Family Status: In a relationship
Hometown: Bridlington, United Kingdom
Pounds or Inches Gained: I’ve gained 46 pounds of muscle so far!
Starting Weight: 126 pounds
Current Weight: 172 pounds
Ryan’s Muscle Building Story!
When did you become unhappy with your physique?
I realized I was unhappy when my weight dropped and I was so thin due to drug and alcohol dependency. That led me to hating myself and my body so much that I would sink into more depression, drinking and self harm. It was really sad but mental health was also an issue for me.
What made you decide to transform your body?
I was extremely unhappy with myself, my body and my entire lifestyle. I was destroying myself and my relationships by being constantly drunk. I believe it was a breakup with my girlfriend and nearly losing my job that made me wake up.
What were the most important changes you made to build muscle?
I changed everything in my life. I knew that overcoming a drug addiction and giving up drinking and smoking was going to take more than just sheer will power but I overcame it after one hell of a mental battle and I finally realized that I really could change.
What was most challenging about building muscle?
I struggled most with nutrition due to an eating disorder and my body simply was not getting what it needed to grow. It was a battle to overcome but after 2-3 months I knew I was gaining some weight and I was ready to hit the weights.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It took a while to see any real size gains but I was getting stronger. At the time, I didn’t know a lot about workout routines or nutrition. I was “winging” it day-by-day but I wasn’t going to risk giving up so I just kept going.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took a while. I struggled to keep making it to the gym since I was working nights and a lack of funds to keep my gym membership going was tough. However, I did keep improving but it was slow. It took a few solid years to reach my current weight.
How has your life changed now that you’ve gained muscle mass?
It’s amazing that it was only 2 years ago! I honestly thought I was done with and that I would never amount to anything in life. I can’t even put into words how much my life has changed. It’s truly unbelievable, even to me!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your muscle building goals?
Since I just discovered ShapeFit.com, I am yet to use it to my advantage but my goal is to compete in a men’s physique contest. I believe ShapeFit could be my biggest asset for learning about nutrition and training. I have come along way from where I was but I think with the advice and information on this website, it could be what I need to take my physique transformation to the next level!
Ryan’s Muscle Building Tips!
Muscle Building Tip #1:
Never sacrifice form and technique when training with heavy weights.
Muscle Building Tip #2:
Try to really feel every contraction in the muscle being trained. Squeeze and flex your muscles between sets to keep the pump going throughout your workout.
Muscle Building Tip #3:
Lifting heavy isn’t always the best way to train. Change up your routine every few weeks and lift with higher reps and lower weight to feel the blood fill up the muscle.
Muscle Building Tip #4:
Deep breathing is key since your muscles run on oxygen, so breathe and feed them!
Muscle Building Tip #5:
Never miss important mass building compound exercises like bench press, squats and deadlifts. If you miss any of these key movements, you really should not be in the gym if your goal is to pack on muscle mass and get bigger!
Ryan’s Muscle Building Eating Plan!
It’s really anything I find to eat for breakfast. I have no set meal plan in the morning.
Chicken or fish with rice or pasta and some veggies (100-150 grams of carbs and 50-75 grams of protein).
Red meat with rice or a sweet potato (100-150 grams of carbs and 50-75 grams of protein).
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Protein bars, all natural peanut butter, fruit.
Ryan’s Muscle Building Supplements!
Protein powder, mass gainer powder, BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), creatine, various multivitamins, cod omega-3.
Ryan’s Muscle Building Workouts!
I always start my workout with a heavy compound exercise (bench, deadlift, squats) and aim to really hit the big muscles hard for 6-8 sets of about 6-10 repetitions. On the last 2 sets, I will do a drop set and a burnout set, then rest 2-3 minutes between sets. Strict control and contraction of the muscles are the important keys to my training.
Since I’m bulking, I only do about 5 minutes of cardio as a warm-up on leg day.