Shawn Rhoden: A Game of Thrones

Here, Flexatron reveals his strategies to upset bodybuilding's king on this year's Olympia stage

Rhoden's Workouts By the Numbers

Body PartExercisesSetsRepsChest726-31290-340Back623-24242-252Legs727-30567-252Shoulders729-30286-295Arms832-40320-400Total35137-1551,705-1,909

Isolation Before Annihilation

Rhoden typically begins each workout with an isolation exercise. His shoulder routine starts with seated dumbbell laterals to target his medial deltoids before moving on to presses and upright rows. He launches his arm attack with rope pushdowns—a lif some might consider a “finishing move.” Leg extensions kick of his leg workouts, isolating his quads before moving on to the compounds: front squats, leg presses, and hack squats. “It’s a way of pre-exhausting the targeted area,” Rhoden explains, “and it also can be sort of a working warmup. For example, the leg extensions warm up my knees before moving on to the heavier lifts.”

He starts his chest workout with dumbbell pullovers, which is not an isolation exercise, but it’s also not a traditional chest compound lif . The one body part Flexatron usually begins attacking with a traditional compound basic is back. On back day, he does T-bar rows fi rst. His mentor, Ronnie Coleman—king of bodybuilding for eight years—built dragonlike wings with T-bar rows as a staple. Rhoden hopes a reliance on the T-bar when his strength is greatest will help him rise to the throne, as well.



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