The 2023 Arnold Classic is set to take place throughout the weekend of Mar. 2-5, 2023 in Columbus, OH. One of the 10 confirmed bodybuilders competing in the Men’s Open contest is 2021 winner Nick Walker. Many fans are looking at him as the favorite to win the contest, and both four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and seven-time 212 Olympia champion Flex Lewis agree with Walker’s chances. Meanwhile, Walker himself is expressing confidence by sharing a series of progress photos with just two weeks until he appears on stage.
On Feb. 14, 2023, Walker posted a photo of himself revealing a defined and vascular set of abdominals on Instagram. In following days, he also shared a side chest pose photo, as well as a pic lifting up his shirt to perform what he called a “quick ab check after training hamstrings.”
Critics have previously knocked Walker for having what they call a “blocky” physique, meaning he lacks symmetry and a narrow waistline. His recent photos, however, have received a fair share of positive comments from his supporters.
While the photos are fairly self-evident, Walker hasn’t shared much else about his progress such as his current body weight. He is working with coach Matt Jansen, who helped him earn his first Arnold Classic win in 2021. Walker and Jansen went on to work together for that year’s Mr. Olympia contest, where Walker placed 5th. That was his first Olympia as a competitor.
Walker and Jansen then went their separate ways briefly in 2022, but they reunited and worked together again for the 2022 Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas, NV. Walker would improve from his debut year and place third — higher than 2019 Mr. Olympia winner Brandon Curry (4th) as well as two-time Mr. Olympia Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay (5th). Hadi Choopan would go on to win the 2022 Mr. Olympia title.
Out of the competitors in the 2023 Arnold Classic field, the only two men that Walker has yet to defeat on a professional stage are, coincidentally, 212 competitors. Two-time 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida and 2019 Olympia 212 winner Kamal Elgargni are both making the jump into the open for this contest. They will be facing Walker, and other top contenders, for the first time. All 10 contestants will be looking to win the title, along with the $300,000 first place prize which was recently raised from the 2022 contest’s $200,000 award.
Tickets to the Arnold Classic and access to the pay-per-view of the contest, provided by Fanmio, can be obtained through www.arnoldsports.com.
Featured Image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram
About Roger Lockridge
Roger “Rock” Lockridge has been writing professionally for 10 years and has been training for 20. His work in the fitness industry has been seen in numerous outlets and has been a part of coverage for several events including the Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic, the CrossFit Games, and the Olympics. He’s also shared his own personal success story in several interviews and articles. Lockridge lives in West Virginia with his wife and son.