Weeks After Dethroning Hadi Choopan, 2023 Mr. Olympia Champion Shares the Ultimate Ingredient Behind His Historic Achievement

Published 01/01/2024, 5:45 AM EST

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Former 212 Olympia champion Derek Lunsford returned with a vengeance as he unseated Hadi Choopan at 2023 Mr. Olympia. The 29-year-old dethroned hoisted the prestigious Sandow Trophy to become the first two-division champion. Speaking with eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie ‘The King’ Coleman, Derek Lunsford revealed what led to his historic triumph and what motivates him.

The bodybuilder gave fans an insight into his mindset. Lunsford explained how a commitment to staying disciplined had molded his approach toward bodybuilding and competing against others.

The common trait among every Mr. Olympia winner


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“Discipline” was the keyword in the caption of the Instagram post shared by Lunsford. He wrote, “Discipline is a habitual practice. It is a daily routine that requires mental fortitude when faced with adversity. Even for the most experienced, it is a conscious effort to keep on this path.”

In the video clip, he said, “If you allow yourself to quit one time in a workout, or you skip your cardio or you go off your meal plan, that instantly becomes a habit,” Lunsford said. Lunsford further added, “That’s never gonna be me. I’m never ever ever gonna not do my best and give my all. I know that’s how he is (pointing toward Coleman) and how every person that has one of these is.” He also highlighted the importance of discipline in the caption of his post.


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Lunsford explained the discipline of habit-driven. Hence, if someone deviates from their habit even once, it diminishes their past effort. Thus, Lunsford makes sure to maintain his discipline no matter what. Besides discipline, he also pointed out an attribute that motivates him to do well.

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Derek Lunsford doesn’t want to let down those who support him

The bodybuilding champion said that never letting himself slip up and thinking about those who support him keep him motivated. He said, “The other thing I think about is the people that are going through it with me and the people that are supporting me, I can’t let them down. They have went through it with me too. I’m not the only one sacrificing. The people, my loved ones, the people around me are sacrificing. And there is people out there that are looking up to me[…] You’re out there doing it for them too.”


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He then explained how not giving it your best will mean letting those people down. He added, “If you allow yourself to quit or you just give in to your competitor, well then you are letting them down. Can’t allow that. So if you are not going to do it for yourself, do it for them.”

He said would’ve felt unsatisfied had he not done enough and lost. Mr. Olmypia. Lunsford said that even if one loses, they can be proud of the fact that they gave it their all. According to him those who allow themselves to get distracted would never feel that way when they come up short.


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As Derek Lunsford contemplated what helped him become champion, he revealed that none of it would come to fruition without self-discipline. Indeed, it was this discipline and the motivation to not let his people down that allowed him to fight back after finishing runner-up to Choopan last year and claim the Mr. Olympia title this time around.


Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi


One take at a time

Facts over feelings. This has always been my approach toward bodybuilding. Bodybuilding fans are a passionate lot and defend their favorite bodybuilder at the drop of a hat.
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Edited by:

Smrutisnat Jena