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Classic Shawn

10 Questions With Shawn Ray

1. How long did it take you to become a professional and how long were you one?

I began working out in 1983 and competed the same year at 17 years old as a junior in high school. I competed six months after starting to lift weights, placing second and Best Poser at the Golden West Classic in Newport Beach at 5-foot-7 161 pounds.I continued competing until retiring in 2001 at 35 years old, placing fourth in the Mr. Olympia.

2. How soon should a bodybuilder begin taking supplements when training?

The definition of supplements means to support. Supplements aid and assist in providing nutrients and vitamins you may not be consuming or your body may be excreting during training. Some are designed to repair muscle breakdown, while others are for energy and strength. I donít think itís ever too soon to add supplements if youíre training hard enough. They are not designed to replace the benefits of good, solid food but rather to enhance and support the rebuilding and repair process that takes place after tearing the muscles down during exercise. Iíd start coupling a good supplement program as soon as you get serious about beating the crap out of your body in the regular. Naturally I recommend MUTANT but thatís because Iíve tried everything else and conclude that this brand is the best and has products that cater to all aspects of prep and recovery.

3. Should I compete more than three times a year to get noticed by the judges, which might increase my chances for victory?

Itís a personal choice as to how often or how many shows you want to compete in. Factors such as job, school, family, finances and goals will dictate to you what you can and canít do when it comes to competing frequently or not. I competed basically once a year, which allowed my body to rest and grow between shows, and progress was made in various ways because I was patient and an artist. Itís not how often you compete that will get you noticed but rather how good you look when you compete that does the trick without abusing your body.

4. When is the best time to train?

Again, this is personal to the individual based on many factors; job, family, school, etc. I personally prefer early morning as soon as I wake. In this scenario I donít have time for the dayís issues to get in my head before my workout priorities. I visualize what I need to do before the phone rings, before the emails get opened and while most others are sleeping! I pride myself on the discipline it takes to rise early in the dark and challenge my body to do things others could only dream about and be finished before the rest of my universe is awake! My testosterone is at its peak in the early morning hours and I never took a phone, camera or headphones into the gym. My focus was on counting reps and moving weight!

5. Who was or is your ideal bodybuilder and why?

I started in 1983 and the biggest influences I had to admire were both kings of the bodybuilding world, Mr. Olympia Samir Bannout and reigning National champion and Mr. Universe, Bob Paris. These two were the Greek gods I wanted to combine into one and make Shawn Ray. I studied all aspects of their presentation and bodies and then tried to construct them in the gym with the final result being me as their combined look!

6. Who would you like to train with if you had the chance but never did?

I would have loved to drag Dorian in the gym and train a week with him. I think thereís a lot weíd both learn but the one thing Iíd be trying to do with him is show him the finesse side of bodybuilding, which is doubtful heíd actually survive training with me.

7. Do you think Andrea Shaw will win three Ms. Olympia Titles in a row?

Yes.There is no one competing today in womenís bodybuilding with the winning combination she has. We are proud to have her signed with MUTANT, which is an added bonus and should benefit her progress in the long run as it relates to her physique improvements.

8. Should I drink my protein drink before or after I work out?

Everyone is different but personally, I like to drink my shakes in between my meals not before I train. Either way, as long as you get them in, your body should thank you!

9. Will Brandon Curry ever win the Olympia title again?

Iíll just say this, if he wants to, yes! We witnessed Jay Cutler lose the title and come back to win it. Arnold took five years off and came back to win it. Brandon is very much in the conversation to reclaim his title regardless of whether Big Ramy is there.

10. I see the Peanut Gallery tried to cancel you last year like they tried with Arnold. Does any of that affect your passion for promoting the sport?

No. None of it affects me, which drives them even more insane. Cancel culture is real but only from the point of view of bullies like to bully! They try to rally others who are less interested to join them in their hate campaigns. Itís beneath me and doesnít warrant my attention so like Arnold, I just keep it moving by creating, promoting and building the sport! Nothing feels better than watching a hater watch me winning!

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