Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo battle for first going into the Arnold Classic 2021.
Leading up to the Arnold Classic 2021, Nick Walker was hyped to be the lead for first place. This was largely due to many other athletes dropping out – including returning champion William Bonac. With many legacy competitors dropping out last minute, the competition was wide open for a new champion. In what may have been a surprise to some fans, Steve Kuclo rose to the occasion challenging Walker during the pre-judging. The Arnold Classic 2021 comparison rounds ended with an epic top two face-off between Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo.
First, let’s talk about the individual posing routines. The moment Nick Walker walked out on stage, something in the air changed. Walker built much hype after his win at the New York Pro. Despite his massive and impressive physique – he held some structural flaws that might have been hard to fix in a year. Any doubts some may have had were erased upon seeing Walker’s individual pre-judging posing routine. Walker truly put the word monster back into mass monster. He’s incredible size, separation, and intensity were a sight to behold. It’s almost as if the ground shook as he walked out.

On the other hand, Steve Kuclo also pleasantly surprised fans. After falling behind Iain Valliere at the Texas Pro just six weeks earlier, there was a question of how high Kuclo would place at the Arnold Classic. Kuclo’s individual posing routine showed a finely tuned bodybuilder – far more on point than what we saw in Texas. It became immediately clear that Kuclo would land at the very least in the top three.

Pre-Judging: The Battle Of Nick Walker And Steve Kuclo
When the comparison rounds began, our first callout pulled Nick Walker, Steve Kuclo, Iain Valliere, and Justin Rodriguez onto the stage. This was our presumed top four. Very quickly, the judges moved Kuclo and Walker into the center. Things started to become more clear – Kuclo was making a big impression.

But this didn’t fully lock into place until the final top two callout. Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo were invited back onto the stage. All became clear – these were our two options for Arnold Classic champion… it’s also where the fun began. The judges certainly were torn between Walker and Kuclo. The final comparison round was stretched out to a much longer length – a trend that has been increasing in recent years.
Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo posed, and posed… and posed. Each mandatory was gone through at least twice in a cycle. Not only that – but the most muscular was held for an extended period of time. This seems to reveal just how close this competition is as the judges double and triple checked each pose comparison. Not only that but this extended comparison tactic is a way to push the athletes farther. Who would fade first? Who has the most stamina to hold their pose for a full minute? This could give the edge that either Walker or Kuclo needed to pull ahead.



The crowd went wild (and commentator Amanda Kuclo also couldn’t help but cheer for her husband on stage). With each new passing pose, Walker and Kuclo became more intensified. Who would break first? Would one fade? Ultimately, both competitors held their composure extremely well.
Steve Kuclo’s height over Nick Walker is certainly an advantage in this moment. He seemed to tower over Walker with each pose. That being said, Walker’s insane conditioning and musculature can’t be ignored. This is the best version of Nick Walker we’ve seen yet. If we had to choose at this moment – we predict that Walker will pull ahead ultimately for the prize.
But a lot can change between the pre-judging and finals. Both of these competitors are neck and neck. Their success lies on a razor’s edge. One wrong move can throw off their finals routine. Alternatively, we’ve seen competitors rise up with a surprising transformation between pre-judging and finals. Perhaps one of these two can show up even better – or perhaps even a wild card throwing off this current face-off.
Only time will tell – and Generation Iron will continue to provide updates, analysis, and result updates later tonight when we return for the Arnold Classic 2021 finals!


Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo battle for first going into the Arnold Classic 2021.
Leading up to the Arnold Classic 2021, Nick Walker was hyped to be the lead for first place. This was largely due to many other athletes dropping out – including returning champion William Bonac. With many legacy competitors dropping out last minute, the competition was wide open for a new champion. In what may have been a surprise to some fans, Steve Kuclo rose to the occasion challenging Walker during the pre-judging. The Arnold Classic 2021 comparison rounds ended with an epic top two face-off between Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo.


First, let’s talk about the individual posing routines. The moment Nick Walker walked out on stage, something in the air changed. Walker built much hype after his win at the New York Pro. Despite his massive and impressive physique – he held some structural flaws that might have been hard to fix in a year. Any doubts some may have had were erased upon seeing Walker’s individual pre-judging posing routine. Walker truly put the word monster back into mass monster. He’s incredible size, separation, and intensity were a sight to behold. It’s almost as if the ground shook as he walked out.



On the other hand, Steve Kuclo also pleasantly surprised fans. After falling behind Iain Valliere at the Texas Pro just six weeks earlier, there was a question of how high Kuclo would place at the Arnold Classic. Kuclo’s individual posing routine showed a finely tuned bodybuilder – far more on point than what we saw in Texas. It became immediately clear that Kuclo would land at the very least in the top three.



Pre-Judging: The Battle Of Nick Walker And Steve Kuclo
When the comparison rounds began, our first callout pulled Nick Walker, Steve Kuclo, Iain Valliere, and Justin Rodriguez onto the stage. This was our presumed top four. Very quickly, the judges moved Kuclo and Walker into the center. Things started to become more clear – Kuclo was making a big impression.



But this didn’t fully lock into place until the final top two callout. Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo were invited back onto the stage. All became clear – these were our two options for Arnold Classic champion… it’s also where the fun began. The judges certainly were torn between Walker and Kuclo. The final comparison round was stretched out to a much longer length – a trend that has been increasing in recent years.


Nick Walker and Steve Kuclo posed, and posed… and posed. Each mandatory was gone through at least twice in a cycle. Not only that – but the most muscular was held for an extended period of time. This seems to reveal just how close this competition is as the judges double and triple checked each pose comparison. Not only that but this extended comparison tactic is a way to push the athletes farther. Who would fade first? Who has the most stamina to hold their pose for a full minute? This could give the edge that either Walker or Kuclo needed to pull ahead.





The crowd went wild (and commentator Amanda Kuclo also couldn’t help but cheer for her husband on stage). With each new passing pose, Walker and Kuclo became more intensified. Who would break first? Would one fade? Ultimately, both competitors held their composure extremely well.


Steve Kuclo’s height over Nick Walker is certainly an advantage in this moment. He seemed to tower over Walker with each pose. That being said, Walker’s insane conditioning and musculature can’t be ignored. This is the best version of Nick Walker we’ve seen yet. If we had to choose at this moment – we predict that Walker will pull ahead ultimately for the prize.


But a lot can change between the pre-judging and finals. Both of these competitors are neck and neck. Their success lies on a razor’s edge. One wrong move can throw off their finals routine. Alternatively, we’ve seen competitors rise up with a surprising transformation between pre-judging and finals. Perhaps one of these two can show up even better – or perhaps even a wild card throwing off this current face-off.


Only time will tell – and Generation Iron will continue to provide updates, analysis, and result updates later tonight when we return for the Arnold Classic 2021 finals!




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