Shaun “The Giant Killer” Clarida isn’t shy about what he wants to accomplish as a dynamite bodybuilder. The two-time 212 Olympia winner (2020, 2022) wants to build a dynasty of championships and eventually even surpass James “Flex” Lewis’ all-time record mark of seven titles (2012-2018). While he’s the current clear-cut king of his division, Clarida remains a long way from such an honor. Yet, his training and physique updates give the impression such an achievement could eventually be possible.
On June 26, 2023, Clarida shared a photo on his Instagram where the athlete said he had a body weight of 206 pounds. Per Clarida’s caption, the mass packed onto his 5-foot two-inch stature is a “starting point,” with the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL roughly 20 weeks away at the time of his photo. For any other 212 competitors wishing to unseat Clarida from his throne, that is an intimidating prospect to consider.
In the caption of his Instagram, Clarida sounded motivated. Several recent dramatic life changes — including the birth of his daughter and a cross-country move from New Jersey to Texas — have added a lot to his plate after already competing in and training for both the Arnold Classic (AC) and the Olympia in successive years. Note: Lewis plans to have the same AC and Olympia approach in 2023. The athlete finished in fifth place in the Men’s Open class at the 2023 iteration of the AC.
Despite the changes, Clarida gave off the expected air of a champion competitor seeking more greatness before he accelerates his Olympia preparation.
“Despite it being one of the busiest years of my life and career, between doing both the Olympia and the Arnold last season , the birth of my daughter and moving my family from New Jersey to Texas, it’s been one of the most productive,” Clarida wrote. “The new environment, having the fuel and motivation with [his daughter] and always having a supporting cast of friends, family, and sponsors have all kept me grounded and focused on the task and goal come November 3 [the date of the 2023 Olympia contest]. Off to the races we go!”
After Lewis’s run of dominance in the 2010s and a “three-peat” from Kevin English (2009-2011), Clarida stands in third place for the most all-time victories in the 212 Olympia. Should Clarida repeat in November, he will tie English for second place and inch ever closer to Lewis’s mark.
Even if Clarida doesn’t win another 212 title, his place in bodybuilding history is already secure. He has proven he can thrive at the 212 level and, in moonlight appearances as a Men’s Open competitor, has also fared quite well. Though with every jaw-dropping teaser that Clarida provides from behind the scenes, it seems likely this superstar will be hot on the tail of a legend’s seemingly unattainable record soon enough.
Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram