Nick Walker Explains Why He Will Not Defend Title During 2022 Arnold Classic

Nick Walker will sit out during the Arnold Classic this year to prepare for the Olympia.

The lineup for the 2022 Arnold Classic was announced in December. There were some big names on the list but also one glaring absence — 2021 champion Nick Walker.

‘The Mutant’ put together an incredible season in 2021. He won the New York Pro, which earned qualification to the Olympia, and added a title at the Arnold Classic. In 2022, Walker revealed he will skip the second-biggest bodybuilding show of the year to prepare for the ultimate weekend. Walker took to Instagram to share his insights.

“Everyone keeps asking “why aren’t you doing the Arnold?”

I remember when I did the Chicago pro 6 weeks after I just turned pro. I took 4 place, 3 top guys in the sport beat me. Was I mad I didn’t win? I mean I think that should be anyones initial reaction when the goal is always to win. But I also knew I just got 4th behind some of the best.

I remember the next morning I looked myself in the mirror and I said “they will never beat me again.”

After earning his Pro Card in 2020, Nick Walker began competing at the 2020 Chicago Pro. He finished fourth in the event and wanted to make sure that he did not lose to the top three again — Maxx Charles, Justin Rodriguez, and Akim Williams. Walker mentions that he was not defeated by those competitors in 2021.

Remember, this is the same athlete that was not happy with his fifth-place finish at the Olympia. Most would be pleased with this finish in their first appearance at the Olympia but Walker considered it a loss and nothing more.

“Fast forward some, I won New York, I won the Arnold, I got 5th place at my first olympia. Those guys have not beaten me again.

With the guys that beat me at the olympia, it just doesn’t make sense to continue to compete without making the improvements needed to beat those guys at the olympia. I need the off-season to make big improvements for the olympia 2022.

Speak it into existence- olympia 2022, im coming for it all.”

This year, Nick Walker has his eyes on the bigger picture rather than defending his title. It is clear that his goal is to be named Mr. Olympia after a top-five finish. Walker references the four competitors that beat him in October. They are Big Ramy, Brandon Curry, Hadi Choopan, and Hunter Labrada. With the four likely holding out for the Olympia, Walker does not feel the need to step on stage beforehand.

The 2022 Olympia will return to Las Vegas from Dec. 15-18. Despite the Arnold Classic taking place in March, Nick Walker will not compete. Instead, all of his eggs will be put into winning gold during the Olympia at the end of the year.

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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.