Shawn Ray, born September 9, 1965, in Placentia, California, U.S., is a former professional bodybuilder and author who boasts an illustrious career spanning over three decades. Despite a non-athletic childhood, Ray’s passion for fitness and strength training ignited in college, leading him to compete and earn his pro card at the 1987 National Championships. Inspired by bodybuilders Chris Dickerson and Bob Paris, Ray achieved remarkable success, rarely placing outside the top five in competitions. This is his complete profile, biography, training regimen, diet plan, and more.
About Shawn Ray
|Full Name: Shawn Ray (The Giant Killer)|
|Competition Weight||Off Season Weight||Height|
|205 lbs (93 kg)||230 lbs (104 kg)||5′ 5″ (165 cm)|
|Date of Birth||Age||Birthplace|
|September 9, 1965||58 years||Fullerton, California|
In over 30 major bodybuilding competitions, Ray only failed to place in the top five once. Signing his first professional bodybuilding sponsor contract in 1988, Ray has been featured in six video documentaries; Lifestyles of the Fit & Famous (Biopic), Final Countdown (Contest Prep for Olympia 1998), Inside & Out- Behind the Muscle, a look at his daily life on the Pro Circuit, To The Extreme (Training Video) Best of Shawn Ray (History of Shawn Ray). Fitness After 40 which is a biographical and documentary instyle, showcases Shawn’s life after the competitive stage being married with his first child while getting back on the Horse and getting in shape.
He is mentioned in The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Bill Dobbins and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ray also wrote a book about how to become a bodybuilder, named The Shawn Ray Way. Ray has appeared on more Flex Magazine covers than any bodybuilder in history and has also featured in many fitness and bodybuilding magazines worldwide. Shawn was a co-host on Flex Magazine Workout on ESPN for 5 years as well as hosting bodybuilding competitions for ESPN as a commentator for 8 years.
Shawn was the Co-Master of Ceremonies for the 2006 and 2007 Mr. Olympia Competitions held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shawn is the creator of the only charity fundraiser for professional bodybuilding, Vyo Tech Nutritionals presents: Shawn Ray’s CHOC Hospital Golf Invitational. Over the last two year’s with the help of other pro fitness, figure and bodybuilding champions, as well as supplement companies and magazines, Shawn has helped raise and donate over $55,000.00 to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County by hosting this event annually at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda, CA.
Shawn was the first professional bodybuilder to fail the drug testing at the Arnold Classic, which was when he first won the title in 1990. He went on to win the title again in 1991. Ray retired from competitive bodybuilding in 2001 and is now working with a shaker manufacturer company from Sweden called SmartShake. He placed in the top five at the Mr. Olympia competition for twelve consecutive years from 1990 to 2001, two of those being first runner-up finishes.
He promoted the Shawn Ray Colorado Pro/Am Classic Contest-Expo, held in Denver, Colorado in 2006 and 2007. Shawn is now a Feature Writer for Muscular Development Magazine and the Host of MD Radio and MDTV as an Interviewer. He is also making a video documentary called Evolution of Bodybuilding – The Movie.
Ray competed in three different decades before retiring at age 36 in 2001. Although one of the most frequent competitors in the Mr. Olympia show, the winner’s title eluded him for his entire career. Ray was a Top 5 Mr. Olympia Finalist for 12 Consecutive Years, a feat no other bodybuilder has duplicated.
In his entire career, Ray beat every competitor he met on stage at least once, with the exception of 8-Time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney and 6-Time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates. At 5’7″, 210 lbs, Ray was called a Giant Killer, having to give up at least 40 to 50 lbs and 4’5″ to three of the sport’s most prolific bodybuilders, including Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, and Ronnie Coleman
Ray married in 2003 and welcomed his first daughter, Asia Monet, into his family on August 10 of 2005. In 2008, Shawn and his wife Kristie welcomed their second daughter, Bella Blu, on April 30. In retirement, Ray has stayed involved with bodybuilding through “muscle camps,” seminars, grand openings, and as a master of ceremonies for contests. Ray has Promoted the New York Pro contest in New York City. His first daughter Asia was a contestant on Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition and made it to the finals, placing in 3rd.
Mr. & Masters Olympia Results
- 1988 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 13rd
- 1990 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 3rd
- 1991 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 5th
- 1992 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 4th
- 1993 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 3rd
- 1994 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 2nd
- 1995 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 4th
- 1996 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 2nd
- 1997 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 3rd
- 1998 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 5th
- 1999 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 5th
- 2000 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 4th
- 2001 – IFBB Mr. Olympia : 4th
- 1984 – AAU Teen Mr. Los Angeles
- 1985 – NPC Teen Nationals
- 1987 – NPC California Championships
- 1987 – NPC Nationals
- 1990 – IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational
- 1991 – IFBB Arnold Classic
Shawn Ray Workout
Shawn Ray boasted one of the most aesthetic and well proportioned physiques in the sport of bodybuilding. Needless to say, a cerebral approach to training is the foundation of his impressive physique. Even in retirement, Shawn Ray trains incredibly hard and spends hours in the gym every single day.
