Shawn Ray

Shawn Ray (born September 9, 1965 in Placentia, California, U.S.) is a former professional bodybuilder and author.

Shawn L. Ray
Personal info
Born (1965-09-09) September 9, 1965 (age 56)
Fullerton, California, U.S.
Height5 ft 5.5 in (1.664 m)
Weight(In Season) 205–215 lb
(Off-Season) 225–240 lb
Professional career
  • IFBB Night of Champions
  • 1988
Best win
  • IFBB Arnold Classic
  • 1991
PredecessorMike Ashley
SuccessorVince Taylor
ActiveRetired 2001

Bodybuilding careerEdit

In a 2005 interview, Ray said, "the two influences that were the main reasons that I got into bodybuilding in the first place, was bodybuilders Chris Dickerson and Bob Paris."[1] In a 1990 documentary, Ray cited François Benfatto as a major inspiration, along with Paris.

In over 30 major bodybuilding competitions, Ray only failed once to place in the top five. 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 Ray'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 Flexible Magazine covers than any bodybuilder in history and has also featured in many fitness and bodybuilding magazines worldwide. Ray 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.[2]

Ray was the Co-Master of Ceremonies for the 2006 and 2007 Mr. Olympia Competitions held in Las Vegas, Nevada. He 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 ten years with the help of other pro fitness, figure and bodybuilding champions, as well as supplement companies and magazines, he 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.

Ray was the first professional bodybuilder to fail the drug testing at the Arnold Classic, which was when he first lost 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. [1] 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.[3] Ray also produced a DVD titled 'Fitness after 40' in which he tries to get back into shape. He 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" [2]

As of 2016, Ray is in charge of media coverage of The Arnold Classic Sports Festival on behalf of Muscular Development Magazine. In 2017 he announced his retirement from Muscular Development to join the Generation Iron network as a Senior Analyst and Producer. He has since left Generation Iron to pursue his own coverage of bodybuilding via Shawn Ray TV.[4]

Ray is a prominent spokesman, master of ceremonies and expert commentator for IFBB Pro League & NPC shows, most notably the Mr. Olympia. He is currently the Editor in Chief of, International Representative of top Fitness Equipment Company, Realleader USA and leading ambassador of S-Force Watches while he continues to promote Hawaii's largest contest, NPC Shawn Ray Hawaiian Classic in Honolulu! Ray received the Ben Weider "Lifetime Achievement Award" in the summer of 2020 for his contributions to the sport and as an athlete on behalf of the Ben Weider family, promoter, Tim Gardner, Dan Solomon and Ron Wilkins.

Ray has become well known for his outspoken nature, and is often criticised for only focusing on bodybuilding stars from the 1990s era, rather than learning more about newer competitors he is supposed to be commentating on. In late 2020 a petition began to circulate on and social media asking for Ray to be removed as a commentator at IFBB shows, and replaced by Canadian IFBB professional Fouad Abiad (although Abiad did not endorse this).

Personal lifeEdit

Ray married in 2003 and welcomed his first daughter, Asia Monet, into his family on August 10 of 2005. In 2008, Ray 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. He is a Christian.[5]

Mr. Olympia contest historyEdit

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. Nevertheless, Ray was a Top 5 Mr. Olympia Finalist for 12 Consecutive Years, a feat no other bodybuilder has duplicated.

In his whole 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 5'5", 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.

Titles and honorsEdit

  • 1983 California Gold Cup
  • 1984 Mr. Teenage Los Angeles (Short & Overall)
  • 1984 Teenage Mr. California
  • 1985 Teenage Mr. Orange County
  • 1985 Teenage National Championships
  • 1985 Jr. World Championships
  • 1986 Jr. National Championships 12thPlace Light heavy)
  • 1987 Mr. California (Lightheavy & Overall)
  • 1987 National Championships (Lightheavy & Overall)
  • 1990 Pro Ironman Champion
  • 1990 Arnold Classic Champion (lost title due to failing drug test)
  • 1991 Arnold Classic Champion
  • Inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame of professional bodybuilding in January 2007.
  • In October 2003, El Dorado High School in Placentia, Calif. inducted Ray into its "Football Hall of Fame" In 1983, He set the school's all-time rushing record and record for longest run from scrimmage (98 yards), both of which still stand.[citation needed]

His Football Jersey, and the NUMBER "1" have been retired and never worn again by an El Dorado Hawk to date.


  1. ^ "Shawn Ray - Interview Part 2". Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  2. ^ "Mitos do Bodybuilding: Shawn Ray". (in Portuguese). Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "". Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  4. ^ "ShawnRay TV - Bodybuilding, Fitness News, Interviews, Behind the Scenes, Unleashed". ShawnRay TV. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  5. ^ Shawn Ray. Archived November 8, 2013, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit