Shawn Rhoden: A Game of Thrones

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

He does mostly straight sets, but he does employ two techniques to boost intensity. One is supersets. Most bodybuilders superset two very dif erent exercises, such as fl yes and presses for chest. Rhoden prefers to pair up two similar exercises. We’ve already mentioned the two body-weight, compound exercises (dips and pushups) that he combines on chest days. On back days, he’ll superset two styles of pulldowns, such as behind- the-neck at a conventional station and underhand with a Hammer Strength machine. For shoulders, he teams two types of rear laterals: with dumbbells lying facedown on an incline bench and with a machine.

The other technique he uses is dropsets, which he tends to do on one exercise in most workouts. “Dropsets let me go beyond failure,” he explains. “I’ll do them on the last set of an exercise. So on my last set of seated laterals I’ll get 8–12 reps and then grab a pair of lighter dumbbells and get another eight or so, and then I’ll grab even lighter dumbbells and get as many as I can again.”

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