A typical training week in Shawn Ray’s routine looks like this:
Monday – Chest Workout
Shawn Ray’s training week starts with a hypertrophy inducing chest workout that comprises presses and flyes to improve the pushing strength as well as adduction strength of the upper body. It includes:
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 5 sets of 12 reps
- Flat Bench Press – 5 sets of 10 reps
- Flat Dumbbell Chest Flyes – 5 sets of 12 reps
- Cable Crossover – 5 sets of 12 reps
Tuesday – Back Workout
Shawn Ray possessed one of the most insane V-tapers in the history of bodybuilding. A well developed back culminating into a narrow waist is the most important factor in creating that V-taper. Shawn Ray trains his back with several vertical pulldowns and horizontal rowing movements that target different parts of the back for complete development. The back workout consists of following movements:
- Pull-Ups – 5 sets of 5 reps
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows – 5 sets of 12 reps
- Close Grip Cable Curls – 5 sets of 8 reps
- Barbell Rows – 5 sets of 15 reps
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns – 5 sets of 15 reps
Wednesday – Shoulder Workout
Wednesdays in the Giant Killer’s training routine are dedicated to shoulder training. He performs different compound and isolation movements to target the anterior, medial as well as posterior deltoid muscles. Shawn Ray’s preferred shoulder exercises for this training session are as mentioned below:
- Standing Barbell Overhead Press – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Cable Lateral Raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Machine Shrugs – 4 sets of 15 reps
Thursday – Leg Workout
Shawn Ray believes that ‘leg day separates the men from the boys’. He digs really deep when it comes to training the legs. He cuts no corners and takes leg training very seriously. The exercise sequence makes sure that all the major muscle groups in the lower body – quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves – get sufficient work to improve strength and muscle mass.
His leg training session includes:
- Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Press – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Barbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Seated Calf Raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
Friday – Arms Workout
The training week concludes with an arms workout. The short training session includes biceps and triceps exercises that work these muscles from different angles and positions
- Single Arm Preacher Curls – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extensions – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Alternating Dumbbell Curls – 4 sets of 15 reps
- Triceps Rope Pushdowns – 4 sets of 15 reps
Saturday and Sunday – Rest
Giving a hundred percent for five days in a row warrants some rest to allow the body to rest and recover. Shawn Ray recuperates over the weekend and takes complete rest so that he can tackle another week of rigorous training with renewed vigor.
Shawn Ray Diet
The Giant Killer’s physique is the outcome of not just training but a healthy, nutritious and wholesome diet. Although he retired from competitive bodybuilding many years ago, Ray has not abandoned the bodybuilding lifestyle and diet. He still follows a strict diet to maintain his muscular physique. HIs full day of eating includes six small meals that help him keep the energy levels and metabolism high.
At the peak of his bodybuilding career, Shawn ate nearly 2700 calories per day. He still eats more calories per day than an average person. However, there is a lot of emphasis on eating high-quality protein in the form of lean meats.
- Hibachi Chicken Breasts
- Baked Potato
- 2 Cans of Tuna
- Spinach Salad with Romaine, Cucumber, Tomatoes and Shredded Carrots
- Hard boiled Eggs
- 2 New York Steaks
- Steamed Broccoli
- Fish – Trout or Salmon
- Baked Potatoes
- Green Vegetables
- Fruit Medley including Pineapple, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honeydew Melon and Grapes
- 12 Egg Whites
- Steamed Broccoli or Asparagus
- 2 Slices of Whole Wheat Bread with Peanut Butter and Jelly
To supplement diet and meet the nutritional requirements, Shawn Ray consumes dietary supplements. This helps him improve the performance and recover faster to be able to train frequently. While there is no conclusive information available about his supplement stack. Here is the list of supplements that Shawn Ray could be using at present:
Shawn Ray’s journey exemplifies the power of hard work and dedication. Despite early challenges and a career-marking scandal in 1990, Shawn’s commitment to excellence propelled him to the top of the bodybuilding world. With a career spanning over thirty years, consistent top placements, and a legacy that inspires aspiring bodybuilders, Shawn’s influence is undeniable. He advises that talent alone is insufficient; it is the relentless pursuit of self-improvement, discipline, and perseverance that leads to success.
Now retired, Shawn continues to contribute to the fitness industry His story serves as a reminder that determination and hard work can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness, regardless of one’s starting point. Shawn Ray’s indelible mark on the world of bodybuilding will continue to inspire for generations to come.