Is Shawn Rhoden Using Steroids or Natural?

Hey there everyone, today we’re going to be talking about an very interesting topic (at least to my opinion), since we’re going to be talking about Shawn Rhoden who is the guy who managed to beat Mr Olympia x7 until 2017 – Phil Heath. It is obvious – when talking about such guys, we are talking about the biggest mass monsters on the earth. And it is obvious that when talking about such huge monsters, the steroid accusations are always appearing. That’s why, today we’re going to talk about the guy who did the impossible – Shawn Rhoden, the guy who beat Phil Heath and will check if his steroid accusations are any true.

We all know very well that building even a couple of pounds of muscle is requiring a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work, both in the gym and out of it as it very much depends on your dedication and also on your general lifestyle too. However, if you decide to compete as a competitive bodybuilder then the stakes are raised even higher which means that you would really need to make some very huge and serious changes in your entire life. In fact, in order to manage to compete as a bodybuilder at any given level, your sport of choice need to become your lifestyle. That sport isn’t 1-2 hours a day in the gym and “I can’t eat ice cream”. It is a hard work 24/ 24. That’s the only way if you want to be the best. As a competitive bodybuilder, the ultimate goal it is to go pro, win your pro card; and compete at an elite level amongst the very best!

It is proven that only a few selected humans will ever be so fortunate to turn pro, not talking about reaching the Or Olympia stage. But there are only extremely few of them who get the Mr Olympia champ title and one of them is Shawn Rhoden, who has had one of them in 2018 so far.

He is getting a lot of the headlines as of late and that’s because of his amazing physique, with a lot of people accusing him of using anabolic steroids. This is the reason why, today, we are going to take a closer look at the Shawn Rhoden steroids allegations and will try to determine, using evidences, if those accusations are true or not.


Legal Disclaimer

Before we can continue any further with this article we need to mention here that we are in no way associated with Shawn Rhoden. We don’t know him personally or anybody close to him. We are having absolutely no personal information about him and we don’t have access to his medical history or anything that could prove him taking steroids. For this reason, unless Shawn Rhoden decides to come out and admit taking steroids (which we highly doubt) – we can’t say for sure if he uses or ever used steroids. Therefore, the content that you are about to read here is all based purely on opinion, rather than fact.

We are making our conclusion based on the public information/ photos and videos shared online about Shawn Rhoden and knowledge on steroids. And although we do believe that our verdict/ conclusion is often very close to reality, we still don’t know whether Shawn Rhoden is on steroids, or whether he has ever used steroids in the past in order to build such an amazing physique. That’s why, this conclusion should be taken as speculative, rather than factual.

The anabolic steroids are very well known to be dangerous, that’s why we do not recommend their use, however we also do not accuse or persecute those people that choose to use them either. This is up to everyone’s own decisions and we are not judges to accuse someone and we are not doctors to recommend their use.

Whether Shawn Rhoden has ever used them, remains to be seen, but as it was earlier mentioned, we will most likely never know it for sure.

Who is Shawn Rhoden?

For those who still don’t know who this guy is – Shawn Rhoden is an IFBB pro bodybuilder, and as of this writing, he is the best bodybuilder in the world as of 2018, as he managed to beat x7 Mr Olympia champ (already formerly champ) – Phil Heath. This is why, Shawn is currently the greatest on the planet at this moment (literally), as he is the current Mr Olympia.

Shawn Rhoden is a Jamaican- American and it is actually already a record breaker and that’s because, while aged 43 years old, he managed to become the oldest man to ever win at Olympia stage. Yes, that’s true, at 43 years old! He was able to peak and upset Phil to claim his first Mr Olympia title.

In fact, Shawn Rhoden may be better known to some of you as “Flexatron” in case you haven’t got so far who he is. That’s because he is considered by many to be an icon within the fitness industry. Shawn has always been looking consistently good,  for the last several years, nonetheless, a lot of there never expected him to ever win an Olympia, taken in consideration his age and also considering how amazing Phil Heath was looking for so long.

This huge dude is standing at 5 ft 10 in height and is weighing anywhere between 260 lbs (during the off season) to 240 pounds (when he is competing on the stage). Those are some really impressive numbers, heh? That’s especially taking that his body fat percentages come in a single digit, which is obvious for a Mr Olympian.

He has turned pro back in 2010 and since he has made his debut, he has simply gotten better and better, which is something worth of respect, especially taking in consideration that he managed to become better with each year after the age of 35 years old which is quite hard.

