Shaun Clarida Prepares for 2023 Olympia: Training Heavy and Focusing on Muscle Growth

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As the 2023 Olympia approaches, reigning two-time 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida is gearing up for his title defense.

In a recent interview with Muscular Development, Clarida shared insights into his game plan, including starting his preparation early, prioritizing chest and hamstring growth, and his dedication to lifting heavy weights. 

With his impressive muscle density and dry conditioning, Clarida has earned the nickname “Mini Ronnie Coleman” in the sport. 

shaun clarida 212 olympia
via shaun clarida instagram

After losing his title in 2021, Clarida reclaimed it last year and aims to bring an even more massive and conditioned physique to the stage this year.

Progress and Preparations

Shaun Clarida expressed his commitment to early preparation, allowing him to adjust later in his training. 

Starting his prep 18 weeks before the Olympia, he plans to clean up his physique, incorporate cardio, and gradually decrease intensity closer to the competition. 

By adopting this approach, Shaun Clarida ensures his body gets sufficient rest and nutrition before the show. 

shaun clarida bodybuilder
via shaun clarida instagram

Unlike previous years, he reached his heaviest off-season weight of 215 pounds, surprising himself considering personal circumstances such as moving and having a baby. 

Shaun Clarida emphasizes that while he aims to come in bigger for this year’s Olympia, his focus remains on maintaining exceptional conditioning. 

He targets explicitly improving his chest and hamstrings, knowing that strength gains in these areas will contribute to overall muscle growth.

Training Methods and Heavy Lifting

Shaun Clarida utilizes various techniques and equipment to maximize his training. He uses gym pins to add weights to machines with weight limitations, pushing him beyond those constraints. 

The pins are handy for exercises like the hammer incline press and leg press, where he can add more weight than the machines can accommodate. 

Shaun Clarida’s preference for plate-loaded equipment enables him to effectively customize his workouts and lift heavy weights.

Despite his age, Shaun Clarida’s body craves heavyweight, which he attributes to his long-standing training approach. He acknowledges the risks but remains determined to challenge himself with intense lifting sessions. 

Shaun Clarida’s stress-free preparation has been facilitated by setting up a home gym in his garage, eliminating the need to travel for specific workouts

shaun clarida mr olympia 2023
via shaun clarida instagram

This convenient setup has allowed him to focus on cardio, abs, glutes, and abductor training within the comfort of his own space.

Smith Machine Movements and Stability

Although Shaun Clarida favors lifting heavy, he also recognizes the importance of stability during his solo training sessions. 

He often incorporates Smith machine movements, particularly chest exercises, as they provide enhanced stability compared to free weights. Training alone, Clarida prioritizes safety while still targeting muscle groups effectively. 

Utilizing the Smith machine allows him to follow a controlled path and focus on proper form without relying heavily on stabilizer muscles.

Ambitious Goals and Future Aspirations

Shaun Clarida’s ambition stretches beyond his immediate title defense. He has set his sights on surpassing Flex Lewis‘ record of seven 212 Olympia titles, aiming to become the most decorated champion in the division’s history. 

Clarida also intends to challenge himself further by competing in the Men’s Open category. Shaun Clarida seeks to maximize his muscle growth potential through collaborations with industry experts like Hany Rambod and intense training sessions. 

With his immense fan following, many have already dubbed him a favorite for the upcoming Olympia, bringing him closer to achieving his long-term goals.

The Takeaways

Shaun Clarida’s meticulous approach to his 2023 Olympia preparation demonstrates his dedication and drive to maintain his status as one of the top 212 competitors. 

By starting his prep early, focusing on specific muscle groups, and incorporating heavy lifting, Clarida aims to bring an impressive combination of size and conditioning to the stage. 

With his sights set on breaking records and pushing his limits, Shaun Clarida continues to inspire fans and fellow athletes with his relentless pursuit of excellence in professional bodybuilding.

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