Derek Lunsford Reflects On Physique From 2023 Olympia Compared To 2022: “It’s Not About Adding Muscle Tissue, It’s About Refinement”

Derek Lunsford speaks on his championship winning physique compared to 2022.
Derek Lunsford Instagram

Derek Lunsford reflects on his Olympia physique from the previous two years.

It has been quite a year for Derek Lunsford and he wants to be even better in 2024. The Olympia champion has been in two Men’s Open competitions in his career and they have both been in the Olympia. During a recent interview, Lunsford spoke on both appearances and compared his physique.

Lunsford pulled off an incredible victory during the 2021 Olympia when he defeated Shaun Clarida for the Men’s 212 title. Following the show, he put on an incredible amount of muscle and showed it off as a guest poser during the Pittsburgh Pro. It was clear that he would be unable to get back down to compete in 212 but that was the plan all along.

Lunsford received a special invitation for the 2022 Olympia and finished as the runner-up to Hadi Choopan in Men’s Open. This year, he turned in his second finish in the top two but jumped Choopan to win the title. He became the first competitor to win an Olympia title in two separate divisions.

Lunsford joined Desktop Bodybuilding for a recent conversation surrounding his performance during the 2022 & 2023 Olympia competitions.

Derek Lunsford wins 2023 Mr. Olympia
Image courtesy of Instagram (@mrolympiallc)

Derek Lunsford Talks Comparisons Of His Physique

The conversation began with Derek Lunsford looking at his poses from the 2023 Olympia, where he was crowned champion.

“It’s not just about added more muscle tissue. It’s about getting things etched out and matured and getting them more hardened and seasoned. That’s what I see in my physique. I don’t think I need to add more muscle tissue. It’s all about refinement.”

When looking at different poses, Lunsford observed himself from the size and spoke on his chest development and fullness of his arms.

“Me, when I see this because I’m my worst critic, I want to see my chest improve from the year before. That right there, I feel like I really brought up my chest…I’m very proud of the chest development from the 2022 to 2023 Olympia, for sure.

Definitely the triceps and arms are a lot fuller this year.”


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A post shared by Derek Lunsford (@dereklunsford_)

On his back double bicep:

Of course, Lunsford’s back was also a topic of conversation. In 2023, it felt like this was the deciding factor in Lunsford defeating Hadi Choopan.

Lunsford compared his back pose to the first person to run a four-minute mile. Many thought that it was impossible to break that time, but someone did it and people continue to improve. Lunsford wants to break through his ceiling and make his back even better.

“Even in my back pose, the moment that you think you have it in the bag, someone is going to come up and challenge that. They’re going to test you, man.

Do I feel that that’s my dominant pose? No question. I think it’s a pretty knockout pose from the back. I look at it and go ‘that’s good but I know we can improve at it.’”


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A post shared by Derek Lunsford (@dereklunsford_)

Ab development:

Derek Lunsford focused on training his abs last offseason. He noticed a major difference from the year before while on stage.

“I trained my abs a lot more in the offseason last year to get them a little thicker. People are saying ‘oh we want to see deeper ab separation’ from the 2022 to 2023 Olympia.

The way that everything seems to flow together seems more proportional with the added size.”

Derek Lunsford continued to speak on how he views bodybuilding moving forward. He gained motivation and influence from the competitors before him and hopes that the next generation does the same.

“I truly want to see the sport continue to thrive for years, decades, centuries into the future. I want to see, whatever we do now take it to the next level, I want to see the next wave of guys watching us do the same thing. Just carry the torch for years to come.”

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.