Ask anybody even remotely interested in fitness or has poked their head inside a fitness magazine, and they’re sure to know the name Ryan Terry. Representing the UK as an IFBB Pro Physique model, TRAIN Magazine sat down with the man himself to find out for our readers; what is the Ryan Terry workout, diet and how did his meteoric rise happen?
How did you get into fitness/bodybuilding? What was the driver and when did you decide to go on this journey?
I was a fully qualified plumber and I stopped in 2010. My passion was always fitness and I had been training about seven years at that point. When the opportunity came to do this full time, I jumped at the chance because at that time I was trying to do fitness on the side.
I was working 12-hour days and training at night and then at weekends. I was trying to do photoshoots and when I had enough work through the fitness and photoshoot side of things, I decided to do that instead.
Bodybuilding was my passion, whilst plumbing was my job. When I won my first show, it opened doors for me and I was lucky enough for bodybuilding to become my career.
At this point, you’re probably the best known physique athlete in the UK. When did you realise that you had potential to be a champion?
I started training with bodybuilders when I was about 14 or 15 years old. So I started going to the gym when I was 14.
I started competing in Men’s Physique in 2013. The first competition that I competed in was the “UK Nationals”- which is affiliated to the UKBFF. It was a qualifier for my first ever big show. The show qualified you for the Arnold Classic which was an international show.
So within two shows I was on the international stage, which was quite scary, but that’s what made the transition so quick from plumber to fitness model because when I won the international show, I got my pro card and I turned full time.
Social media plays a massive part in fitness today. Have you consciously marketed yourself through social media or has it been people organically discovering you and enjoying your physique/what you do?
For me, I’ve been very lucky that my social media has grown organically. It’s not my forte. I like to concentrate on stepping on stage but because I started winning competitions and doing more in the health and fitness industry, my social media started to grow quite rapidly.
I do think it’s very important nowadays to have a good social media following though and I have always prided myself on keeping my image as clean but as personable as I can. I never air my dirty laundry on social media but at the same time I will be quite real and I will post things about my day to day routine.
I just try to keep it as interactive as I can. I have a lot of people doing analytics on my social channels behind the scenes and its proven that the more personable you are, the better interaction you get with your audience and it’s almost double when you’re holding the camera doing personal things rather than edited shots.
People can relate to it and people want to see that more and they want to see the footage of you and a camera. At the start of my journey I wanted to make sure everything looked professional but now I realise that its more about being personable.
When I first started my fitness journey social media wasn’t a big thing, it wasn’t the main factor. It was about the competitions you were competing in and you built a reputation that way. Now it’s about your social following and that helps to attract sponsors and that transition is noticeable over the last few years.
I have to keep with the times so I’m trying to focus more and more on social media across all my channels.
You placed 4th, 2nd and most recently, 6th in the Mr Olympia Mens Physique. Is winning the Mr Olympia still a goal of yours and how do you assess your recent placing?
For me, the most recent Mr Olympia was quite a setback but I have to use it as fuel for next year and hopefully I can win it. It’s being hungry enough to push yourself to the limit and refraining yourself from those extra calories. You have to put more effort in the gym when you’re lacking in energy.
Motivation and willpower can only take you so far but genetics is also a factor and plays a big part.
What would you say is your biggest achievement or what you’re most proud of in fitness thus far?
As an amateur it was to be the first ever pro from the UK to win the British and Arnold classics in the same year which I achieved.
When I turned pro it was to win the Arnold Classic and meet Arnold Schwarzenegger and I achieved both. If I had to choose one though, it would be winning the Arnold Classic but coming second in the world last year was also a massive achievement for me.
What is the typical Ryan Terry diet in the off-season? What principles do you follow? Does this differ greatly from when you’re preparing for a competition?
As long as I’m above my maintenance levels, so in a surplus of calories, I’m happy.
I don’t count calories too methodically because it becomes too much of a chore and if you’re counting calories 365 days a year, you will burn out.
