Akim Williams opens up about his big improvements at Olympia 2020 and what he changed to land in the top 6.

Akim Williams turned heads at the Olympia 2020 when he stepped onto stage and eventually landed sixth place. Williams is a massive bodybuilder with a lot of potential. That potential in past years seemed to never come to fruition. His previous Olympia placings were 9th in 2019 and 15th in 2016. Now many are considering him to be the biggest threat in 2021. What changed? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Akim Williams honestly speaks about the experience of being an underdog. He also details the big changes he made to leap up in his placing.

In our recent interview with Milos Sarcev, he listed Akim Williams as one of the biggest threats heading into the 2021 bodybuilding season. He’s not alone in that sentiment. After placing 6th at the Olympia 2020, Akim Williams is now in the spotlight as a future contender for the Sandow trophy.

This is a far cry from the discussions being had about Akim Williams just a few years ago. The pro bodybuilder is certainly an impressive one with massive size that can dwarf many competitors. But the full package never came together enough to do damage at the Mr. Olympia. Before 2020, his two placings were 9th and 15th.

The conversation completely changed this past year with his sixth place finish at the Olympia 2020. Not only was this his highest placing, but his physique was noticeably improved. Something had changed that put all of the factors together alongside his size to turn heads.

Over the past few years, we have been in a sort of transitionary period for bodybuilding. Older champions and superstar athletes have passed the torch to a new generation of competitors. Phil Heath seems to be at the end of his reign as Olympia champion and the legendary Dexter Jackson has retired.

This not only leaves new holes open for younger competitors to rise up, it also times with the new generation improving through experience. Akim Williams is certainly one of those athletes. 2021 might just be the year he breaks through his underdog status.

During our interview with Akim Williams, we asked him what it was like to be labeled with the underdog monicker. What is it like when fans and experts predict low placings? Williams admits that he tries not to let it bother him. In fact, he looks at the positive. Being the underdog means he can fly under the radar. That’s exactly what happened in 2020. No one expected a top six finish from Williams. When he stepped on stage, many were shocked. He was immediately in the running for standout of the weekend.

But these sorts of improvements don’t just happen out of thin air. What exactly changed to bring Akim Williams up to the next level? What was he working on while he flew under the radar? Williams says that the biggest factor was confidence.

Beyond the Mr. Olympia, Akim Williams placed well at the Chicago Pro and Arnold Classic. He also landed a high placing at the New York Pro in 2019. This gave him proof that he could achieve what he’s been striving for all these years. It gave him confidence in his own abilities.

Beyond that, Akim Williams also discusses how he put more training into presentation and posing. He worked extremely hard on improving his posing routine to showcase his physique in the best possible way. He credits that focus and dedication during prep to his higher placing this year.

And of course, his better placing this year only gives Akim Williams more confidence going in 2021. With the conversation now talking up Williams more than ever – he has all the tools he needs to bring his best package this year. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

You can watch Akim Williams’ full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.