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Bodybuilding fans and enthusiasts around the world are eagerly waiting for the Arnold Classic, one of the most prestigious competitions in the sport. I have been paying very close attention to the top five competitors in the men’s open division, and have some interesting observations.

I’ve been closely following each of the top five competitors as they get closer to the show. I am looking for any signs that I need to adjust my top five predictions, and I am not afraid to make changes if I see something I don’t like. But after careful consideration, I am sticking with my original top five picks.

Recently we heard from Samson Douda, who announced on his Instagram that he weighs 297 pounds. While this might seem like a cause for concern for some bodybuilders, I am not worried. Samson weighed in at 280 pounds for last year’s Arnold Classic, and he has a small waist and impressive symmetry. I hope Samson and his coach, Milos Sarcev, are dialing in his conditioning, and Samson is remaining in second place.

My top pick to win the Arnold Classic is Nick Walker, who has been sharing updates on his prep throughout the past few months. Nick isn’t afraid to show off his impressive conditioning, and after seeing photos and videos of him this week, I am even more confident in his pick. Nick’s unique physique, with a larger waist and freakishly large muscle bellies, sets him apart from the other competitors, and he’s got what it takes to win the title and the $300,000 prize that comes with it.

The other three competitors in my top five are Shaun Clarita, Andrew Jacked, and Big Ramy. While I haven’t seen much from Shaun and Andrew, I am optimistic about their chances. However, I am concerned about Big Ramy, who might be feeling the pressure as the competition draws nearer. I am hoping Big Ramy has made the right decisions and will come in looking better than he did at the Olympia.

I also keep close tabs on William Bonak, who took second place at last year’s Arnold Classic. While he’s working with renowned trainer Chad Nicholls, I am not overly impressed with William’s legs and I think he might have a hard time standing out next to the other top competitors.

What are your top 5 picks for the 2023 Arnold Classic?