Derek Lunsford is ‘No Where Near 212 At This Point,’ hints at special invite to 2022 Mr. Olympia at Men’s Open – Fitness Volt


President Dan Solomon has released a statement on defending 212 champion Derek Lunsford’s potential move into men’s bodybuilding. In a recent YouTube video, Solomon explained that Lunsford’s situation is “unique” and hinted that he could receive a special invite to compete in the Men’s Open at Olympia later this year.

Lunsford is a mainstay in bodybuilding’s 212 division. The IFBB Pro has managed to place in the top five at the prestigious show for the past five years. Lunsford’s career soared to new heights last year after winning his first 2021 Mr. Olympia in the 212 division. Olympia at the 2020 event.

In May, the Lunsford guest posed alongside Nick Walker, Brandon Curry and Hunter Labrada at the 2022 Pittsburgh Pro. He filled in after Big Ramy was absent from the event for undisclosed reasons. Fans were shocked at 212 contender Lunsford standing next to some of the Men’s Open division’s scariest mass monsters without looking too small.

Coached by Hani Rambod, Lunsford continues to build quality muscle mass in his offseason this year. Rambod, who has coached Mr Olympia Phil Heath seven times and top Olympia finisher Hadi Choopan, doubts Lunsford can make 212 in a healthy way. According to Solomon, he also doesn’t know if Lunsford can safely make weight.

Dan Solomon on Lunsford in Open Bodybuilding: ‘He’s going to cause problems for people in this top five or six groups’

In a YouTube video, Olympia chairman Solomon described Lunsford’s situation and echoed many of his coach Rambod’s concerns about Derek’s height at the moment.

Derek Lunsford off season

“So Derek Lunsford’s situation is more unique than any other. First of all, he’s the defending 212 champion. He hasn’t even had a chance to come in and defend his 212 title yet, that’s the first thing. But then we have a health problem. I’m not saying Derek has a health issue, Derek is very healthy, so let me be clear on that. Here’s why it’s a health issue. Derek isn’t close to 212 at this point. We have seen it.

Derek is much bigger than 212. Then we wonder what he has to put his body through to get below 212 pounds. That’s a legitimate question, isn’t it? We all ask ourselves the question. Dan Solomon Explain.

Solomon says a situation like this has never happened before, where the defending 212 champion might not be able to compete because he can’t safely make weight.

“I spoke to his trainer Hany [Rambod]. We’ve all communicated about the viability and safety of him under that weight. So, yeah, the Derek Lunsford case is one we’ve never really come across.

That our defending champion might not even be able to compete in 212 because his body has grown at such a feverish rate.

If Olympia Brass refuses to give him a special invite, Solomon thinks it’s possible Lunsford won’t be able to compete in Las Vegas later this year. Despite these obstacles, Solomon is confident that Lunsford would do just fine if he were to eventually make the transition.

“Not only would he likely be in contention for an Olympic title, or at least be in the mix. I don’t know if he’s winning Olympia at this point, but he’s definitely going to cause problems for some people in this top five or six group. Someone told me the other day that they thought Lunsford had the best back in the world, in any division. I guess that’s up for debate. The thing is, Derek’s situation is unique because if we have to assess an invitation for him to compete in the big division, it’s difficult because it’s possible that if he doesn’t have that opportunity, he may not be able to be on the show.

While Solomon and company aren’t “thinking about it too much” at the moment, the Olympia president acknowledged that Lunsford’s situation needs to be cleared up imminently.

“There may not be a place for him on the show. The question for us becomes, do we want to ride an Olympia without Derek Lunsford in the contest? It’s a conversation for you know, Jim Manion, Tyler , Jake [Wood] that we should have when the time comes. Right now we don’t think too much about it, but you asked the question, and it’s definitely a good question because Derek found himself in a situation that we had never dealt with before.

With Derek Lunsford’s popularity within the bodybuilding community, many fans including Dan Solomon are excited to see how he fares against the top names in the Men’s Open division. He continues to train non-stop during the off-season and recently featured a one-day stage session with 2021 Arnold Classic champion Nick Walker.

In addition to Solomon, four-time Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler also expressed optimism about Lunsford’s appearance at the Men’s Open. Cutler called Lunsford ‘extremely dangerous’ and wouldn’t be surprised if the reigning 212 champion managed to crack the top three in the men’s Open category at Olympia this year.

Watch the full YouTube video below:

RELATED: Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford shares a full day of off-season meals

It’s still unclear if/when Derek Lunsford would receive his special invite to compete at Olympia 2022 at the Men’s Open, but it’s clearly being discussed. If Lunsford gets the invite, Solomon believes the defending 212 champion will give many of the show’s top performers a hard time.

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