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The Drive for Perfection

How Shawn Rhoden maximizes size and aesthetics.

Photos by Charles Lowthian

SHAWN RHODEN IS ONE OF THE TOP THREATS TO PHIL HEATH, THANKS TO HIS NEARLY FLAWLESS AESTHETICS AND CONSTANT DRIVE FOR PERFECTION. HERE’S HOW THE MIGHTY JAMAICAN IMPORT MAXIMIZES HIS UPPER-BODY SIZE AND CUTS.

“When looking at the pictures from the past two Olympias, I felt as if Phil didn’t beat me,” Shawn Rhoden says. “I know he didn’t beat me last year. It doesn’t matter what the score sheets said.”

Ensconced at Gold’s Gym Venice, the 5'9 1/2", 230-pounder known as “Flexatron”—who notched his second consecutive third-place Olympia finish, this time behind 2008 winner Dexter Jackson and now five-time defending champion Phil Heath—is readying for his regular Tuesday afternoon delt workout, part of his six-days-per-week split that he attacks with the high energy and focus you’d expect from someone intent on owning a Sandow this September.

His assessment of last year’s result aside, Rhoden isn’t interested in looking back, only forward. After all, Heath represents just one of many competitors, all vying for the same grail. “At the end of the day, my focus can only be on me—on improving this year,” he says. “Because the guy who was in 11th place last year, he’s hungry. If I want to stay at the top of the game, I have to stay as hungry as that guy.” 

 

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