I like to try and switch off and spend time with my family out of competition and it’s nice not to have to think about what my next meal is. That being said, I will still always follow my staple diet.
So, making sure I have five clean meals a day and then I will just eat whatever, making sure I keep my carbs and fats in those meals.
My protein will stay the same all year round and so there’s no need to increase that but I’m just more flexible on the carbs and fat. I do less cardio in the off season.
My cheat meal after every competition win or lose is to head to cheesecake factory.
I have a smokehouse burger which is a big burger, bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce, onion rings and sweet potato fries and then an Oreo Milkshake or an Oreo Cheesecake.
The Ryan Terry Workout
So I do faster cardio every morning before breakfast which is for seven days a week for one hour. Then I would do weight training six days a week working on single muscle parts. I also do a five-day bodybuilding split and then I would add a sixth day where I would work on one of my weaker muscle groups.
Wide-Grip Pull-Ups 4×12-15
Wide-Grip Machine Pulldowns 4×12-15
Close-Grip Pulldowns 3×12-15
Close-Grip Seated Rows 3×12-15
Barbell Bent Over Rows 4×12-15
Tricep Dips 4×8
Single-Arm Tricep Cable Pushdown 3×10-12
Skull Crusher 3×10-12
EZ Barbell Curls 3×8-10
Single-Arm Dumbbell Curl4x8-10
Hammer Curls 3×8-10
Side Oblique Twists 3×20
Weighted Crunches 3×12-15
Hack Squats 3×8-10
Leg Press 3×12
Leg Extensions 3×12-15
Side Lateral Raises 4×10-12
Shoulder Press 3×8-10
Straight Arm Front Raise 3×15
Rear Delts with Cable Machine 3×15
Front Shrugs with Olympic Bar 3×15
Rear Shrugs with Olympic Bar 3×15
Incline Press with Olympic Bar 4×10-12
Flat Dumbbell Press 4×10-12
Cable Flyes 4×10-12
Incline Dumbbell Flyes 3×12-15
Straight-Leg Hanging Leg Raises 3xFailure
Abdominal Crunches on Machine or Cables 3×12-15
Cable Woodchop 3×15-20
Single-Leg Seated Hamstring Curl 4×10-12
Stiff-Leg Lying Leg Curl 4×10-12
Weighted Walking Lunges 3×10
Seated Calf Raises 3×10
Smith Machine Calf Raise 3×30
Sunday: Rest day
I would also then increase that to two sessions a week and I would do that for the full 12 weeks. On my rest day I like to call it an active rest day though so it’s not completely doing nothing, it’s something you enjoy doing out of the gym.
So for example it might be playing football with my mates or going for walks with my girlfriend and the dogs or going swimming.
It’s about doing something active not because you have to, but because you want to.
That’s what I tend to do on my rest day. Above all just chill. Even on my rest day I will still be very strict on my diet and be regimented on my nutrition but the training side I like to give my body a rest.
What are your principles when training? What’s worked for you over the years?
My training is very varied, so I wouldn’t say it’s high volume, low volume or one or the other. It’s about being consistent and going in week in week out trying to change every time.
The most important thing is to listen to your body because that’s something I didn’t do at the start and that is what I try and do now.
So, I will plan out my sessions according to the way I’m feeling on that particular day. It just means that I mix up what I’m going to do if I feel tired I don’t do as much, and I just tailor my training sessions to suit how I’m feeling.
I just try and listen to my body as much as I can and follow a session based on that.
What supplements do you use and why?
When I’m dieting and I’m preparing for a competition, I use USN BCAA Power Punch Tangerine flavour and have 10g of that pre workout and 10g during my workout.
Post workout I will have a serving of the USN 100% Whey Protein (Banana flavour).
During the off season, I will do the same with the USN BCAA Power Punch but I will introduce USN Muscle Fuel Anabolic – Chocolate flavour which is an all in one lean gainer post workout.
Ryan Terry is an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand USN. USN have launched a nationwide search to find the next male and female “Face of USN”. For further details about the campaign or to enter visit faceof.usn.co.uk
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