Early Life and Career

By doing the research about this guy I managed to find that Shawn Rhoden was born in Kingston, Jamaica, back in 1975! It is obvious that such a guy, as he was growing up, he managed to show some amazing athletic performance and prowess and with amazing genetics it is obvious that he managed to prove, right from the get go, that he has been born to compete, to go in the fitness/ sports industry and to become a winner. Shawn Rhoden has been showing an interest in virtually every sport out there and has found that he particularly was enjoying to play cricket and success or as it is being called in European countries – football.

Taking in consideration that he is walking around while weighing in at 260 pounds, and that’s despite the fact that he is under 6 feet in height, you may expect that Shawn has been an really big and powerful kid while was growing up, at least much bigger than most of his colleagues, however – he wasn’t. I have managed to find out that Shawn, strangely, was actually pretty small and weak for his size and he became obsessed with trying to bulk up and to get bigger since then. This is why, he would read fitness and bodybuilding magazines and of course, he used to enjoy watching Pumping Iron when he was really looking for some inspiration.

Then later, back in 1990, Shawn has moved to the United States with his family. Being a teen that was thrown into a part of the world that is completely unknown to him, having no friends and nothing really to occupy his time; he had to find something that could keep him busy. Since he was always having a passion for sports and since he was already obsessed with getting bigger and bulking up – he decided to take up training with weights. He used to train really really hard and he has found out that he was able to build muscle relatively easy. Approximately 2 years later, after he was dieting extremely hard and was training intensely a lot, he become a real physical specimen – an alpha male. After he noticed that bodybuilding is something that he can do – he trained for the next 7 years with the ultimate goal of entering and eventually winning a bodybuilding contest.

Shawn has already been ready to compete, however one unlucky day, a disaster happened to him. While he was training in the gym, Shawn has suffered from a huge injury which has resulted in him ripping 9 tendons in his hand. Needless to say that he wasn’t able to compete then as he had to wait several months for his big injury to heal back. However, Shawn refused to give up and that’s why, he continued to train while using his legs and his good hand only – he was determined not to fail but to win.

He has managed to enter his first show as an amateur in 1999 while he was aged only 24 years old; where he has managed to place the third in the NPC Team Universe Championships. While expecting that he would progress, he regressed because a year later he placed 4th. After this, he understood that he had to train and diet seriously. He came back in 2001 and has placed the second before taking some time off in order to really focus on getting himself in good shape. It required him a few more years until he placed first – in 2009 when he has done it twice and has won his pro card at the IFBB North American Championships.

He has managed to make his pro debut a year later in 2010 when he has won numerous Arnold classics and managed to rack up a third place finish at the Olympia in 2012 and a second place finishes at the Olympia in 2016. In the beginning, that was his best ever performance, but all until 2018 when he got the Olympia title.

Mr. Olympia

As I earlier mentioned, for the last 7 years, Phil “The Gift” Heath has managed to dominate the pro world of bodybuilding and keep his title. Since he beat Jay Cutler, Phil Heath looked virtually unstoppable as nobody else could reach his title, until Shawn Rhoden done the impossible a year ago.

There were many people who were thinking that Kai Greene had a good chance; however Kai didn’t quite had the tools needed for this, and backstage politics has resulted in Kai turning his back on the IFBB. So, since then, nobody really looked like a worthy opponent to Phil. Big Ramy has been billed as the next big thing, however he never seemed to nail his conditioning too much, and Dexter Jackson, who is a former Olympa winner himself, has been considered to be past his prime. Nobody really considered Shawn Rhoden to be a serious threat, despite the fact that he won the second place back in 2016. Back then he was taken seriously, but in 2017 he placed fifth and that’s why people naturally wrote him off.

However, a few months back in Nevada, back in September… Shawn has shocked the entire bodybuilding world when a lot of people predicted an easy win for Phil, but he then placed second. After all, Phil had the size and the condition; Phil has showed up in a pretty amazing shape. He was really big and he was full, and his condition wasn’t too shabby either.

In the previous years, as much as it looked like, he has suffered a hernia, and it has been a little bit seen in his mid section. Normally, Phil’s tight waist has been looking a little bit off, and on the stage, there looked to be very and very little in it between Phil and Shawn. In fact, many were thinking that Shawn was actually looking better; however they still predicted a Phil win and then again, that’s because of the politics.

