Chinedu Andrew Obieaka, aka “Andrew Jacked,” has only been on the competitive bodybuilding circuit for a little while. Yet, after winning his first two International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro League contests, the 2022 Texas Pro and 2022 Arnold Classic UK, Jacked is considered an ascending superstar. With a legendary bodybuilder on his side, the athlete will aim for one of the sport’s top challenges this December.
On Sept. 29, 2022, during an interview with Olympia judge Terrick El Guindy and Bob Cicherello (“Bob Chick”) on Olympia TV on YouTube, Jacked and his coach, four-time Arnold Classic champ Ken “Flex” Wheeler, discussed the upcoming 2022 Mr. Olympia. (Note: Jacked’s nutritionist George Farah was also in attendance as a subject.) Among the more pertinent topics were how Wheeler feels about the upcoming competition as well as Jacked’s chances against two-time reigning champion Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay.
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There was a time when Jacked was an unknown entity. Then he earned his Pro Card at the 2022 Arnold Classic Amateur in early March and won his first two IFBB Pro League contests. In such a short time, despite his inexperience, he’s already risen well through the ranks. This success, despite Jacked’s inexperience as an IFBB Pro League athlete, makes Wheeler believe Jacked is a budding bodybuilding titan.
“I competed probably over 40 times as an amateur before I even got into the National Physique Committee [NPC] because I was back in the Amateur Athletic Union [AAU] days. I was learning. I was developing,” Wheeler said, comparing his career to Jacked’s. “But if you look at Andrew [Jacked], one NPC show, that’s it. Look at how much he changed from his Arnold Amateur debut, and then look at how much he’s changed at the Texas show. Then, just in a matter of fewer than two months, a little bit over two months, how much he’s changed going into the Arnold Classic [UK].”
In the context of a stacked Olympia field featuring Elssbiay, Brandon Curry, Hadi Choopan, Nick Walker, Hunter Labradorand Derek LunsfordWheeler thinks Jacked has another significant advantage — less wear and tear on his body.
“Hey [Jacked] has less mileage than any competitor that he’s ever competing against or ever going to compete against,” Wheeler explained. “That right there tells you this young man’s potential. Because no one, even myself, has done what he’s done in such a short period of time. That’s damn scary.”
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As for Jacked’s chances to actually win the Olympia and topple Elssbiay, Wheeler thinks there’s an opening under the right circumstances. Even with Elssbiay recently weighing in at a jaw-dropping 337 pounds at the end of his off-season, the door could be cracked open.
“Ramy is the person to beat,” Wheeler offered as a disclaimer. “But now you’re going to have guys competing against him that are taller than him and match his mass. I’m going to argue and say possibly, I’m being nice, but he [Jacked] possibly has better symmetry and balance that he [Elssbiay] has.”
Even if Jacked doesn’t reach high expectations this year by beating Elssbiay, there seems to be little doubt Wheeler thinks Jacked’s talent has primed him to be one of bodybuilding’s next main fixtures. In the long run, whether the competitor lives up to that promise is anyone’s best guess for now.
The 2022 Mr. Olympia will take place on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Featured image: @andrewjacked on Instagram