Shawn Rhoden was a professional bodybuilder for over 20 years. He competed in his fair share of competition, winning the Mr. Olympia and the Arnold Classic Title. Shawn was one of the most successful bodybuilders in history, but that doesn’t mean he took it easy on himself or avoided hard work. By winning the Mr. Olympia title, Shawn became the oldest bodybuilder at age 43 to win the title.
Personal Life of Shawn Rhoden Bodybuilder
Shawn Rhoden was a professional male bodybuilder who hails from Long Island, New York. He was born on April 1, 1979, in Kingston, Jamaica, and was the son of Leroy and Maria Rhoden. At 15, Shawn and his family moved to Maryland, where he spent the rest of his childhood. In 2015, Shawn Rhoden and then partner Michelle Sugar had a daughter. The couple soon married in 2018. However, because of personal issues and allegations of infidelity, they divorced.
Shawn Rhoden’s Controversial Legal Problems
A female protege accused Rhoden of sexually assaulting her when he visited Salt Lake City, Utah, in October 2018, shortly after his Mr. Olympia win. In July 2019, Utah formally charged Shawn with rape, object rape, and sexual abuse. Law enforcement alleged that Rhoden invited a married woman who he had been mentoring to his hotel room in Salt Lake City- where she claimed he tried to kiss her before forcing himself on her.
The bodybuilding world was shocked by the news that Shawn Rhoden was suspended from participating in any IFBB events for a full calendar year, including Mr. Olympia 2019. This was a big shake-up, as Shawn Rhoden won Mr. Olympia 2018. However, the news that was even more startling was the complete lack of official reasoning behind the decision or any comment from either side.
Many rumors were circulating, but the only ones who knew the valid reason for the action were each bodybuilding governing body member involved in the decision-making process. That included Jim Manion (general director), Rafael Santonja (president), and Ben Weider (head honor).
It later came out that Shawn Rhoden was accused of sexual assault.
As this sad story unfolded, more and more details were finally coming out about the circumstances of his suspension. The more we heard, the bleaker it looked for Rhoden; but it also gave some insight into how bodybuilding was a sport of impressive physiques and a breeding ground of greed and abuse of power.
The story continued with the media, reporting how Shawn Rhoden had physical contact with women that made them feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Allegedly, the first incident took place at a fitness modeling contest in Las Vegas (Nevada) on June 8, 2018; this was where the media found the infamous picture posted by Rhoden on Instagram with Samantha Paris and Calum Von Moger, which was said to have been taken at that event.
That initial post sparked the first source of allegations against Rhoden, with Calum Von Moger accused by some social media users of ‘flirting with a minor’ (Samantha Paris) and tweeting inappropriate comments about her following their encounter. It later came out that Samantha Paris was just 17 years old at the time of this encounter.
And then the second shoe dropped.
The second incident happened a year later, on June 7, 2019, after someone took a photo of Rhoden alongside the female jiu-jitsu champion Mackenzie Dern–who was also still underage–at a convention in Los Angeles. Both pictures were used as evidence against Rhoden, as some had speculated because of their inappropriate nature.
This was not the first time Rhoden had been accused of sexual misconduct with his clients, as there were reports of similar cases in 2017 involving underage girls. In addition, one professional female bodybuilder accused him on social media of sending her unsolicited lewd pictures.
After the accusations and pictures of him with underage girls, the judge placed Rhoden on a 90-day diversion program for misdemeanor sexual battery and lewdness charges. This was where he received counseling and had to stay out of trouble for three months or go to jail. The final verdict was that he was not convicted after he completed the program without further incidents.
Shawn Rhoden’s Last Days
Rhoden died from a heart attack on November 6, 2021. He was 46 years old at the time of his death. Some media outlets reported he collapsed because of cardiac arrest during an event in Australia. However, other accounts stated that after his long flight from Australia to the United States, Rhoden walked through an airport in Hawaii when he collapsed and hit his head. He died because of a combination of blood thinners (he had been on after heart surgery) and his injuries from the fall. The bodybuilding community lost a grand champion and workout warrior. He was such a complex man who showed us that no matter how great your struggles are, you can succeed when you work hard and believe in yourself.
Shawn Rhoden’s Professional Bodybuilding Career
Many fans consider Shawn Rhoden Professional Bodybuilding Career to be one of the best in the world. He started weightlifting at age seventeen and power lifted and played football in high school before he tried competitive bodybuilding. Shawn Rhoden stood 5 feet 10 inches tall (178 cm), and his contest weight was 245 lbs (111 kg), while his off-season weight was 255 lbs (116 kg). Rhoden has won several titles, including Mr. Olympia, Australiana Pro, and the British Grand Prix.
