Craig Golias reacts to Shaun Clarida’s Men’s Open win and debates about his potential in Men’s Open Olympia alongside Flex Lewis and Hadi Choopan.

Welcome to another episode of Talking Huge – a weekly digital series in which Craig Golias talks in-depth with Vlad Yudin on the latest trending topics in bodybuilding. Raw, honest, and uncut – Craig Golias shares his opinions on all things bodybuilding. In this episode, Craig Golias discusses the growing number of Men’s 212 athletes moving to Men’s Open including Shaun Clarida, Flex Lewis, and Hadi Choopan. He also talks thoughts on Only Fans and neck training.

The bodybuilding season might be coming to a close but there’s still a lot of exciting news coming out of the sport post Olympia. While the European Tour is no where near as momentous as it was in decades past, some interesting results have surfaced over the last few weeks. The biggest news was not simply Shaun Clarida winning a Men’s Open competition – but his announcement that he wants to try and compete in both Men’s 212 and Men’s Open Olympia next year.

This news alongside Hadi Choopan’s switch two years ago and the impending debut of Flex Lewis in Men’s Open is bringing a wave of Men’s 212 athletes into Men’s Open. How will it all turn out? Vlad Yudin connected with Craig Golias for a new episode of Talking Huge to discuss at length. Let’s jump into it.

Shaun Clarida’s Men’s Open Victory

At the Legion Sports Fest Pro 2021, Shaun Clarida turned heads by announcing he would compete in the Men’s Open division. This put him against the likes of Regan Grimes and Sergio Oliva Jr. Even more surprising were the results – Clarida beat out Grimes and Oliva Jr. for his first victory in Men’s Open. We asked Craig Golias his thoughts on the victory.

While Craig Golias congratulates Shaun Clarida for the victory – he doesn’t see this as a big change for Clarida’s career. In Craig’s opinion, Clarida wasn’t going up against the best of the best Men’s Open competitors. Craig also points out that Clarida isn’t just any Men’s 212 athlete – he’s the former Olympia champion. A Men’s 212 Olympia champion going against a lineup of non-Olympia champion Men’s Open competitors is very different than if Clarida was competing in the Men’s Open Mr. Olympia.

Of course, it seems that Shaun Clarida knows this as well. He’s already made a statement in a recent interview claiming that he’d like to try and compete in the Men’s Open Olympia. In his perfect world, he’d be allowed to compete in both Men’s 212 and Men’s Open. If and when that occurs, we’ll be sure to follow up with Craig Golias on his take.

The Bigger Picture: More Men’s 212 Athletes Move To Men’s Open

We also asked Craig Golias his opinion in the wider view regarding Men’s 212. Over the past few years, a handful of impressive Men’s 212 athletes have moved over into Men’s Open. Hadi Choopan has been competing in Men’s Open Olympia for three years and has made it into the top 5 each year. Flex Lewis has been preparing for his Men’s Open debut at Mr. Olympia – but has not yet competed due to personal circumstances. And now – Shaun Clarida looks to be making waves in Men’s Open.

Could this be a signal that size is starting to play less importance in Men’s Open? After decades of “mass monster” physiques reigning supreme, will aesthetics start edging out size as a deciding factor for victory? Craig Golias is excited to see what happens. He’s curious to see what Shaun Clarida can do in Men’s Open Olympia. He’s by far the shortest competitor in Men’s 212 to make the transition. Craig is most excited for Flex Lewis. He believes if any Men’s 212 competitor could move up and win Men’s Open Olympia – it would be Lewis.

Wrap Up

There are far more topics discussed in this episode than we can cover in this article. Craig Golias also discusses the world of Only Fans and if he would ever make an account. He also talks about neck training and gives an update on his nerve damage injury. You can check it all out in the latest episode of Talking Huge above! Make sure to check out Talking Huge every week on Friday – only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network!

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.