A Clash of Titans: Derek Lunsford vs Phil Heath – A Pose-by-Pose Showdown

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In the echoing halls of bodybuilding history, one name stands synonymous with greatness—Phil Heath.

Now, with a new era dawning, marked by Derek Lunsford’s triumph at the 2023 Mr. Olympia, the stage is set for a comparison between these two titans. 

In this detailed breakdown, we’ll explore how Derek Lunsford’s inaugural win stacks up against Phil Heath’s first Olympia victory in 2011, scrutinizing each of the eight mandatory poses in a side-by-side footage comparison.

Front Double Biceps: A Transition of Eras

derek lunsford vs phil heath
via instagram

The evolution of bodybuilding is evident in the front double biceps pose. 

Phil Heath, transitioning from the mass monsters of the past, showcases a streamlined physique, bridging the gap between eras. 

Derek Lunsford, with his unique proportions, offers a taper that draws admiration. While opinions on this pose vary, Derek Lunsford’s wow factor is undeniable. 

Phil Heath, however, brings a level of detail, vascularity, and definition that tips the scales in his favor, securing a slight advantage.

Front Lat Spread: Narrow Structure vs Wider Appeal

derek lunsford guest posing
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Moving to the front lat spread, the nuances become pronounced. Phil Heath, despite a narrow structure, exhibits top-notch lats, a detailed midsection, and remarkable symmetry. 

Derek Lunsford, wider in appeal, boasts a superior taper. This pose teeters on a razor’s edge, and the slightest advantage goes to Derek Lunsford, showcasing the inherent subjectivity of judging.

Side Chest Pose: A Battle of Upper Body Dominance

derek lunsford side poses
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In the side chest pose, Derek Lunsford’s width and taper collide with Phil Heath’s upper-body dominance. The jury is divided, with Derek earning a slight advantage. 

However, Phil Heath’s completeness and refined muscle separation make this a pose where preferences come into play. It’s a testament to the evolving aesthetics in bodybuilding.

Back Double Biceps: Challenging a Legacy

phil heath back double bicep
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A momentous occasion unfolds in the back double biceps pose as Derek Lunsford challenges Phil Heath in an unexpected turn. The backs, complete from traps to lats, present a challenging decision.

Derek Lunsford’s glutes stand out, but Phil Heath’s overall upper-body dominance tips the scale in his favor. 

Phil Heath secures this pose with an overall completeness that transcends the narrow margin in the back.

Back Lat Spread: Width vs WID

phil heath back lat spread
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The back lat spread accentuates Derek Lunsford’s width against Phil Heath’s Wide Interclavicular Distance (WID). Derek Lunsford gains a slight advantage due to his broader appeal. 

Yet, in the overall assessment, Phil Heath’s muscle density and thickness become decisive, granting him the edge in the comprehensive evaluation of the pose.

Side Triceps Pose: Upper Body Showdown

phil heath side tricep
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In the side triceps pose, reminiscent of the side chest, the upper body becomes the focal point. Phil Heath’s dominance in triceps, midsection, and overall upper-body definition places him ahead. 

Derek Lunsford’s saving grace is his superior side leg, showcasing the nuances of individual strengths in these intricate comparisons.

Abs and Thighs Pose: A Battle of Conditioning

phil heath abs workout
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Phil Heath, often lauded for his conditioning, steps into the abs and thighs pose with confidence. 

Derek Lunsford’s taper and vacuum attempt is commendable, but Phil Heath’s defined midsection and superior thighs command attention. 

Phil Heath asserts his dominance in this pose, showcasing the refined conditioning that became a hallmark of his career.

Most Muscular Pose: The Grand Finale

In the most muscular pose, Phil Heath takes the stage with an overwhelming display of power. 

His muscle density, conditioning, and superior shoulders, arms, and chest leave no room for contention. It was a decisive victory for Phil Heath, underlining his status as one of the greats.

In Conclusion: A Tale of Dominance and Nuance

As the final verdict unfolds, Derek Lunsford emerges victorious in two poses—front lat spread and back lat spread. 

These wins, however, are juxtaposed against Phil Heath’s overwhelming dominance in the remaining six poses. 

Phil Heath’s completeness, muscle quality, and overall refinement place him in a league of his own.

The comparison, while subjective, offers insights into the evolving aesthetics and preferences in bodybuilding

Derek Lunsford’s inaugural win marks the dawn of a new era, but the echoes of Phil Heath’s legacy resonate, illustrating the nuances that define greatness in the ever-evolving sport of bodybuilding.

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Tikkay Khan
Tikkay Khan
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