bodybuilding trainer Chris Aceto has helped many athletes reach the pinnacle of sport during their competitive days. In a recent video, Aceto discussed the chances of defending 212 Olympia winner Derek Lunsford at 2022 Mr. Olympia at the Open.
“He’s going to destroy this show, Lunsford. Top five for sure. Of course,” says Chris Aceto.
Aceto, who has been training bodybuilders for over two decades, has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon to train new talent. The bodybuilding guru is responsible for training some of the greatest athletes the sport has seen. He helped develop and train former Mr. Olympia Shawn Rhoden, four-time Olympia winner Jay Cutler, and 212 stars like Jose Raymond and Guy Cisternino.
One athlete to pop up on Aceto’s radar is Derek Lunsford, last year’s 212 Olympia champion. After being invited to pose in Pittsburgh months ago, Lunsford left the world shocked at his size and his ability to compete with other top contenders in the Men’s Open. Weeks later, his trainer, Hany Rambod, suggested that he and Lunsford consider the Open class because making weight for 212 was getting dangerous.
Last month, following much speculation, Lunsford received and accepted a special invitation to compete in the Men’s Open division at 2022 Mr. Olympia. Reflecting on his special invitation, Lunsford shared that his body “wanted to grow” this year, and he can’t wait to test his resolve against the sport’s best in a new category.
With Lunsford in the midst of preparations for his Men’s Open debut, bodybuilding guru Chris Aceto sat down to discuss the chances of the standout 212 at Olympia later this year. Aceto sees a lot of promise in Lunsford with 10 weeks to go.
Chris Aceto willing to bet Derek Lunsford makes top 5 at Mr. Olympia 2022
In a video with Dave Palumbo, Aceto predicted that Derek Lunsford would do a lot of damage at Olympia this year and finish in the top five. He added that Tonio Burton’s recent win at Legion Sports Fest Pro 2022 is a sign that Lunsford will dominate at Olympia.
“Tonio Burton winning this show [2022 Legion Sports Fest Pro] is a foreshadowing of destruction for Derek Lunsford at 2022 Olympia. Absolute destruction. He’ll do incredibly well. said Chris Aceto.
Chris says Lunsford had to be “emaciated” to reach the 212 weight.
“If you go back and look at him from 212 – he was just emaciated to get down [to that weight]. So Dan Solomon was right – or someone said, “He should get the special invite for his health”, just kidding.
When asked if Derek Lunsford could have won Legion Sports Fest Pro 2022, Aceto was short and sweet:
“Oh my God. Easy. Slam dunk.
He argued that Michal Krizo and Andrew Jacked had similar conditioning in Lunsford when he posed in Pittsburgh.
“Just tell me this, what difference was there between his condition in Pittsburgh and [Michal] The state of Krizo and Andrew Jacked? Not so far. Not that far,” says Aceto.
According to Aceto, including 212 champions in the Men’s Open division of Mr. Olympia adds an exciting dynamic to the contest.
“There is history there. People will always remember [212 champions]. So why not let them go off and do whatever show they want. [He’s] very dangerous. Very dangerous.”
When reviewing his physique, Chris believes Lunsford had to sacrifice some of his strengths to gain weight for 212. He said his quads were “gone” the last time he gained weight. Given his structure and balance, Aceto is willing to bet Lunsford makes the top five at Olympia this year.
“The quads are like gone [when he competed in 212]. The width was there. The width and the structure, this double front almost looks like it has droopy pecs,” says Aceto. “I bet [he makes top five]. Bring the cash, my taxes are due in three days.
Chris added that Lunsford’s deltoids aren’t “fake nonsense” and look real.
“His deltoids don’t look so stupid. Everything seems to flow and is real…”
Last month, twice-reigning Mr. Olympia Big Ramy received criticism from fans over his alleged sharp/inflamed deltoids. In response to the public outcry, Ramy released a physical update to dispel those rumors.
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As well as Ramy, Lunsford will be tasked with taking on a crop of elite talent in the Men’s Open Division. Despite a number of new faces set to compete at this year’s Olympia, Aceto doesn’t see Lunsford placing anywhere below the top five when all is said and done.