A Retired & Popular IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, Successful Entrepreneur, Fitness Icon & Author

Born on September 9, 1965, in California, Shawn Ray, also called the Giant Killer, is a retired IFBB Pro bodybuilder who started his journey in 1988 with a debut at the IFBB Nights of Champions. He’s one of the greatest and rare bodybuilders in bodybuilding history who failed to enter the top 5 only once throughout his 30-year bodybuilding career. Nevertheless, he’s ranked in the IFBB community along with big bodybuilding icons like Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman, and Dorian Yates.

Besides his success in bodybuilding, Shawn has also been covered in several magazines, featured on many well-known documentaries & TV Shows, and published a book.

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Shawn Ray’s Early Life & Bodybuilding Competition

While growing up, Shawn didn’t have an interest in sports & fitness. But, once he got into college, his ambitions changed, and he started going to the gym. He quickly started getting results and noticing visible progress in his physique, which developed his passion for weightlifting.

He worked hard for many months and even started considering competing in a bodybuilding show. And he eventually competed for the first time in 1983 in the Orange Coast Championships, where he got placed 2nd.

And that motivated him to move further. Similarly, he competed again in the same year and won the California Gold Cup, which made him more determined and disciplined to compete further.

One year later, at the age of 19, he had already built a tough physique, quite similar to top competitors of his time. And he even managed to get the 1984 Mr. Teenage Los Angeles title in his category as well as overall. He continued competing, and finally, in the 1987 National Championships at the age of 22, he earned his IFBB Pro card.

Shawn Ray’s Workout Routine

He has years of training where he changed his routine according to his goal and focus. But, if you’ve questions about Shawn Ray’s workout routine, then here we have covered one of them that you may like to give a try:

Monday – Chest

Incline DB Bench Press512
Flat BB Bench Press510
Flat DB Flys512
Cable Flys – Standing 512

Tuesday – Back

Pull–Ups (Wide Grip)55
DB Rowing512
Cable Curls (Close Grip)58
BB Rowing515
Lat Pulldown (Wide Grip)515

Wednesday – Shoulders

BB Overhead Press (Standing)415
Side Lateral Raises – Cable415
Rear Deltoid DB Flys (Incline)415
Machine Shrugs415

Thursday – Legs

Leg Extensions415
Leg Press412
BB Stiff Leg Deadlift412
BB Walking Lunges415
Calf Raises (Standing)415
Calf Raises (Seated)415

Friday – Arms

1 – Arm Preacher Curls415
DB Triceps Extensions415
DB Curls (Alternate)415
Rope Pulldown W/ Rope415

Saturday & Sunday – Rest Day

Shawn Ray’s Diet Plan

  • Meal 1 
    • Chicken Breasts
    • Baked Potato
    • Broccoli
  • Meal 2
    • Tuna – 2 Cans
    • Spinach Salad W/ Tomatoes, Cucumber, & Shredded Carrots
    • Hardboiled Eggs
  • Meal 3
    • Steak – 2
    • Steamed Broccoli
  • Meal 4
    • Fish – Trout or Salmon
    • Baked Potato 
    • Green Vegetables
  • Meal 5
    • Fruit Medley W/ Pineapple, Watermelon, Honeydew Melon, Grapes & Cantaloupe
  • Meal 6:
    • Egg Whites – 12
    • Asparagus or Steamed Broccoli
    • Whole White Bread W/ Peanut Butter & Jelly – 2 Slices


Shawn Ray’s Training Philosophy

Shawn believes in changing workout routines from time to time. For instance, he believes in changing his training methods as it helps in growth. He’s popular for adapting Weider principles in his workout routine, which helps him in bulking phase and later in defining muscles for details to make it stage-ready.

Here below are some of the principles Shawn lived by throughout his career and they are:

  • It’s important to use different exercises in all your workouts to shock the muscle so that it can grow.
  • Change your exercise order regularly.
  • It’s better to refrain from training using the same number of reps or sets every time.
  • Some essential intensity techniques you should use are forced reps and drop sets, as it increases progression.
  • Switch your training split every 4 – 6 weeks to avoid a plateau.

Wrapping Up

One thing for sure we can learn from Shawn is nothing can beat your hard work and dedication. Whether or not you’ve got an incredible talent, looking forward to improving yourself is always necessary. Similarly, only your discipline and perseverance will give you the desired result, not your excuses. Nonetheless, if you were looking for Shawn Ray’s workout routine or diet plan, here we’ve covered one of them. We hope it is helpful.

Satinder Chowdhry Avatar

Satinder Chowdhry