Written by Steve Blechman
22 October 2021

 nov slider web 2021



Shawn Ray: a Timeless Champion


By Steve Blechman


With his aesthetically pleasing combination of muscle, shape, symmetry, and proportion, Shawn Ray was one of the best bodybuilders to never win the Mr. Olympia.


Shawn Ray is that rare bodybuilder who not only inspired an entire generation to take up the iron and build their bodies into the most perfect versions of their own physiques possible, but is also a bodybuilding legend who remains a vital part of the industry 20 years after he retired from competition. With his aesthetically pleasing combination of muscle, shape, symmetry and proportion, Shawn Ray was one of the best bodybuilders to never win the Mr. Olympia, with two runner-up finishes in 1994 and 1996 to Dorian Yates. Shawn Ray is still pushing the envelope and reaching new heights in the industry. He is one of the all-time icons of bodybuilding and we are honored to feature him on the cover of this month’s Muscular Development.


Shawn Ray remains active in bodybuilding media. Shawn worked for me at MD for 10 years and he was always the utmost professional and a pleasure to work with. Today Shawn is as a contest promoter, and was recently signed as the new Global Brand Ambassador of MUTANT Nutrition, a testament to his enduring influence and voice. MD’s Ron Harris interviewed Shawn to see what he has going on lately, as well as discuss the flak he gets at times for his brutally honest and sometimes controversial assessments of competitors in his contest coverage. Get the latest in “Shawn Ray: Hall of Fame Bodybuilder and Active Industry Icon.”


Would you like a bigger, wider back? Plenty of men have a decent chest, good shoulders and arms, but one area that is lacking in some competitors is back development. Not everyone can get a back like Ronnie Coleman, but every one of us can improve if we put our best effort into it. Anyone who needs more back width and thickness will find several things you will be able to change immediately to get your back growing today in “12 Reasons Your Back Isn’t Growing!”  


When Brett Wilkin made his Open debut at the Chicago Pro this past July, he displayed a devastating total package of mass, shape, and razor-sharp cuts. Wilkin’s muscles looked fresh and full and simply had more “pop” than anyone else’s on stage. Although Hunter Labrada edged out Wilkin, he became the talking point of the fans and media outlets by nabbing the runner-up spot. MD recognizes a true rising star and we tell his story in Brett “The Butcher” Wilkin -Rookie Sensation of the Year.”


It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone so young who was so good as Martin “The Martian” Fitzwater. The 23-year-old young gun hit the Texas Pro stage this past August at 242 pounds and managed to concede defeat only to winner Iain Valliere, runner-up Steve Kuclo, and Phil Clahar. Get caught up to speed on Martin, and find out how he got his nickname in “The Martian Chronicles -Meet Martin ‘The Martian’ Fitzwater, 24-Year-Old Rising Star.”


“It’s not too often you see a guy who carries that amount of size and thickness with wide shoulders and a narrow waist,” Gerard Dente,owner of MHP and former champion bodybuilder, said of Vlad Suhoruchko. “His legs and back are also mind-blowing. When I found out he was only 24 at the time, I couldn’t believe it.” MD is also impressed with this MHP athlete, and how he gained an incredible 30 pounds of muscle in 21 days while training at Oxygen Gym with the Camel Crew. Vlad was hoping to crack the top 10 at the 2021 Mr. Olympia. Vlad qualified for the 2021 Mr. Olympia, but because of covid travel restrictions, he could not enter the U.S. and compete. There is little doubt this giant of a young man will find his way to the Olympia in 2022. Read his story in “Vlad Suhoruchko – 25-year-old Ukrainian Beast!”


Curvaceous Francesca Stoico hails from Italy, but in only four years competing as an IFBB Bikini Pro she has made waves internationally with six Pro Bikini wins to her credit. Francesca’s recent wins include the 2021 IFBB Arizona Pro, the 2021 IFBB Puerto Vallarta Pro and the 2020 IFBB San Marino Pro; in 2021 she placed in the top five in the Texas Pro and the Tampa Pro. But mere words do not do this lady justice; ace physique photographer J.M. Manion showcases her beauty and curves in“Francesca Stoico - Physical Graffiti.”


Muscular Development is your number one source for building muscle, and for the latest research and best science to enable you to train smart and effectively. Our team of physicians, industry experts and research scientists has these reports on improving performance this month:


The Ab Diet: 12 Tips to Chisel Your Abs During the HolidaysFat Attack

“GH, Androgens, Creatine: Separating Fact From Fiction” Muscle Growth Update

“Some Steroid Gains Are Permanent: Are Steroids Just a Temporary Fix?” Testosterone “Myostatin and the Big T” Bodybuilding Science


The rest of the book is packed to the binder as usual – making MD your one-stop, most authoritative source for optimizing muscular development with the latest cutting-edge research on training, nutrition, fat loss, performance-enhancing drugs, muscle growth and bodybuilding science – and exclusive information from the industry experts, insiders and bodybuilding legends who make it all happen. See you next month!


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