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Lunsford was undeniable at last year’s 212 Olympia, so much so that he was able to beat both of the previous two 212 Olympia champions, Kamal Elgargni and Shaun Clarida.

Derek Lunsford’s bodybuilding career has been on the rise for years, with an impressive upward trajectory since he dominated the 2017 NPC USA Championships in Las Vegas. After an astonishing rookie season in which he won his first pro show just seven days after turning pro and then went on to place fifth at his first 212 Olympia shortly after, all eyes were on the clean-cut kid from Indiana. When he took second place the following two years to Flex Lewis and then Kamal Elgargni, Derek Lunsford was hailed as the heir apparent to the 212 Olympia throne.

That vision became a reality in 2021 when Derek Lunsford won the 212 Olympia, and we are honored to feature him on the cover of this month’s Muscular Development. The new and improved version of Lunsford was undeniable at last year’s 212 Olympia, so much so that he was able to beat both of the previous two 212 Olympia champions, Kamal Elgargni and Shaun Clarida, at their respective bests.

2021 saw significant changes both in Derek’s outlook and in his coaching situation. He had a newfound religious faith and conviction that grounded him and gave him peace, and aligned himself with none other than Hany Rambod, who had previously guided both Jay Cutler and Phil Heath to multiple Mr. Olympia wins. Hany not only oversaw his nutrition and supplementation as well as signed him to his Evogen Nutrition brand, but he also radically changed Lunsford’s training with the goal of creating a rounder, fuller, more “3D” version of his physique.

Our own Giles Thomas spoke with Derek a few weeks following his Olympia win to reflect on how far he has come, break down what made the winning difference in 2021, and discuss the widespread speculations and opinions surrounding his eventual departure from the 212 division to pursue the Mr. Olympia title in “Derek Lunsford:Your New 212 Olympia Champion!”

When it comes to building muscle and burning fat, you could spend decades learning from your own trial and error, and they do say that failure is the best teacher. But why not fast-track your path to success in bodybuilding? You can save so much time and make markedly faster progress if you apply the suggestions from Ron Harris – based on years of experience, input from countless experts and athletes, and most significantly, his own mistakes over the 38 years he’s been training – in “Bodybuilding Hacks:12 Tricks to Turbocharge Your Results.”

When Carlos Thomas Jr. won the super heavyweight and overall titles at the 40th annual NPC Nationals, this put him in company with other past overall winners such as Lee Haney, Shawn Ray, Kevin Levrone, Victor Martinez and Cedric McMillan. With the rare combination of freaky mass, structure and shape to go far in the IFBB Pro League, Carlos has that “wow factor” that we just don’t see much of anymore. Learn more about one of the best amateurs to come along in years in “Carlos Thomas Jr. – The Next Big Thing!”

Every season, Classic Physique gives us at least one new superstar who goes from unknown to winning a contest and enjoying immediate success at the Olympia. All of that is true for Germany’s Urs Kalecinski, known as “The Miracle Bear.” With his flowing lines, 1,000-watt smile and unique breakdancing moves, he won the 2021 Tampa Pro and proceeded to take fourth at the Olympia not long after. Learn more in “The Miracle Bear! Is 23-year-old Urs Kalecinski the Next Classic Physique Olympia Champ?”

History was made at the 2021 Olympia Weekend, which featured the new Wellness division and the inaugural 2021 IFBB Wellness Olympia. When IFBB Wellness proBarbara Cesar stepped on stage and placed in the top 10 of the 2021 IFBB Wellness Olympia, the shapely Brazilian showed fans why the Wellness division is growing in popularity. Physique photographer extraordinaire J.M. Manion gives MD readers even more reasons to be fans of Wellness with his striking photos in “Barbara Cesar: The Shape of Wellness.”

Muscular Development is your number one source for building muscle, and for the latest research and best science to enable you to train smart and effectively. Our team of physicians, industry experts and research scientists has these reports on improving performance this month:


“Weight Training and Getting Lean” Fat Attack

“Protein Thermogenesis” Nutrition Performance

“Creatine Loading Strategies” Supplement Performance

“Bench Pressing in a Power Rack” Muscle Growth Update

“How Reversible Are Steroid Side Effects?” Testosterone

“Bodybuilding and Longevity: How to Prevent Premature Death” Bodybuilding Science


The rest of the book is packed to the binder as usual – making MD your one-stop, most authoritative source for optimizing muscular development with the latest cutting-edge research on training, nutrition, fat loss, performance-enhancing drugs, muscle growth and bodybuilding science – and exclusive information from the industry experts, insiders and bodybuilding legends who make it all happen. See you next month!

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