Oshanda Rhoden, the winner of three NPC Florida overall classic physique competitions, and an aspirant to earn his IFBB pro card, is a 22 year college student majoring in Exercise Science. A former soccer player and a native of Jamaica, he utilized weight lifting to build his upper body, and developed a passion for bodybuilding after seeing rapid muscular development from his training and changing his diet regimen. He pursued competitive bodybuilding after a casual encounter at a health club with an NPC Judge, and the encouragement to compete due to his genetic build.
His aspirations for a new athletic career came with several challenges. “I had to learn on my own about nutrition from magazine articles, find the financing to cover expenses from supplements, and budget my time for school commitments as well as training time.” But from the support of his family, as well as income from personal training, he achieved the goal of covering expenses. He also managed his time, going from school to training in the gym, in an effort to fulfill his goal of competitive bodybuilding.
In 2016, Oshanda began competing and used this platform to overcome another obstacle, stage fright. “My first show was the Florida Muscle Classic, and I was nervous and overwhelmed about being in front of hundreds of people on a stage to the point where my posing was distorted.” Despite learning to present his physique on stage without a posing coach, he captivated the judges enough to win the overall title in his category. Such an accomplishment created a feeling of belief in him of potential to succeed in the sport.
In his journey, however, there were more challenges to overcome. After a disappointing sixth place finish at the Southern States championships, he took a year off to further educate himself on precontest preparation and add size to his physique. In 2017, his precontest preparation for the Bill Wilmore Classic was accomplished while residing in his car for two months. “This was a hard time because I had to meal prep, and attend school under these circumstances.” Despite this adversity, he placed third and again took an extended break to pursue a career venture in construction to assist his mother. “This was a tumultuous time for me. I had to change my lifestyle and endure unprofessionalism while in construction work to raise funds to find a home for my mother.”
Oshanda persevered through this grueling time and returned to the stage with determination in 2018 to win two NPC overall titles, most recently, the Florida Grand Prix, his biggest achievement so far in the sport. An avid believer in a healthy lifestyle, he continues to excel academically, and is aspiring to become a Herbalist, with the goal of creating nutritional plans using herbs. This year, he intends to challenge himself in the gym, adding size, in the hopes of winning two more overall titles, and be closer to the IFBB pro card. Keep your eyes on for this future champion in the sport.
Written by Lee Salamanca