In this special article, Bodybuilding.com had the opportunity to attend one of Shawn Ray's seminars. Bodybuilding.com is proud to announce that they got permission from Shawn Ray to post the answers to the following questions, at Shawn Ray's Seminar.
Shawn Ray appeared on the bodybuilding scene in 1983 when he competed in the AAU Teenage Mr. Los Angeles and of course, he won it easily. From that time till now he has won innumerable bodybuilding contests, including the Arnold Classic, and the Pro Ironman.
He is the only bodybuilder in history that has competed in 12 Mr. Olympias and also is the only one along with Lee Labrada, that have never placed lower than 5th place in the best bodybuilding contests. Shawn Ray is one of the best competitive bodybuilders on earth. In a recent survey of the Top Bodybuilders of the Twentieth Century he finished in the top 3!
Monica Brant, Shawn Ray, Ronnie Coleman and Skip LaCour
at the Shawn Ray seminar.
Let's read the best 5 questions and answers that Shawn Ray gave during this seminar.
1. Q. I read your future plans on your web site. You said that you desire a normal life with someone that cares about you, with children involved. Definitely you are not the first world class bodybuilder that has these plans for the future. Why is it so difficult for a bodybuilder to have a normal life while he competes?
Shawn Ray: As a professional bodybuilder, I look forward to one day having a family and a wife I can share my accomplishments with. The reason I choose to delay marriage until I feel I have fulfilled my goals and dreams as a professional is simple; bodybuilding is selfish and time consuming! Sure there are a few athletes that can juggle the two, but I feel deeply that my marriage and family should not play second fiddle to my career! I called off an engagement to a girl after a 3 year courtship due to the fact that I did not want to choose and because she was not on stable ground, which made workouts difficult at times.
That being said, focusing on training, traveling, and eating were even harder for me because I had to deal with her feelings that I wasn't prepared to deal with. I don't mind going through my career single, being single does not mean I am alone nor am I lonely. It has given me the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of my labor, to explore different relationships with women of the world and bear witness to the temptations some of our sport's leading men deal with when they are away from their significant other. I am a lover of all women, all shapes, sizes and colors. I am not ashamed to say I didn't want to have to settle down simply because I could or should. I like the fact that I come and go as I please, and answer only to Shawn Ray and the Man upstairs. When I said bodybuilding is selfish, all you have to do is ask the wife of a professional bodybuilder how much quality time he spends with her and the kids, what the main topic of discussions are in their house, and you'll find the answer to why I have chosen to wait until "I choose" to settle down.
2. Q. You have won many major bodybuilding titles, and you are the only bodybuilder in history that competed in 12 Mr. Olympias. Would you exchange ALL these titles and ALL these great achievements that you have from 1983, when you first appeared on the bodybuilding scene, until now, with just one Mr. Olympia title? Why or why not?
S.R. I wouldn't exchange the experiences I have had over the last 12 Mr. Olympias for just one Mr. Olympia Title because as it stands I should have a couple or possibly a few! As a mature 35 year-old professional, I realize now that I don't need the judges to justify what I have accomplished on that stage. The fans have spoken for me when they took a survey of the Top Bodybuilders of the Twentieth Century and I finished in 3rd behind Arnold and Yates! I have the support of the fans and the respect of my peers, writers and photographers!
The judges opinions when I started meant a lot to me, but now I could care less what they think of me as a person. I know one thing, their views of what a complete physique are at best, biased, suspect, and political, simply based on not having a consistent rotation of new judges and non-consecutive judges on the panel. In this system, I have still flourished and rose to the occasion in the face of GH, SYNTHOL, POLITICS,DIURETICS,GURU'S and SUSPECT JUDGES! I would not trade a thing!
3. I still remember an interview that you gave after your third place in the 1997 Mr.Olympia where you said, "My worst predictions came true! I'm not convinced we have a group of judges who are ready for a changing of the guard. The reality is, they are looking for more of the same in the form of mass monsters." My question to you is why you think the "mass monsters" are doing more harm to the sport than good?
S.R. The Mass Monsters of our sport getting rewarded simply because they are big, ruins our sports future chances of recruiting new blood, down the road! Most people that train are not 5'11, 300 lbs, but if that is what is being rewarded, then most will limit themselves for fear of what chemicals they will have to take to keep up with the Jones's! Size is important but not at the EXCLUSION of shape, detail, symmetry, and completeness! You throw these big guy's out there to the public and look at your 15 year- old son, then you pray he is not interested in that look so you don't have to wonder if he'll still be here when he's 40!
4. Q. A bodybuilder at your level should give his best when he trains, and he needs plenty of nutrition, recuperation and supplementation. What supplements do you currently trust and use?
S.R. I am a strong believer in multivitamins, multiminerals, vitamin C, B- Complex, B-6, B-12, Lecithin, Calcium/Magnesium, E and Zinc! I use these supplements especially when in contest preparation as a preventative measure to ensure that I am receiving all the nutrients I may excrete or be deficient of.
5. Q. What would you suggest to a 16-17 year old teenager that tells you that he wants to start bodybuilding and be a world class bodybuilder like you? Would you urge him to get involved in the sport, and if yes what advice would you give him?
S.R. I would tell a 16 - 17 year old that is interested in following a bodybuilding career, to train hard and don't think about a career in it. I know I certainly wasn't thinking of a career when I started training, I just wanted to get big and strong! I read everything I could that would help facilitate that goal and I became a student of the Iron Game! Set small, attainable goals and through time, if you are getting the results you want and you are being rewarded for you efforts, train harder and see where the road leads you!
I would encourage them not to isolate themselves in this industry. Exposure to a little of everything helps you when you focus on one thing at the right time! One show at a time and don't follow the old measuring tape, scale or compliments to gauge your progress. Use the mirror as your guide and win, lose or draw on stage, you can get from point A to B if you discipline in your eating routine, and attack your training routines!
Ronnie Coleman, Shawn Ray, Kevin Levrone
Check out his amazing web page right now at: www.shawnray.net
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The Bodybuilding.com site would like to thank once more Mr.Shawn Ray for his permission to post these questions and answers on this site. Bodybuilding.com hopes that some day in the near future we will have another opportunity to attend more seminars of his and to post more questions and answers from this great bodybuilder.
Learn more about Shawn Ray by clicking here.
Including Dave Draper!