Shaun Clarida details a training method similar to Dorian Yates leading up to his big victory at the Men’s 212 Olympia 2020.

One of the most exciting moments of the Olympia 2020 was when Shaun Clarida earned first place, defeating returning champion Kamal Elgargni. Clarida has been a competitor hungry to win the Men’s 212 Olympia for years now. He finally achieved that goal with a career-defining physique. We had an opportunity to speak with Clarida after his win. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Shaun Clarida breaks down his Olympia 2020 prep and the old school method that earned him the big win.

Back in the 80s and early 90s, Dorian Yates was not only known for his impressive run as Mr. Olympia. He was also known for his Blood and Guts training style. Yates was known as The Shadow for this very reason – he would train privately and disappear from the public view all year. Then he would appear on stage and shock the crowd, take the win, and go back to start it all over again.

From our recent conversation with Shaun Clarida, it seems he took a similar old school approach for his contest prep in 2020. Clarida simply locked himself in a gym, focused on old school free weight movements, and trained his body to oblivion. He didn’t focus on his brand, his public appearances, or any other distraction. He only focused on his dieting and prep.

This transformed his physique into the best we’ve seen in his entire career. He gained nearly 10 pounds of muscle mass and showcased tighter conditioning than ever before. He was 100% on point. That’s what he needed to take down the champ. He succeeded.

Shaun Clarida’s journey to the Olympia 2020 was documented in Nutrabio‘s Eyes On The Prize digital series (you can watch it here). But even the documentary doesn’t detail just how hardcore and old school Clarida pushed during his 2020 prep.

“Coming home last year, the 2019 Olympia, placing third was obviously the ultimate motivation for me. But as soon as I got home I didn’t take any time off. I got right back to work,” Shaun Clarida states in our interview. He continues:

“And then obviously we all got hit with the pandemic and COVID and honestly it didn’t really stop me. Because I had an amazing friend who has a private gym that he gave me the key to. And I literally trained there for 3 or 4 months while everything was closed in new jersey. I’ve been on record already to say this might have been the best off season I’ve had. Because his gym was straight bare bones – dumbbells, barbells, that’s it. No cables, no fancy machines, nothing. So I was literally was forced to go back to my old school way of… the old school movements of barbells rows, the squatting, the dumbbell rows. Everything that was just – a lot of guys shy away from because it hurts or it’s too much. I was doing that and my body soaked it all up.”

You can almost feel the grit and old school energy from the way he describes his training process. Shaun Clarida essentially transported back in time and only relied on the bare bones equipment for training. Perhaps that kind of limitation put the right mindset into his prep. It seems to have pushed him harder and farther than Clarida had ever gone before.

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Shaun Clarida

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You can watch Shaun Clarida’s full breakdown of his Olympia 2020 prep 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.