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Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden may have won the 2018 Olympia and cemented his name in bodybuilding history, but his Mr. O title hasn’t stopped bodybuilding fans from criticizing his physique in the off-season. Plenty had choice words for Rhoden following his guest posing routine at the IFBB Pittsburgh Pro because, well, he’s not in Olympia shape.
Rhoden took to the stage as part of a guest posing lineup featuring Roelly Winklaar, William Bonac, Dexter Jackson, Brandon Curry, and Kamal Elgargni. None of the athletes looked Olympia-ready, but many fans took issue with Rhoden, criticizing his decision to guest pose despite his current physique.
On NPC News Online’s YouTube video of the posing, reactions were mixed. While most seemed to skew on the mean side, some comments defended Rhoden’s physique since it’s the off-season and he’s got plenty of time to get chiseled before the Olympia in September.
Flexatron, who’s been outspoken about his relaxed off-season physique—and even shared progress photos in the past—took to Instagram to address the criticism. First, he reposted a series of three videos from fellow IFBB Professional League Bodybuilder Guy Cisternino, who shared his own experience to shed light on the matter.
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Thanks brother I appreciate this, 1st let me apologize to Jim Manion and to all the fan that I might have offended. Through all my years as a pro my offseason have been SHAWN was fat at Pittsburgh. It’s just how my body works. I take time off to grow and be normal. But 18 percent of weeks it’s all out. Can you tell what @mrolympiallc have I ever shown up out of shape? I get FAT @guycisternino get FAT my good friend @theebostonmass get FAT. It’s just how our body works. So counting to point your fingers and judge me now I also hope come September all you guys who makes the remarks do the same when I defend my title. #thebestisyettocome #borninthegym @olimp_born_in_the_gym @olimp_sport_nutrition @therealtechnician #REPOST @guycisternino ・・・ For those that were commenting about the Pitt Pro show and how @flexatronrhoden looked on stage. I’m not here to justify, but I’m here to speak my mind and shed some light on what people don’t understand about us bodybuilders. We are ALL different and our bodies ALL react different to all variables. #Quadro #ifbbpro #212 #MrUnstoppable #SAW #Gasp #NoCompromises #Otomix #OutWorkTheCompetition #LetsGo #WeDontPunt #Unfuckwithable #GoHardOrGoHome #TrainHarderThanMe #OutWorkingEveryone #stfuat #FitFam #Bodybuilding #Mfit #TeamMfit #MfitSupps #Batman #Superman
While he admitted he wouldn’t guest pose in the shape Rhoden showed up in, Cisternino also defended Rhoden for deciding to pose at the Pittsburgh Pro.
“It’s Jim Manion’s show, and he wants the number one dog, Mr. Olympia, on that stage,” he said. “Shawn wasn’t going to say no to Jim.” Cisternino, a self-described “chubby f*ck” in the off-season, likened the Pittsburgh Pro situation to judging Tom Brady in the off-season—you just don’t.
In addition to sharing Cisternino’s reaction to the ordeal, Rhoden posted his own slideshow displaying some of his stage-ready and off-season physiques.
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Good morning, good afternoon and good evening now that I have your attention let’s get real for a min. My name is Shawn Rhoden most of you call me Flexatron and I am human just like you. Just like you i put my pants on one leg at a time. I’ve been skinny and yes I do get fat in the offseason. (See pictures above) I’ve never hide who I am, where I’m from and I what I do. So for you guys looking to get more like or views on your page here you go. Every year I try to add balance to my life after the Olympia and try to normal, give my body a break and live a little. But come September I always show up ready to compete with the best of the best in this sport and hold my own. So until you are able to walk a mile in my shoes and accomplish what I have done in the 10yrs I’ve been a IFBB PRO, continue to do what you do and sit behind your keyboard and write about me and or any other pro. We all can’t walk around with a 6 pack 24 /7 but come show time we show up. So to all my fellow pro out there continue to live a little and don’t be afraid to enjoy your offseason. And for YOU yes you continue to make your post if it make you feel better. See you in SEPTEMBER and judge me there also. #thebestisyettocome #shawnrhoden #flexatron #mrolympia #bodybuilding #smileandwave #human @mrolympiallc @ifbb_pro_league @olimp_born_in_the_gym @olimp_sport_nutrition @therealtechnician @stanimal9 @guycisternino
As anyone could see in the photos he shared, this is far from Rhoden’s first time prepping for a show. He knows how his body works, and he doesn’t shy away from admitting that he’s not in stage shape at this point in the season. He said that in the off-season, he adds balance to his routine to give his body a break.
“We all can’t walk around with a six pack 24/7 but come show time we show up,” he wrote. “So, to all my fellow pros out there, continue to live a little and don’t be afraid to enjoy your offseason.”
When it comes down to it, the reigning Mr. Olympia could have shown up in better shape to guest post over the weekend. That said, his timeline revolves around the Olympia, not any guest posing gigs.
In the end, we’ll just have to wait to judge his physique until he takes the stage at the 2019 Olympia.