- 2009 IFBB North American Championships–1st
- 2009 NPC Delaware Open Bodybuilding–1st
- 2001 NPC Team Universe Championships–2nd
- 2000 NPC Team Universe Championships–4th
- 1999 NPC Team Universe Championships–3rd
- 2018 Mr. Olympia–1st
- 2016 Mr. Olympia–2nd
- 2016 Kuwait Pro Men’s Bodybuilding–3rd place
- 2015 EVL’s Prague Pro – 3rd
- 2015 Mr. Olympia–3rd
- 2014 Mr. Olympia–3rd
- 2014 IFBB Australian Pro–1st,
- 2014 IFBB Arnold Classic–2nd,
- 2012 IFBB British Grand Prix–1st
- 2012 Mr. Olympia–3rd
- 2011 IFBB Dallas Europa Super Show–3rd
- 2010 IFBB Dallas Europa Super Show–6th
A Shawn Rhoden Bodybuilding Diet
Bodybuilding is more than just showing up in the gym and lifting weights. It takes a lot of hard work, discipline, dedication, and mental strength to get to the level where you can compete with other people in your class. But when you’re competing at the highest levels, things get even more severe; you need to train harder and clean up your diet.
What does a typical bodybuilder diet look like?
A typical day of a bodybuilder’s diet might start with a cup of warm oatmeal and raisins, which provides breakfast with an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Then it’s off to the gym for some intense training. After your workout, you’ll have a protein shake so that your muscles can recover from the heavy weightlifting.
Then it’s time to make lunch.
Chicken, broccoli, and brown rice are a popular combination to fuel your body for the rest of the day. Dinner might be a lean steak with asparagus or spinach. And for a snack? A handful of almonds can provide you with good healthy fats to help your muscles recover from the gym.
And don’t forget about those healthy fats. You’ll find them in foods like salmon, avocado, and greek yogurt. They’re a dominant source of energy that will help your body recover from the strain of heavy weightlifting. Plus, they contain essential omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and support a healthy heart.
A bodybuilder’s diet is full of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. So with all that good stuff in your body, you’ll be ready to hit the gym again tomorrow for another challenging workout!
A Shawn Rhoden Bodybuilding Workout
The guy used a different type of bodybuilding workout, probably the most complex and serious workout we have ever seen. He was big but still looked natural at the same time while maintaining great shape all year long.
What you are going to find below is an exact list of his workout, the exercises he did, and how he did them. Shawn’s workout differed from the conventional school of thought. Maybe you are already familiar with some of these movements, but the way Shawn Rhoden did them, along with his world-class team, differed totally from anything you have seen before.
Let us try to learn something from this grand champion and his team. Maybe these exercises were making the difference between him and the others. Shawn Rhoden divided his workout into two completely different days, starting with his push muscles (chest, triceps) on Monday, pulling muscles (back, biceps) on Wednesday, and finishing on Friday with his legs.
This type of push/pull muscle combination is like what you might see from Dorian Yates with the intensity of some greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Phil Heath, Flex Lewis, Big Ramy, Lee Haney, Brandon Curry, Dexter Jackson, Jay Cutler, Roelly Winklaar, and Ronnie Coleman.
Shawn Rhoden Workout Details & Exercises List:
Monday – Push Muscle Workout (Chest, Triceps)
- Barbell Bench Press 6 – 8 reps three sets
- Incline Bench Press 6 – 8 reps three sets
- Chest Dips ten reps three sets
- Cable Tricep Extension 8 – 10 reps three sets
- Reverse Grip Overhand Pull-down 10 reps three sets
Tuesday – OFF
Wednesday – Pull Muscle Workout (Back, Biceps)
- Seated Cable Row Wide Grip 10 reps three sets
- T-Bar Row 10 reps three sets
- Straight Arm Pull-down 15 – 20 reps three sets
- Close Grip Pull-down 15 – 20 reps 3sets
- Barbell Curl 10 – 12 reps five sets
- Incline Dumbbell Curl 8 – 10 reps two sets
- Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl 8 – 12 reps two sets
- Hammer Curls 8 – 10 reps four sets
Thursday – OFF
Friday – Leg Muscle Workout (Quads, Hamstrings)
- EXERCISE REPS SETS Barbell Squat 10 – 12 reps five sets
- Cable Pull-Through 15 reps three sets
- Leg Press Calf Raise 20 – 30 reps four sets
- Hack Squat 10 reps three sets
- Leg Extensions 8 – 10 reps three sets
- Lying Leg Curl 8 – 12 reps two sets
- Standing Single Leg Curl With Hip Thrust 20 – 30 reps four sets
- Seated Leg Curl 8 – 10 reps two sets
Saturday – OFF
Sunday – OFF
The last word
Shawn Rhoden, the bodybuilder, was one perplexing man who gave us two different stories. On the one hand, he was this focused, constant, professional bodybuilder who was determined and accomplished many great things. But he was also this flawed individual who struggled with many challenges that threatened his otherwise incredible career.
It would not be fair not to consider which Shawn Rhoden was the real Shawn Rhoden. Perhaps both of them were the real Shawn Rhoden. He presents a perfect dichotomy for us to study and consider. We suggest you learn and follow his professional career when building your workouts and following your diet. And you can also learn from his personal life. The decisions we make affect the life we live. What is your take on Shawn Rhoden? Please share in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!