In addition to that, Phil has already been chasing history as he needed just one more win in order to tie the most Olympia wins in the history, which means that he has been only 2 wins away from making history and breaking the record. For this reason, I do think that Phil has been hungrier than ever and he definitely did not want to lose. Nonetheless… he did lose. When the winners were named, Shawn Rhoden managed to win his very first Olympia title at the age of 43 while Phil has placed second and got no chance to continue his wins record.

Shawn Rhoden and Steroids

Farewell, now the time has finally come for us to address the specific topic as we are looking at the alleged use of steroids by Shawn Rhoden.

Just keep on mind that Shawn Rhoden steroids allegations often thrown around are having no actual meaning or real merit due to the fact that there’s nobody who actually knows for sure whether Shawn used or is still using steroids, other than Shawn himself and maybe a few more people which are close to him. However, what we are going to do it is to look at a few potential evidences which might indicate for and against the steroid use on Shawn’s part.

His Size

Well, so first things first and I guess that we need to start with the fact that we should look at Shawn’s freakishly big size. Let’s get a bit more to the numbers. Shawn is 5 ft 10 inches tall and yet, in the off season he can weigh as much as 265, but in fact, after he would have a cheat meal then he would most likely be closer to 270 pounds, maybe even more if he still tries to bulk up. I wanted to get back to numbers because, frankly, there’s virtually absolutely no way that an individual could weigh this much all naturally, at such a height, while having such a low body fat percentage.

Don’t get me wrong because it is obviously possible to weigh 270 pounds at 5 ft 10 and I think there are a lot of men with these stats, however, unfortunately, most of those men are just obese. Having these stats when your body fat is in single digit that’s a completely different thing. For example, Shawn is being ripped to shreds as he is barely having any fat at all on him. With this being said, his 240 to 270 lbs frame, therefore, is absolutely all muscles only without fat at all and this does raise quite a good amount of suspicion.

If he does uses steroids, then we would think that some form of testosterone would most likely be utilized in his case thanks to the evidences we’ve found and that’s all along with HGH as well as a few others, which we are going to check below. plus, we are going to share a youtube video link where you can see Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden transformation from 19 to 42 years old and that’s, trust me, an indeed huge transformation this man managed to get.

Shawn Condition

Except for the fact that Shawn is really big and massive, it is also the fact that when he is competing on the stage he is also absolutely shredded to bone. I guess there’s no need for me to explain how hard is it to achieve something like this. His body fat seem to drop to approximately 4% if not even lower than that, and yet, he is still looking full, vascular and absolutely muscular.

What I am trying to say is that maintaining that kind of a condition absolutely all naturally would be something pretty unheard of in most cases (not like Jeremy Buendia size), and that’s why, once again, this could be quite a good piece of evidence proving that Shawn Rhoden is actually taking some steroids to get such a physique… or at very least, this indicates that he might have used them in the past, if not using them now.

Taking everything in consideration, since he is so shredded, I think that a fat burning steroids, pretty much like Equipoise, might have been used, but I can’t be sure.

Many of Pro Bodybuilders are Open To Steroids Use

Well, if you are going to have a look at Shawn’s physique and carefully check it then you would see that he is looking very similar to other bodybuilders as they are all looking similar among them. Of course there are some differences, especially since Shawn it is the best of the best at the moment. Nonetheless, what I am trying to say is that you can still look at them and by comparing with other pro bodybuilders you just can’t say that there’s a huge difference. What I’m trying to say is that you just can’t say that there are some bodybuilders who are enormously bigger than other pro bodybuilders, well, I guess except for Big Ramy.

There are a lot of pros in the past (most of them), including the former Olympia winners such as Dorian Yates and Arnold Schwarzenegger who have been open about the steroid use in the world of pro bodybuilding which means that using steroids isn’t a huge secret to anybody. With all of this being said, what I’m trying to get to is – if they all got to the size they were with the steroids, Shawn who is very similar and even bigger and better (since won the Mr Olympia title) is nearly surely on juice as well since he is very similar in size, and as I said, even better.

If he is indeed all natural then there’s absolutely no doubt that he is an absolutely genetic freak of the nature as he manages to get as big as he is with no use of the steroids – as big as others guys on steroids. But we know that simply competing in Mr Olympia then you’re already a genetic freak so I just can’t see any chance how he manages to get such a size without steroids when competing among other genetic freaks who are using steroids. There’s just no chance.

