Derek Lunsford has practically none of it because he’s only 24 and has been a competitive bodybuilder for only a few years. At last year’s 212 Olympia, it didn’t seem to matter that he was lacking the “hard and grainy” look that signals a mature physique. Lunsford placed fifth in the loaded lineup, nipping at the heels of seasoned veterans Jose Raymond and David Henry (third and fourth place, and ages 43 and 42, respectively) and beating 40-somethings Ronny Rockel and Charles Dixon.
“Actually, that’s probably one of the things that held me back at the Olympia—a lack of muscle maturity,” says Lunsford, a native of Indiana. “But I love bodybuilding so much that I’m willing to take a lower placing. I think I could have placed a little higher, but I respect the judges’ opinions. Plus, I have so much respect and appreciation for all the work the older guys like Jose Raymond have put in. They’ve put a lot more into it than I have. Ultimately, I just want to see the sport of bodybuilding grow.”
Speaking of growing, the immense size and width of Lunsford’s shoulders must have had something to do with him cracking the Olympia top five on his first try. In the following pages, you’ll find his multidimensional delt routine—a crucial workout for any bodybuilder looking to create an illusion of immense size in a weight-capped division (this one at 212 pounds).
“The more the shoulders pop, especially the side and rear delts, the bigger and wider you’re going to look,” Lunsford says. “That illusion is so important, and another key thing is to make sure to hit every angle of the shoulders. That way, you’re not lacking in any area, and you’re symmetrical. But also, you’re going to have deeper cuts, striations, and separation between the muscles that are going to make you look so much bigger.”
Whether he’s able to accentuate the illusion even further in 2018, and maybe even start developing a little muscle maturity, won’t be revealed until September. Lunsford has decided to skip the Arnold Classic and go all-in on the 212 Olympia this year. His goal, of course, will be to not only improve his placing but win. Not that he’s in a hurry or anything.
“I’m just going to enjoy the process,” Lunsford says. “I’m in this for the long haul. If someday I have hard, grainy muscles, cool. If I don’t, but my physique still looks good and presentable, that’s fine, too. Whatever happens, happens.”
Sounds like a pretty mature young man.
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