Ryan has demonstrated that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything you work for. The photo above is a before and after shot of his transformation and it is truly impressive. Ryan has worked very hard to be where he is today and I am lucky enough to have interviewed him and find out his insights on how he did it.
Enjoy this inspiring interview!
1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you have accomplished.
My name is Ryan, I’m 20 years old, born and raised in Montreal and I’m currently studying business with hopes of getting an MBA. I was in the military for 4 years and about 6 months ago I decided to take weightlifting, which has always been a big part of me, to an athletically competitive level. Recently, I competed in my first competition where I placed in the top 5 among 212 light-heavyweight contestants.
2 – What inspired you to take on this incredibly difficult path?
No matter how enlightened we become, we still face the realities of life. Everything is difficult and everything is a struggle. In bodybuilding, you have your body, mind and spirit. People spend their entire lives trying to figure out who they want to be, not what, but who. My inspiration is simple: I love what I do and this is who I am.
3 – In terms of training, how often do you train per week and what are your routines like?
I train 4-6 times a week depending on the season with each session lasting anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the muscle groups being worked that day. My routines involve working 2 major muscle groups per day, with techniques involving super sets, drop sets, pyramids and German volume training.
4 – To get where you are today requires a very strict diet. What exactly do you eat on a regular basis?
My regular diet consist of 6 meals a day with an average of 4500 calories, 300g of protein, 400g of carbs and 125g of good fats as the daily nutrition count. These numbers change regularly depending on my personal goals (cutting, maintaining or bulking) and the time of year. My most common foods include Tilapia, salmon, lean turkey breast, lean chicken breast, egg whites, whey proteins, walnuts, almonds, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato, apples, bananas, berries and my personal favorite, oatmeal.
5 – What is your take on supplementation and do you find it necessary?
Is supplementation necessary? No. Is it recommended for people who are serious about achieving goals and maximizing results? Absolutely. While supplementation won’t be the very difference between make and break, it’s a serious part of bodybuilding if you’re looking to achieve results that people crave to have. Although im for supplementation, im against a lot of the products currently on the market. I believe things like pre workouts and test boosters are chemical garbage and it’s better to replace those products with items found at your local grocery store. Nutrition first, supplements second.
6 – How important is technique and form when it comes to lifts.
Technique and form is so vital when you’re in the gym that if you don’t have any, you shouldn’t be lifting to begin with. Proper form is something that will isolate muscle groups, prevent injuries and maximize muscle growth if done correctly. Technique and form is an absolute must along with stretching and lightweight warm ups when it comes to lifting.
7 – Obviously you are entering highly competitive industry, what keeps you motivated?
I know it’s a long shot, but every big named bodybuilder started at the bottom. With that said, I want to be the best, and ill do what I have to to get there.
8 – Does a training partner play a role in your motivation?
In my personal motivation, a training partner does not play a role; the quite opposite actually. When I hit the iron, I need to be in my world, in my box, by myself. I walk in the gym, I throw my straps on, I turn on my ipod and im good to go. My motivation is already there the second I walk through the doors.
9 – What are simple effective workouts for people who are trying to get started?
Everything would depend on your personal goals. There are a ton of beginner workouts you can find online that cater to your specific needs, wants, goals and values. A good website I work with is bodybuilding.com — From supplementation, to motivation; you’ll find it all.
10 – What are some of the public misconceptions of the sport of bodybuilding?
In my opinion, the three most popular misconceptions about bodybuilding are:
1. Lifting weights will get me big fast.
Wrong. Lifting weights alone won’t make your muscles big. Only the combination of 3 main factors will get your muscles to become big and hard. You’ll need to eat plenty of protein and complex carbohydrates as well as guarantee plenty of rest for your muscles to restore themselves and grow fully.
Great sources of protein are red meat, lean chicken breasts, tuna, and egg whites. You can also purchase protein supplements for quick in-between meal replacements and for after workout meals. Lifting weights without maintaining a proper diet is like driving a car without gas it won’t get you very far.
Sleep is also critical in building muscle mass. Try to sleep at least 8 hours a night and keep your bedtime regular throughout the week for better results.