In addition to that, here’s a comparison photo of Shawn Rhoden of how much he has changed over the years. I do believe that on the photo on the left he used to be natural. He has a decent amount of muscles, yet he has no symptoms of steroid use. First of all, his shoulders are what comes into my eyes the first. They used to be small/ weaker in comparison to the rest of his body. That’s what a natural bodybuilder should be. In the photo on the right (recent photo) we can see that it buffed up and they are cannonballs now. That’s a big sign of steroid use since they are the first thing to blow up when you use steroids because they are having the most androgen receptors. Plus to that, we can notice other steroid symptoms – vascularity. It could be also down to the fact that he aged and as we age – we produce less collagen covering the veins hence you get more vascular. That’s why this symptom may be attributed to steroid use, but it also could be because he aged.

On the same photo there are 2 other things which may indicate Shawn Rhoden uses some kind of steroid. Take a look at his face. It is known that the use of steroids can alter your face structure. This effect has been seen with other bodybuilders out there too. His jaw is the first thing indicating it. people’s faces are changing over the years, no doubt, but Shawn got a way too big difference/ face change in my opinion. The last thing to mention here – check his midsection. While he used to be V taper in the past (as much as I believe – when he used to be natural) now he’s got a blocky midsection and that’s another sign of steroid use. You can check, for example, Jeff Seid midsection (or other bodybuilders out there who do not agree with the philosophy – the bigger the better) and you’re going to see a huge difference. Here’s the photo that I was talking about:

Growth Gut

I think that I must address this. if you are going to check some of the Shawn’s previous contests, when he is competing on the stage, there were some certain poses that have really brought out what are people calling a “growth gut”. Well, a growth gut it is the result of using HGH in combination with Insulin. This is causing the major organs to grow and to expand in size. Bodybuilders are taking it, obviously, to make their muscles grow, but it makes the internal organs to grow as well (for example – intestines and others), therefore they get the Growth Gut or also called – HGH Gut.

So, as they expand in the body and are pushing against the stomach and the midsection, it is resulting in the bodybuilder to look pregnant or as if they have an enormous beer belly, even though they are being ripped to shreds. A very good example of that is Kali Muscle which has a pretty big belly.

His waist is being quite tight nowadays, however in the past, he has had what fans are calling a growth gut, and as HGH is very often being stacked along with steroids, this is just another giveaway sign of steroid use.

Shawn Rhoden Steroids Cycle

So well, assuming the fact that Shawn it is indeed on some steroids (but that’s still something to be proven), we are going to look now at what we are thinking to be his steroids cycle, or how it could look like. So as I said, first thing first, HGH (along with insulin). I have already said Equipoise which is pretty possible. Then it is testosterone cypionate. Arimidex. Cardarine or Ostarine and lately N2Guard. I think that it should be something similar to this:

Is Shawn Rhoden on Steroids?

Based on the evidences that I have managed to find while doing research about Shawn Rhoden, it does look like he used or maybe is still using some steroids. My verdict is based on the evidences which I shared above indicating that there are some tell-tale signs of steroid use. Usually, my verdict of natural is given to those people/ bodybuilders that have no tell tale signs of steroid use, in Shawn Rhoden’s case I found too many of them to give him the natty verdict. That’s why, answering: are the Shawn Rhoden steroids accusations true? Well, it does seem so. Especially since as much as we all might expect – you just don’t walk on Mr Olympia contest and win, at least you won’t win it naturally.

Especially taking in consideration that even Frank Zane, who is the first man that was under 200 pounds to win the title, had still admitted to use steroids, and yet there is Shawn Rhoden who out weighs him by a good 50 pounds or so and did it naturally? Especially since we all know that Phil Heath used to be a monster even without steroids when he was younger. Now we all know he uses steroids and he’s Hulk. You just can’t beat a genetic freak like Phil Heath who uses steroids all naturally.

That is why, in the end I can say that based on everything we know about steroids, about what we could find on Shawn Rhoden online (information, videos, photos, facts etc.), about pro bodybuilding, as well as steroid signs and symptoms – we do believe that Shawn is using some steroids.

Regardless if Shawn Rhoden is using steroids or not – you shouldn’t expect that by taking steroids you’re going to be the same size as Shawn because chances are – you never will. As I said, you should be a genetic freak, you should use steroids AND you should spend most of your life in gym and watch your diet in order to reach his size. That’s why, even if Shawn uses anything, we shouldn’t take away his hard work and dedication as winning a Mr Olympia title is a huge achievement that I think only one person in a billion can do it and as much as we witnessed – Shawn Rhoden is such a person. Congrats to him. Tell in the comments below what do you think about Shawn Rhoden.

A lot of thanks to the following sources for helping me to write this article:

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