Out of Arnold Classic and Pro Card Revoked, Where Does Shawn Rhoden Go from Here?

The roller coaster ride of Shawn Rhoden keeps offering new surprises.

Back in 2018 Shawn Rhoden was living the high life. Winning the 2018 Olympia put him on a life changing trajectory. After years of battling for the top spot in the Men’s Open Weight division, Shawn Rhoden finally proved he was the best.

Then 2019 changed the bodybuilder’s life forever.

Accusations of sexual assault against the 2018 Olympia champion surfaced, effectively putting Shawn Rhoden on the shelf for the 2019 season. He was barred from competing at the 2019 Olympia, unable to defend the crown he’d won in 2018.

More recently, a post on the official Arnold Classic Instagram indicated that Shawn Rhoden would be making a return to action at the 2020 Arnold Sports Festival. Fans were excited to hear that the 2018 Mr. Olympia would be on stage once again.

But that notion has since been put to bed.

Shawn Rhoden has had his IFBB Pro card revoked. This means the former Olympia champion would be barred from competing until his pro status is reinstated. The reason behind the revocation? It appears that the IFBB want Shawn Rhoden to settle his legal issues before allowing him to compete at any show under the organization’s banner.

So where does Shawn Rhoden go from here?

The reality is that Shawn Rhoden’s window for competing at the top of his game is quickly closing. Unless your name is Dexter Jackson whose insane genetics have kept him in top form even at age 50, it’s a hard sell to believe that any bodybuilder can maintain an impressive physique as they exit their prime.

What Shawn Rhoden should focus on is fine tuning his physique in a slow and gradual manner. In this way he’ll be able to avoid injury and be stage ready when it comes to it. This also could mean that he may have to float between being competition ready as well as building and maintaining muscle. In a sense he should be looking to clean bulk so he can avoid putting on unnecessary fat in the interim.

With high level trainers in his corner who will monitor his exercise and diet regimen, Shawn Rhoden could maintain his amazing physique for years to come. But first thing’s first. He has to take care of his legal troubles and whether that means he’s guilty or innocent, there must be closure in order for everyone involved to move forward.

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Jacob Ladon is a staff writer and former amateur bodybuilder. He has been passionate about bodybuilding since he was 15 years old and discovered the joys of training in the gym. He reports and comments on all bodybuilding related matters.