Shayne Warnken is a natural.
In just his second time on a stage displaying his body to a field of judges, Warnken has become a national champion. He won the 2019 National Physique Committee (NPC) Teen National Championship in Pittsburgh on July 20.
A little more than 12 months ago, he was a student at Goddard High School.
“It was really emotional,” Warnken said. “I almost started crying when they called me on stage. A couple of months out, this is something I have been dreaming about.”
The NPC National Championships is the biggest amateur bodybuilding event in the country. Competitors have trained for years to win, but Warnken needed just one appearance.
Warnken was a state champion powerlifter at Goddard, but when he tore his pectoral muscle, his path took a turn, he said. He took up bodybuilding.
“I’ve always had people tell me I looked good, so that gave me the confidence to try it,” he said. “Most powerlifters look kind of fat or overweight, but I’ve always looked more athletic.”
Warnken signed up for a regional qualifier and when he got out there, he said he was nervous and a little uncomfortable; it was out of his element, he said. But he won the teen division and came runner-up in the men’s division to a man in his 30s who had been doing it for more than a decade.
He knew bodybuilding was for him. Then it came time to step on the national stage.
“I probably trained for a year and a half for that show,” he said. “And you’re only on stage for 5-10 minutes the whole day. You’re depleted from dieting, so it’s so much work for that short amount of time.”
Warnken said winning the teen national title is important to him because of some of the men who have won it in the past and gone on to achieve greatness in the professional ranks, including Branch Warren, Jay Cutler and Cody Montgomery.
Although Warnken is a national champion, he said he will likely set bodybuilding to the side for a couple of years to work on his body even more. Bodybuilders must earn the professional card before competing in professional shows. He said he isn’t there yet but hopes to be soon thanks in part to his supplement company, Supplement HQ in Goddard.
“I’ve always looked up to bodybuilders because they kind of look like superheroes to me,” Warnken said. “So this is a huge achievement for me.”