Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden began bodybuilding in 1992. Destined to be a professional athlete, he never thought it would be from bodybuilding. As a young soccer player, he was on his way to a promising career, but the universe was not aligned for him.
It was his cousin, John Lancaster, that introduced him to bodybuilding, which he immediately did not enjoy and thought it was too painful. In 1992, he met Mr. Universe, who mentored Shawn into a top NPC contender. By that time, Shawn had found another sport that he loved.
Shawn’s gifted genetics and determined work ethic earned him a promising career in bodybuilding, but even Flexatron has his demons to fight. He had injuries that left him with 9 torn tendons in his hand. Doctors said that he would never be able to write, use a hammer, play the piano, or lift weights again. He also hurt his back from squatting over 500lbs. His most fierce demon was when his father, who was his biggest fan and very proud of him, passed away from cancer. Shawn went into depression and became dependent on alcohol which made him leave the sport that he loved.
Seven years later, Shawn went back to what he loved doing the most, bodybuilding. It was not easy getting back, but Shawn took it one day at a time. Remembering all that he knew from his past, he rebuilt his body through short intense workouts, supersets, and drop sets, while emphasizing perfect form in all of his exercises for constant muscle tension. He battled and overcame alcoholism and depression to step back onto the NPC stage.
In 2009, he competed in the North American with an undeniable Overall Title win that earned him his IFBB Pro status. Shawn took a year off to prepare for his Pro debut at the Europa Supershow where he placed 16th. He used his 16th placing as fuel to work harder and came back a year later to place 3rd which earned him an invitation to the Mr. Olympia. His Olympia debut placed him at 11th, making him one of the top professional bodybuilders in the world.
In 2012, Shawn teamed up with his old friend, Oscar Gan, to formulate a game plan. They signed on with the technician, Chris Aceto, for his diet prep and went to the Tampa Pro strong with a victory. Shawn won the Europa Dallas one week later and placed 3rd at the Mr. Olympia competition. He went on to win the British Grand Prix and the Arnold Classic Europe in Madrid. He got a disappointing 2nd place at the Prague Pro to end the 2012 season.
In 2013, Shawn did a lot of traveling for his sponsor and placed 4th at the Olympia. He committed to continue competing throughout 2014, starting with the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio where he placed an arguable 2nd. He went on to place 3rd at the Olympia and won a few Pro shows after.
In 2015, with Charles Glass and Chris Aceto guiding him and despite his very best package that he had ever brought to the Olympia, he placed 3rd once again. Nothing would disappoint Shawn in 2015 because that is the year he was blessed with a baby girl. Little Flexatron, Cora Capri, is Shawn’s pride and joy. He has vowed to win the 2016 Olympia for his daughter.
Shawn is not only an incredible bodybuilder in terms of the package that he brings to the stage, but he also has an incredible fighting spirit, work ethic, and the heart of a champion which are the qualities that will take him as far as he wants to go in the sport. Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden is a true champion and his message to everyone is to not give up on your dreams, however impossible they may seem. “Dream to Believe”!