So remember that proper nutrition and sufficient rest periods are extremely important factors in your training efforts. It’s all about discipline.
2. Your muscles will turn to fat when you stop training.
Wrong. Actually, if you stop training, your muscles will shrink and eventually soften up, but if you diminish your caloric intake and keep your diet lean, you probably won’t gain an additional pound of fat. Make sure to decrease your caloric intake and maintain a lean diet, especially if you’re not engaging in any physical activities.
All excess nutrients you consume are stored as fat and are very hard to lose. Just do the math: 5 grams of extra fat per day stored in your system over a 365-day span, will make for nice love handles at the end of the year. The ideal is obviously to engage in regular physical activity while maintaining a good diet.
3. Get big and cut all at once.
Wrong. Very few gifted guys with great genetics can get huge while remaining relatively cut. But for us regular people, we have to increase our muscle mass to its fullest potential and subsequently cut down our body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.
The secret when working out to build mass is to remain more or less 5 pounds overweight so that when it’s time to trim down, you’ll have an easier time doing so. Cutting up too early will cost you time and muscle mass, all the while causing frustration. So remember, take your time to build your muscles before you start trimming down because without muscle mass, you’ll end up trimming your bones.
11 – Sometimes People find it difficult to stick to a routine. What advice would you give them to keep at it?
A lot of people have asked me this question and the answer I usually conclude is between 1 of 2 things. First off, always remember that working out only carries a 15-25% impact on your physique. People have always said abs are made in the kitchen, but this goes for all muscle groups. Nutrition has the biggest impact on your body – Which goes for both eating well, and eating poorly. The second, which I believe is put into everyone’s head through these late night infomercials is that results don’t come in 10 minutes. I recommend giving a routine, both workout and nutrition, at least 14 days of proper following before deciding whether or not it’s the right routine for you.
Also, don’t pick a routine simply because some big name athlete or bodybuilder is doing it; That’s just a psychological thing. Do what fits YOU. Every body is different and what might work for the worlds strongest man, or the worlds most toned woman, might not work for you; Go at your own pace and tolerance. You will see results if you give yourself a chance.
12 – A main issue women have with weight training is the fear of getting to bulky. What reassuring advice can you give them?
Related to another big misconception, getting big depends on what you eat. You can spend HOURS in the gym every day and not gain the muscle you want. The gym is a machine, your muscles a product, but for the machine to form the product, you need to give it materials; those materials are your nutrition. Give it a lot to work with, a lot can be made.
If a woman works out 2-4 times per week and eat’s healthy but not in excess (Like a bodybuilder would), she can develop an immaculate body that is clean, toned, even and not “bulky” or “ripped” as many of them worry to become.
13 – Do you have any competitions coming up? If so what’s involved in preparation?
Although it’s far away, time is still of the essence. Right now, im preparing for the Canadian Bodybuilding Championships which will take place in Laval, September 2014. Planning to compete in the heavyweight class, I look to put on about 15lbs of lean body mass this winter and cut down to be about 215 this summer with a BF % under 10%.
My preparation includes everything I do on a regular basis, just with a bigger focus, a bigger mindset and a wall of discipline. Shakes, supplements, food, iron; and a whole lot of it.
14 – What helped you prepare for your first competition in terms of sponsors, supplements etc… that helped you get to where you are.
I signed up for the FCPAQ Weightlifting Nationals in May of this year. Almost immediately, my regime changed dramatically: Excess supplement intake, long hours in the gym, and more time spent in the kitchen then anywhere else throughout the day. Preparation was hard, but the dedication was worth it.
My first competition was held in Laval by the FCPAQ (Fédération de Culture Physique Amateure Québécoise) last Saturday where I placed 4th among 212 contestants in the light-heavy weight class. It was a weightlifting competition, but I plan to appear at the Canadian Bodybuilding Championships in September of 2014 which will be my first competition on stage.
Shortly after my competition, I got into contact with Popeye’s Supplements and received a partial sponsorship from them for supplementation support.
15 – Any last words you’d like to share?
Nothings impossible. If you can dream it, you can become it.
If you have an inspiring story and want it told please email me at [email protected] and let me know!