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Shawn Rhoden – A Complexed and Different Bodybuilding Story

Shawn Rhoden, a bodybuilder, was a professional for over 20 years. He competed in his fair share of competitions, winning 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.

Shawn_Rhoden professional bodybuilder

Personal Life of Shawn Rhoden Bodybuilder

Shawn Rhoden was a professional male bodybuilder from Long Island, New York. He was born on April 2, 1975, 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.

A female protégé 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 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 they suspended Shawn Rhoden from participating in any IFBB events for a full calendar year, including Mr. Olympia 2019.

Also, this was a big shake-up, as Shawn Rhoden won Mr. Olympia 2018. However, the news that was even more startling was the 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; it also gave some insight into how bodybuilding was a sport of impressive physiques and a breeding ground for 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 allegations against Rhoden, with some social media users accusing Calum Von Moger 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 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–still underage–at a convention in Los Angeles. They used both pictures as evidence against Rhoden, as some had speculated, because of their inappropriate nature.

This was not the first time someone had accused Rhoden 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 of sending her unsolicited lewd pictures on social media.

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. Also, 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 they acquitted him after completing 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 Shawn 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 was walking through an airport in Hawaii when he collapsed and hit his head. He died from 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 you could succeed when working hard and believing in yourself, no matter how great your struggles are.

Shawn Rhoden’s Professional Bodybuilding Career

Many fans consider Shawn Rhoden’s Professional Bodybuilding Career 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.

Amateur Career

  • 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

Professional Career:

  • 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
Protein Diet

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 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 your muscles can recover from the heavy weightlifting.

Then it’s time to make lunch.

Chicken, broccoli, and brown rice are popular 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 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 contains 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!

Gym Life Workout Compound Exercise

A Shawn Rhoden Bodybuilding Workout

The guy used a different bodybuilding workout, probably the most complex and severe we have ever seen. He was big but still looked natural at the same time while maintaining great shape all year long. Below, you will find a detailed list of his workout, exercises, 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 how Shawn Rhoden did them and his world-class team differed from anything you have seen.

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.

The Last Word on Shawn Rhoden

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!

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