When IFBB Pro League athletes hit the stage, they’re at the end of their prep and in peak condition. People not familiar with the sport may think that’s what bodybuilders always look like—and social media may reinforce that idea—but any bodybuilding fan knows that’s far from the truth. Sculpting an unbelievably chiseled physique for a competition takes consistency, patience, and faith in the process, and 2018 Olympia champ Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden took to Instagram to prove just that.
Rhoden shared a series of photos documenting his 2018 “Road to the O,” and his post proves that even Olympia-level bodybuilders go through stages in their preparation when it’s tough to picture them at their stage-ready leanness.
Let’s talk about real life… and when I mean real life I mean not just on Instagram or what we each choose to show. Let’s be honest people don’t like showing there worst moments. And let’s be real body builders don’t love showing when they look “small” or when they look “fat” in their off season. But in realIty there is a process in every sport, job , goal , etc. . . . 💪🏾Above there are pictures during my “Road to the O” up until a couple days before the show. I know my body. I rested when I needed to, I ate the way I was supposed to and I worked hard along the way. I may have looked small , big and out of shape during my process, But when it was show day I was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be and won the title of the 2018 Mr. Olympia. . . . Don’t let ANYONE discourage you because of where you are in this moment. Say Focused on you and your goals. Know and trust your process. Work hard and stay in your own lane. You got this 💪🏾
The comments section is overwhelmingly positive, with many followers thanking Rhoden for sharing a side of his prep that bodybuilders don’t often display to the public. While real-life physique updates and comparisons like Rhoden’s are increasingly popular among female Instagrammers, it’s still pretty rare to see one of the guys showing off an off-season physique update. Rhoden hopes his will inspire his followers to chase their own goals and trust the process.
“Don’t let ANYONE discourage you because of where you are in this moment,” Rhoden wrote on the post. “Stay Focused on you and your goals. Know and trust your process. Work hard and stay in your own lane. You got this.”
Follow Rhoden on Instagram at @flexatronrhoden.