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Shawn Rhoden Death Cycle

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shawn rhoden

Shawn Rhoden was a professional bodybuilder who was nicknamed "Flexatron" and considered one of the most gifted athletes of his era, winning Mr. Olympia, and placing high at many competitions. At his peak, he was 5'10'' and a massive 250 pounds. He fulfilled goals and aspirations that many can only dream of but achieving those dreams likely shortened his life. Shawn's passing was yet another blow to the bodybuilding world. In this article, we will discuss his life, his ups and downs, and his unfortunate passing.

Early life

Shawn was born in Jamaica and played the most popular sports in that country which were soccer and cricket. A gifted athlete but also skinny, Shawn took an interest in bodybuilding to boost his size. As a teenager, his family moved to the USA and he found himself in a new country with no friends. His best friend became the barbell and 2 years later before his 18th birthday, he decided to join a large gym to start taking weight training seriously.

He trained hard in the gym and suffered a major hand injury while working out. That destroyed the tendon in his hands, then he also had to overcome a back injury that required him to be out of the gym for 6 months.

Amateur competitions and fathers death

Bodybuilding shock at the death of Shawn Rhoden

After recovering from his back problem he competed at the 1997 Mid Atlantic Bodybuilding Championship getting 2nd place. He then placed top 3 at the NPC Team Universe Championships 3 years in a row from 1999 to 2001.

The next year his father passed away from cancer which drove Shawn to depression and alcohol. He quit the gym and fell into a dark place in his life. His friends begged him to get help and he finally listened and went to rehab. From there he was able to get back his life and continue his bodybuilding dreams.

As a pro

shawn rhoden bodybuilding

Shawn made an amazing comeback and by 2010 was competing at serious shows. He got 6th place at the 2010 IFBB Dallas Europa and then 3rd in the same competition the very next year. At the 2011 Mr. Olympia he got 11th place and then the next year finished 8th at the Arnold Pro. He would go on to compete at more than 2 dozen of the toughest competitions placing top 3 in most of them.

His Mr. Olympia finishes:
2011 as mentioned above 11th place
2012: 3rd place
2013: 4th
2014: 3rd
2015: 3rd
2016: 2nd place to Phil Heath
2017: 5th

In 2018, he supplanted the reigning champion Phil Heath and won. As the Mr. Olympia champion it looked like he was unstoppable but more problems would come.

Divorce and assault charge

Shawn was not faithful in his marriage and he divorced his wife Michelle Sugar 3 years after they had a daughter together.

After his Mr. Olympia win, Shawn invited a married woman who he was coaching up to his room in Salt Lake City and she says he sexually assaulted her. He pled not guilty to the charge and posted a large bail. Meanwhile, the organizing body for Mr. Olympia banned him from future competitions until further notice.

Social media


As of now, his social media is still up: https://www.instagram.com/flexatronrhoden/
Much like all bodybuilders, he markets several brands and apparel, although it is unclear since his assault charge who stuck by him and who didn't.

Diet and Training

Shawn Rhoden - Greatest Physiques

Shawn was a beast in the gym. He liked to lift heavy to failure, and the gym was his therapy to fight his inner demons that have shown up from time to time in his life. Much like other lifters, he followed a split routine where he would hammer certain muscle groups one day and then hammer another the next day and so on. Here is a video of him training:

Shawn keeps a strict diet in season and during the offseason, he will bulk up 10 or 20 pounds heavier. He has talked about how he doesn't care if he keeps his 6 pack during the offseason because he is more worried about packing on muscle.


On November 6, 2021. Chris Aceto, Shawn's trainer, announced that his friend Shawn Rhoden had passed away. https://www.instagram.com/p/CWAPkxdrJgu/ Chris spoke about how Shawn was a selfless individual who always shared his time with others and never spoke ill of any other person.

Early reports are that he suffered a massive heart attack coupled with other prior health issues including ulcers. He was only 46 years old. This is yet another well-known bodybuilder death at a young age, but this one is more shocking because it was a person who was a Mr. Olympia champion in recent years.

Here is a video from a YouTuber talking about his death and giving his insights and opinions on bodybuilding industry health.


I have mixed feelings about Shawn Rhoden. On one hand, I wonder about his history of alcohol abuse, infidelity, and assault charges. Does he have his head screwed on straight? After all, why invite a married woman who you are coaching up to your room if you did not plan on having sex with her? On the other hand, nobody knows what happened in that room except both of them and if he was innocent it would be unfair to ruin his legacy.

As far as his health, the shocking thing is he had won Mr. Olympia just 3 years prior and that to me is scary. Makes me wonder how many of those Mr. Olympia competitors are months or a couple of years away from passing away. It also makes me and many others more antagonistic towards the bodybuilding "sport". Watching your favorite athletes retire is tough enough as a fan, but subjecting myself to watching them die is a whole other ballgame and takes all the fun out of it.

Death Cycle

Years of alcohol abuse took a toll on Shawn and years of steroid abuse also knocked years off his life. There are major risks with taking so many anabolic steroids for so long. We can speculate that his death cycle could have looked like this.

    • 25IU's HGH per day

Human growth hormone (also known as hgh, somatropin, nutrobal, nutropin) is a peptide hormone which stimulates growth on the cellular level. It is a protein which has endocrine functions in living animals and is synthesized in cells from amino acids. Read more..

    • 15IU's Insulin per day

Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells in the pancreas. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats; in addition, it stores fat to be used for energy later. When you eat, your blood sugar increases, which causes insulin to be released. Read more..

    • Testosterone Cypionate 1500mgs/week
    • Trenbolone Enanthate 1250mg/week
    • Masteron Enanthate 1500mg/week

Masteron was developed in 1959, alongside anadrol, by Syntex Pharmaceuticals, but it did not hit the market until 1970. At first, it was sold under the brand names Masteril and Drostanolonum. Read more..

    • Equipoise 1000mgs/week
    • Anadrol 200mg/day
    • Winstrol 150mg/day

Winstrol or Stanozolol is an anabolic steroid used to get lean and hard, it's mainly used as an oral during cutting cycles to lose body fat. It's as variant of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), so you can expect similar fat loss benefits as you would with any other DHT derivative steroid. Read more..

  • DNP
  • Diuretics


Forums on our forums? read on:

I'd like to get your opinions on this... I've been on HGH (2iu 2x day so total of 4iu a day) for almost 2 weeks now and i gotta say.... i'm loving it Read more...

Do men's physique competitor need insulin since its way more powerful than anabolic steroids. Any recommendations when would be the best and after how many cycles of steroids have to be done in order to use the insulin. Read more...

Ok guys so it's only right that we share among bros what our experiences with different testosterone cypionate brands have been. I'll get the ball rolling... My first month on TRT (currently) I was giving Perrigo Test 1ml vial 200mg/ml. Read more..

Creatine is pretty much all excreted out via the kidneys and Trenbolone is the only steroid known to affect the kidneys and just cause overall adrenal impairment while it is being used. Read more..

Mast doesn't agree with my skin. Itchy scalp, dandruff, bad acne. Some people love it but its not for me, Winstrol has the same effect only with horrible joints to go with all the other sides. Currently 5 weeks out from a comp so I'm dropping mast now before it makes thing even worse. Read more..


DISCLAIMER: The following article is for entertainment purposes, Shawn Rhoden has not publicly admitted to using steroids and HGH as far as we are aware.  His cycle is not a fact and it's our views on what he used and what steroids he took. This is for information purposes only.

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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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