Andrea Shaw Biography — Early Life, Career, Training, and More

In the mid to late 2010s, many bodybuilding insiders and experts considered women’s bodybuilding to be a distant memory. This was thanks to the demise of the Ms. Olympia contest in 2014 and little exposure for the shows that were taking place. Then in 2020, Wings of Strength promoter Jake Wood bought the Olympia Weekend and revitalized the Ms. Olympia title.

Out of that contest, a new star emerged and became the face of the division — Andrea Shaw. In the following years, Shaw has only tightened her grip on that torch and has kept it burning brightly. As of January 2024, she has secured three more Olympia titles and has her eyes set on making her own history while trying to help the division grow

[Read More: Lenda Murray Vs. Andrea Shaw: Comparing Two of the Greatest Women’s Bodybuilders of All Time]

Shaw’s journey to bodybuilding greatness has been one that serves as inspiration to young athletes just as former Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray served for her in her years of development in bodybuilding. Here’s a brief glimpse of Shaw’s road to bodybuilding superstardom.

Early Life

Shaw was born and raised in the Detroit, MI area, and she took part in both gymnastics and cheerleading as a kid. Her first encounter with bodybuilding came when her mother was training in the same gym as the legendary Lenda Murray. Even after their paths crossed, Shaw remained focused on academics during her high school years.

She recommitted to training at age 15 and was even offered guidance on how to compete, but Shaw’s original intent was to be a fashion model. After seeing a copy of Oxygen Magazine at her gym with a Figure competitor on the cover, Shaw opted to start competing in that division. 

Due to how her body responded to training, she would ultimately compete in a newer division called Women’s Physique, which represented a smaller and more streamlined shape than those of the bodybuilding division.

Career History

Shaw earned IFBB Pro League status at the 2018 NPC National Championships, where she placed second in the Women’s Physique Class C category. The top two finishers in each class earned their pro cards. She made her pro debut at the 2019 Toronto Pro Supershow, where she placed 11th in the Women’s Physique division. 

Shaw switched to Women’s Bodybuilding in her next show, the Chicago Pro, and finished second. She has remained in that division ever since, and her legacy only continued to grow in the following years. Shaw has competed in 12 pro shows across both divisions and won nine, including eight recognized world championships. Her entire pro contest history is below, courtesy of NPC News Online


Toronto Pro Supershow (Women’s Physique) —11th place

Chicago Pro — 2nd place

Rising Phoenix World Championship — 7th place


Omaha Pro — 1st place

Rising Phoenix World Championship — 1st place

Ms. Olympia — 1st place


Rising Phoenix World Championship — 1st place

Ms. Olympia — 1st place

[Read More: Andrea Shaw Goes Back-To-Back, Wins 2021 Ms. Olympia]


Rising Phoenix World Championship — 1st place

Ms. Olympia — 1st place

[Read More: Andrea Shaw Three-Peats, Wins 2022 Ms. Olympia]


Rising Phoenix World Championship — 1st place

Ms. Olympia — 1st place

[Read More: Andrea Shaw Wins 2023 Ms. Olympia, Scoring Fourth Consecutive Title]

Andrea Shaw’s Offseason Training

Shaw’s style of training could be seen as higher volume than most other bodybuilders. She is an advocate for using as many angles as possible while executing each rep with the best form possible. As is the case with many bodybuilders, her workouts vary based on her needs at the stage of the year she is in. 

In 2021, Shaw shared a week of offseason training notes with BarBend, including this back workout below. She and her training partner traded sets quickly and kept rest periods to a minimum, which kept the workout shorter and helped with endurance.

Rack Pull: 5 x 8-12

Pendlay Row: 4 x 8-10

Barbell Shrug: 4 x 8-12

Barbell Upright Row: 4 x 8-12

Bent-Over Barbell Shrug: 4 x 8-12

Wide-Grip Pull-Up: 2 x 6

Narrow-Grip Pull-Up: 2 x 6

Bent-Over Straight Arm Pulldown: 4 x 12

Wide-Grip Pulldown: 4 x 12*

Face Pull: 4 x 12**

* On an incline weight bench.

** Shaw uses the low pulley and performs the move on an incline bench.

She is also a big believer in doing cardio, and she has said in past interviews that she will even walk on a treadmill or ride an elliptical after winning contests so she stays in the shape she feels she needs to be. Even though she adds some weight to her physique in the offseason, she doesn’t allow herself to get too heavy so she can make the most of her time preparing for her next show.

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A post shared by Jeff Robinson (@stagetimephoto)

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Business Ventures and Social Media

Thanks to her success and efforts to grow her division, Shaw has been able to capitalize by working on the business side of the sport. She is sponsored by multiple companies, including Mutant Supplements, Pro Tan, and Grindstone Blends. She also makes guest posing and seminar appearances and sells her own merchandise and autographed photos on her website.

She is also active on social media. Her @mzprettymuscle Instagram page has over 129,000 followers as of January 2024, but the majority of her activity comes as contributions to her sponsors’ pages. She can be seen regularly on Mutant’s YouTube channel as well as on podcasts and interviews throughout the fitness space.


As of January 2024, Shaw is expected to defend the Ms. Olympia title at the 2024 Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, NV on the weekend of Oct. 10-13, 2024. If she wins her fifth title, she will join Iris Kyle, Lenda Murray, and Cory Everson as the only women to have won at least five titles.

At the time of this article’s publication, the Rising Phoenix event is not on the 2024 IFBB Pro League schedule. It’s unknown if Shaw would be committed to or interested in competing in any other shows outside of the Olympia going forward, but bodybuilding fans certainly hope she stays in the sport for a while longer — she has become one of the most popular champions in bodybuilding, and will likely hold that status for quite some time.

Featured Image: @mzprettymuscle on Instagram by Jeff Binns (@jeffbinns)

The post Andrea Shaw Biography — Early Life, Career, Training, and More appeared first on BarBend.


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