Shaun Clarida continues to inch closer toward his third 212 Olympia title, as the event is scheduled to take place this November. In a recent YouTube video, Clarida laid out his plan with Bob Cicherillo and explained why he won’t pursue size over conditioning during his prep.
Even though Clarida doesn’t enjoy any advantages that come with towering height, he makes up for it with sheer strength, dense muscularity, and dry conditioning. The 212 powerhouse has been called a ‘Mini Ronnie Coleman,’ and continues to prove what’s possible year to year. Clarida’s combination of symmetry, muscularity, and fullness saw him first win the 212 Olympia title in 2020.
Succeeding on the Olympia stage is no easy task, and Clarida was unable to retain gold in 2021. He fell to Derek Lunsford. Then, in 2022, Derek accepted a special invite to compete in the Open at Mr. Olympia where he took second. Meanwhile, Clarida regained his 212 Olympia title dominantly in December.
Aside from his experiences in the 212, Clarida earned the nickname ‘The Giant Killer’ following his victory at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro. Clarida also tested his abilities in the Open again in March at the 2023 Arnold Classic. Despite being outsized by many of the competitors, Clarida still took fifth place and gave the former two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh ‘Big Ramy’ Elssbiay a run for his money.
Clarida has been honest about his ambitions in the sport. He plans to break Flex Lewis’ record of seven 212 Olympia titles. With the next Olympia show approaching in less than three months, if Clarida is successful, he’ll be one step closer to that ambitious goal.
“If I Won Olympia 170-180 Lbs, Why Change It?” Shaun Clarida on Upcoming Title Defense
In addition to talking about his aspirations, Clarida touched on rising threats in his division such as Keone Pearson, who recently claimed gold in 212 at the 2023 Texas Pro.
“I’m waiting to hear three-time,” said Shaun Clarida.
“New competition this year, right? We’re seeing shots of your buddy Keone out there. It looks like he has his shit together. That kid is trouble,” said Bob Cicherillo.
Listen, I respect each and every guy on that stage, they all belong to be there, right? I’m just focused on me. He was great. He was actually here last night,” said Shaun Clarida. “My goal and my vision is just to fast forward, get that three, and call it a day.”
Cicherillo highlighted that Shaun won back his Olympia title just like Open legend Jay Cutler managed in 2009.
“Only Jay Cutler is the only guy to get an Olympia title back so that puts you in elite company, my friend,” replied Cicherillo.
“Yeah, definitely. Jay is definitely that guy. Right, Jay did it and we did obviously last year. Again, I’m trying to create that legacy at this point. I’m a brand new father now. I just had a baby. Baby GK is here. We just moved to Texas. So I’m actually a Texan now.”
Clarida plans to step on stage between 170-180 pounds and stressed that he would not be chasing size over conditioning this season.
“I’m right around 200,” added Clarida. “Exactly. If I won Olympia around 170-180, why change it? I’ll be better, I’ll be a little bit more crisper obviously, those things we can always improve on. As far as getting bigger, I don’t necessarily need to do that.”
“You come in with that razor-sharp condition, that’s usually the difference on the Olympia level, that’s just smart planning man,” said Bob Cicherillo.
“I talked to some of the judges last year after I walked off the Olympia stage, they literally said, ‘Don’t change a thing.’ So, if they told me, if those are the judges that judged me and they gave me that first-place nod, I’m going to listen to everything they say.”
“Like you say, if it’s not broke, why should I fix it,” stated Clarida. “I just focus on winning. I don’t worry about losing, I focus on winning.”
Known for lifting heavy weights, Clarida has kept fans updated on his training practices leading up to November. Recently, the reigning 212 Olympia champ walked his audience through a brutal arm workout but explained that he doesn’t train arms every week. Mainly, Shaun prefers to stick to a traditional push, pull, legs training split.
Aside from his biceps and triceps, Clarida taxed his lower body with a quad-dominant leg workout. During the training session, Clarida pushed with as much intensity as possible but made sure to keep stress off his knees when he could.
The 2023 Mr. Olympia event will take place from Nov. 2-5, in Orlando, Florida inside the Orange County Convention Center. Fans are excited to see if Shaun Clarida can extend his reign and become a three-time 212 Olympia champion.