As an experienced bodybuilder who’s previously trained his way to winning the Arnold Classic, Ryan Terry has a couple of tricks up his sleeve. But it’s taken years for him to build them up — and he’s learned from making plenty of mistakes.
Thankfully, Ryan isn’t one to gatekeep. In a recent video, he shared all the things he’d tell his younger self if he could turn back time. He covers it all, from nutrition and training to social media and the wider industry. Oh, and he also throws in a workout for good measure.
Ryan pumped himself up with a scoop of THE Pre-Workout before starting the workout. It included:
- Cable standing flyers
- Decline barbell press
- Incline dumbbell fly
- Dumbbell floor press
- Dumbbell hex press
- Pin-loaded press
And then for afters, a shake with two scoops of Mint Choc Chip Impact Whey Protein — Ryan’s favourite.
Ryan’s Top Bodybuilding Tips
Tip 1: No ego lifting
Ego lifting is when you lift a heavier weight than you should to seem impressive. Ryan’s views on it are quite simple: don’t do it.
After 20 years of weight training, Ryan is paying the price for ego lifting when he was younger. Every day he works around injuries he got from lifting weights that were too heavy for him to keep up with others around him.
Tip 2: Don’t let yourself be distracted in the gym
While this wasn’t so much of an issue 20 years ago, Ryan says don’t allow yourself to be distracted by your phone or social media while you work out. To get the most out of your training, you need to be 100% focused.
Tip 3: Focus on resistance training
Specifically for aspiring bodybuilders entering the gym — don’t overdo the cardio. Ryan used to be obsessed with being lean, which he achieved through excessive cardio. But this meant he was always in a calorie deficit and struggled to put on muscle mass.
He’s not saying there’s no place for cardio, because there is. But excessive cardio while trying to build mass is going to make your life a whole lot harder. Resistance training comes first — worry about cardio later.
Tip 4: Nutrition
There’s plenty of information online about nutrition and how to properly fuel your body, including our nutrition page.
Before hitting the gym intensely, it’s important to know how to feed your body to ensure recovery and muscle building.
Tip 5: Have a goal
The gym can be a daunting place, but it’s so much easier to step foot in a gym for the first time if you have a plan.
The first thing to ask yourself is “why” you want to go to the gym. If you want to go for enjoyment, then you need to include exercises you actually enjoy. And if you want to build a bodybuilding physique for competition, then you need to come up with a plan to achieve this.
Tip 6: Mind-muscle connection
One thing Ryan’s been paying particular attention to — and something he wishes he’d been doing for the past 20 years — is the mind-muscle connection. Focus on every rep, don’t rush the set, and don’t compromise on form.
Tip 7: Research
If bodybuilding is your aim, it’s vital to make sure that you’ve done your research before stepping on stage. Ryan’s advice: go to a show, focus on the class you want to compete in, and analyse the physique and stage presence of competitors. Work out how to get to that level. And then try it.
Tip 8: Be true to yourself
And finally, for people interested in building a social media following, do what you think you need to do for success and don’t follow the crowd.
The most important thing is being yourself. Ryan has always prioritised his fitness, nutrition, and physique. He also prefers to keep things positive — this is what his followers like and what works for him.
Take Home Message
Having been in the industry for so long, Ryan knows what he’s talking about. So if you want to build bodybuilding success, you should definitely consider taking on his advice.