiel Mosquera.
“I know rumors of certain people like Tonio [Burton] I know was rumored Beef Stu I heard was rumored, I heard Rubiel was rumored but I don’t know what his visa problems, what’s going on there.
These are all rumors but I honestly don’t care who is doing it because I have a job to do and I know what my job is. Again, I don’t take anyone lightly. I’m treating this as if I’m re-qualifying for my first Olympia again. I’m not coming into this with a big head.”
Walker admits there has been a mentality shift since he found out he wouldn’t be receiving a special invite from Olympia.
“Yeah, I mean, look, there was the rumor [of a special invite], was I getting one was I not getting one? Truth be told, like yeah, I did think I possibly was going to get one but I think at the same time, look, whatever man. I rather earn it. If that’s the case, let’s not play games here. I’ll just earn it it’s fine. I think it’s more respectable to come back and earn the spot.”
“That’s exactly my plan [to slaughter everyone at the New York Pro]. I’m okay with it. this is going to be something good. Everything happens for a reason and with this show again being in my backyard, with that being the first show that qualified me for my first Olympia. I’m going to do the same thing again but just have a different outcome at the Olympia.”
Given his focus on recovery, the Open star decided to implement a Dorian Yates-style training split. Yates was known for his high-intensity workouts, having gained knowledge from the late Arthur Jones and Mike Mentzer. The training system was based on going to and beyond failure.
“Right now, I literally train the way Dorian trained in terms of his split. I train four days a week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and I’ve been doing that since I’ve been able to train legs a little bit since the Olympia.
And although it’s a little mental right because we all want to be in the gym five, six days a week, I have seen nothing but better results that way, having more rest and being back in a prep like this… I don’t want to change nothing.”
Athletes Rep Bob Cicherillo advised Walker to avoid adding size and instead focus on gradual refinements.
“The last thing Nick Walker needs is more size. That’s not what he’s about right now in his career. He’s got plenty of size and plenty of muscle. It’s all about refining the physique. And I think people can take a page and when I say people I’m talking about IFBB Pros, take a page out of what Nick Walker’s going to do and watch him at the Olympia and you’re going to see him the best you’ve ever seen him,” said Bob Cicherillo.
While Nick Walker couldn’t be more sure of himself, some notable figures in the bodybuilding community aren’t sold on his return. Namely, 1990s standout Shawn Ray, who recently shared that there is no guarantee Nick Walker will make it back on the 2024 Mr. Olympia stage.
Perhaps the new changes to Walker’s routine could pay dividends down the line. Should he claim gold at the 2024 New York Pro, he will be one step closer to clinching the sport’s greatest honor.