Mr. Olympia, Derek Lunsford – A True Competitor

Hany Rambod puts Derek Lunsford and Andrei Deiu through a leg workout at Hidden Gym

Among the other giants of the sports world that walk the floors here at Hidden Gym, is Derek Lunsford, world champion bodybuilder. Like many champions, he didn’t always know exactly what path his life would take. Though his world-class achievements have been in the bodybuilding arena, his athletic path didn’t start there.

The Beginning

Lunsford began getting serious about competing when he was in high school. Soccer and wrestling were his sports of choice, and he was pretty good at both of them. He then attended the University of Southern Indiana (USI) for his higher education. While at USI, he focussed his studies on health and fitness. This academic background provided him with a solid foundation in the principles of nutrition, exercise science, and health management.

When he moved on to college, however, he found himself at a school that lacked a wrestling team – he had time on his hands and a competitive fire in his heart that needed an outlet.

Since he loved to work out, he decided weightlifting would fit. He never achieved significant competitive success in it, but it is very probable that weightlifting served as the transition between wrestling and bodybuilding, bridging the gap between his first sport, and the one that would eventually see him achieve more than one Mr. Olympia title – and he’s not done yet.


It didn’t take Lunsford long, once entering the pro bodybuilding world, to rise to prominence, despite his height of 5’6”, once considered too short to compete against taller men in the field. He proved that wrong again and again, taking multiple wins at NPC Championships across different weight categories from 2015 to 2017.

In 2017, he won the IFBB Tampa Pro in the 212 division and placed 5th in his first IFBB Mr. Olympia appearance in the same division. Over the next few years, he consistently placed within the top ranks at the IFBB Mr. Olympia. Finally, in 2021, he took the 212 division title of Mr. Olympia.

Lunsford didn’t stop there, switching to the Men’s Open division in 2022 and taking an impressive second place in his debut competition. In 2023 he bested that, taking the Men’s Open Mr. Olympia Title, and becoming the first ever two-division Olympia Champion.

The Engine

Lunsford didn’t get there by sitting around thinking about it, or through some fluke of genetics – his training regimen is as rigorous as you would expect of any world champion bodybuilder… and that’s a hard-working group!

Lunsford trains six days a week, rolling through different muscle groups and allowing for recovery between those focused sessions. He begins with some high-rep warmups using (comparatively) light weights, then moves on to drop sets to achieve muscle fatigue. A shoulder workout, for example, might include dumbbell lateral raises, seated dumbbell shoulder presses, and face-pulls. When the muscles are warmed up, exhausted, and allowed to rest a few days, the cycle repeats.

The Fuel

You don’t ask that much of the body without giving it something to work with, and Lunsford’s diet and nutrition are as carefully curated as his workouts.

He eats every two to three hours, aiming for 50-60g of protein per meal. He gets this by eating a lot of chicken, egg whites, avocados, and rice. To aid in muscle recovery and growth, he includes the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) too.

He is a vocal advocate of cost-effective supplementation in the form of multi-vitamins, whey protein, and amino acids.

Competition Form

When he isn’t in a competition phase, his 5’6” frame carries 240lbs on it, but he leans down to a cool 215 for the competitions. He is impressive, to say the least. His dedication to intense training, a strict diet, and strategic competition planning have established him as a formidable and respected athlete in the bodybuilding community. We’re excited to see where his skills and passion take him next.

Outside of the Gym

Lunsford isn’t limited to life in the gym, he also has a growing family at home, a wife who supports his demanding career, and a stable base upon which to rise in his sport of choice.

Inside Hidden Gym

We couldn’t be happier to have a class act like Lunsford choose Hidden Gym as his base of operations. We offer the best there is in equipment, trainers, recovery and support facilities, and the kind of vibe and attitude top-notch athletes need – whether they’re professional or not. What we get in return is a thriving, mutually driving community of people who are reaching their maximum potentials – and even pushing that bar further and further as they grow and develop.

Life isn’t all about the gym, but an ambitious goal and the satisfaction of driving toward it certainly makes life better. When one of our athletes reaches that ambitious goal? We all celebrate with them.

You could join us, and join Lunsford, at a place where – no matter your initial level, or whether you have some professional goal in mind or not – you become part of a community of serious athletes, determined to strive toward greater heights in fitness and nutrition.

Ready to take your fitness game to the next level? If you live in Allen, Dallas, or Plano, make sure to get your free day pass to join Hidden Gym! Become a part of the most motivating place in the DFW area that will help you live a healthier life!