Dwayne Walker finds redemption at 2020 IFBB Tampa Pro after 2019 disappointment

By August 03, 2020

Jamaican bodybuilder Dwayne Walker is as pleased as punch following his debut performance in the Open Class at the IFBB Tampa Pro tournament this past weekend.

Walker, who did not place in the 212 Class at the same competition last year, placed an impressive third in the Open Class having moved up in weight over the past year. Hunter Labrada took the title while Iain Valliere finished second.

The top-three placing that came after most of the season was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, filled the giant Jamaican with a sense of accomplishment.

“I am very much satisfied with the package I brought. I feel accomplished with my performance and I did exactly what I wanted to do which was to improve the weak parts of my body, be as competitive as possible, make an impact and get my name out there and that is exactly what I got to execute,” said a euphoric Walker who spoke with Sportsmax.TV on Monday.

“I am now getting some traction from my performance and my physical appearance and conduct on stage, so everything worked out in my favour and I am very satisfied with the improvements I have made. I am happy that people have recognized my effort and that I brought a very complete package this year.”

The performance was also the positive outcome from a change of strategy by the 2018 Mr Olympia Amateur winner and Master Trainer Loleta of the BBL Gymnasium in Florida following his debut season in 2019.

“Last year, I did the 212 division because I turned pro in 2018 and I didn’t want to take the year off from competing. Most persons would advise you to take a year off to grow and develop and then you go back and compete as a pro. I didn’t want to do that,” Walker explained.

“I love competing. I couldn’t see myself taking an entire year off from competing so I decided to compete nonetheless. So, because there was a division in the pro league called the 212 for bodybuilders, being that I am not the biggest bodybuilder there is, it was considered that I would be more competitive doing the 212 Class. So what we did in my rookie season.”

It was a year of mixed results.

“I did Indi Pro, I came sixth. I did New York, I came 10th, and in Puerto Rico, I came third. I did Tampa and I think I came 16th,” Walker recalled, adding that they eventually discovered that doing the 212 was perhaps, not the best decision.

“We realised that doing the 212 was also doing me injustice because I had to do a lot of depletion and fasting to make the weight class. It was very challenging to make the weight so for my second year we decided to train as hard as possible, do the necessary dieting to get my weight up so I could compete in the Open Class and see how competitive I can be there.

“Also, while preparing for the Open Class we took the critique from (the judges) at 212 and implemented the necessary training regimen to correct those weaknesses and lagging body parts. So went to work keeping in mind to do the Indy Pro in the Open Class, however, the pandemic happened and the quarantine and all that. It threw off everything. Shows got cancelled so I ended up doing my first show for 2020 which was my ending show for 2019, the Tampa Pro.”

Loleta was extremely proud of Walker’s showing in Tampa and said as much on her Instagram account on Monday.

“@ifbbpro_big.general hasn’t stopped climbing since he joined our team in 2018,” she said.

She explained that when Dwayne was in the lower 212 Class, they learned a lot from the judges whenever he competed.

“The common critique was the weakness in his legs so, after vigorous hard-core training which resulted in more leg development and in an increase in body weight, it became challenging as a 212 competitor,” she said.

“Last year at the Tampa Pro, in order to make weight he had to fast and drastically pull water which resulted in him stepping on stage flat and not placing and that is when we decided that the 212 was history.

“With one solid year of building, he was able to step on the exact stage this weekend with the big boys in the Open Class and take the third-place position with the best conditioning on that stage. Your team is extremely proud of your achievement and excited to see you embark on this journey, which we have no doubt will land you on the Olympia stage one day.”



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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