Samir Bannout says Derek Lunsford can make top 5 at Mr. Olympia 2022

On September 15, 2022, news broke that 2021 212 Olympiad champion Derek Lunsford had received a special invitation to compete in the Open Bodybuilding division at the 2022 Olympia. caused a ripple effect throughout the sport.

Now not only Lunsford not defending his 212 title in Las Vegas in December, but he joins an already packed group of competitors vying for the Mr. Olympia crown. On the September 20 episode of The Muscle Maturity PodcastSamir Bannout, the Mr. Olympia of 1983, gave his thoughts on how Lunsford will fare at the show.

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Bannout on Derek Lunsford

During a chat about Olympia’s current lineup, the show’s co-host Nick Trigili asked Bannout where he thought Lunsford would fit in this year. And it turns out the former Mr. O has every chance of Lunsford.

I think Derek has the tools to be in the top five [and] maybe higher,” says Bannout. But he is also quick to point out that he still needs to work on his pose.

[Related: Bodybuilder Derek Lunsford Shares His Mass-Building Diet to Prepare for the 2022 Olympia]

“Derek is amazing, but [I see] major flaws in his pose,” says Bannout, who mostly has issues with the way Lunsford fixes his feet and calves during his routine.

Co-host Trigili agrees, saying, “I think the back poses, of course, take a lot of work. His foot placement; I hate that. His legs [are too far apart].”

Bannout also mentions that Lunsford needs to focus on getting “super slices” come show time.

“Once these guys get super big, they don’t get that […] knotty-looking musculature because there’s more volume in the muscles, there’s more roundness,” explains Bannout. “[When] you watch them closely, [you] do not see every fiber and every detail.

The art of posing

Across Lunsford, Bannout had nothing but praise for Hunter Labrada’s pose during the show. While he says someone like Nick Walker can outrun Labrada, Labrada will “do the right poses” on stage, allowing his routine to flow.

Bannout also mentions that Labrada’s father—former Mr. Universe (1985) Lee Labrada—was “one of the best at posing,” which he says could be invaluable to Hunter during the preparation. According to Hunter’s Instagram page, he and his dad work out their posing routine together, right down to the music. And it’s something they both take seriously.

“Although there is no laying lap marked on the [Olympia]that doesn’t mean you can’t make an impression with your pose, and I intend to do that and more,” Hunter Labrada wrote in his Instagram caption.

[Related: The 10 Best Posers in Men’s Bodybuilding History]

Hunter Labrada took fourth place at the 2021 Mr. Olympia. And while Bannout hasn’t given a concrete prediction on where he will rank in 2022, Trigili and co-host John Hansen believe he will finish in the top five or six. .

More Olympia 2022 Predictions

Want to know what some of the other big names in the industry think will happen at Mr. Olympia 2022? Here are some other predictions:

Featured Image: @dereklunsford_ on Instagram

Teresa E. Burton