In the Flex February Issue, Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden who stunned people with his superb conditioning this year talks about how at one point in his career, he was not always the best at following his diet.
Had you kept any of your shape or condition?
Oh, no. Little Debbie and Twinkies were my best friends. I ate whatever I wanted. If I craved a pizza, I ate the whole thing. So I was out of shape. But I couldn’t shake the feeling, so I talked to my other cousin who originally got me started in bodybuilding. I told John, “I could win a show, all I need is a few months.” He bet me a dollar I couldn’t do it. I was motivated. I approached it like my last hurrah, one more show, just to prove to myself that I could. I picked the 2009 NPC Team Universe, since that had been the last show I did that I was successful at [ed. note: Rhoden finished second as a light-heavyweight in 2001], which was eight months away. It ended up being one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I started training every morning. When you walk away from lifting for so long, the body doesn’t react the same way. It’s not like riding a bicycle; I don’t care what anybody says. I remember doing squats with a 25 pounder on each side and was like, “Oh, my God, I can’t do this. This really hurts!”But I stuck with it. At times I felt like I was dying, like I was ready to quit, but people pushed me on. Then I saw that there was a local show in Delaware, and I decided the night before that I was going to enter. I had great help in my corner. IFBB pro Fred Smalls, one of my best friends since I was a teenager, pointed me in the right direction with my diet, and backstage. Being away for so many years, there was a lot of new stuff for me. But I went and won that show. Then I started thinking about the North American Championships, which was four weeks away.
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