Words: Chris Jones
He has over one million Instagram followers, he’s an ambassador for leading sports nutrition brand USN, he finished in the top three at the 2018 Mr Olympia contest and puts in frequent appearances in all the biggest men’s health and fitness magazines.
But don’t let his soothing Nottinghamshire accent or handsome AF face fool you: Ryan Terry is a menace.
My body is still holding him accountable for the pain he put me through. I’m of course talking about how I felt after my upper body was blasted when I trained with the UK’s very own Mr Muscle last week.
Ryan’s positivity and passion for fitness was obvious from the moment we started chatting and his attitude was infectious. I even started to think that one day, perhaps I could compete in a bodybuilding contest.
I picked Ryan’s brain during our workout for some 'Gym Do’s' to perhaps make this 20-second dream of mine come true. I call them, Terry Tips.
Terry Tip Number 1 - STRETCH
I was surprised to hear that Ryan suffers from tight hamstrings like myself. It’s probably because we have similar physiques. So stretch out those hammies! He says “if you stretch out your hamstrings, you’ll open up the mobility in your lower back.”
Terry Tip Number 2 - DRIVE
“When deadlifting, focus on driving through your heels and not the front part of your foot,” Ryan told me. “Keep your back straight and try to not round your shoulders!”
Terry Tip Number 3 - TUT
Meaning “Time Under Tension”, we applied this when doing an incline chest press. Start with the weight above you, and count down slowly to four.
When your elbows are at a right angle, drive the weight back up, but to a count of two. This controlled tension makes the muscle contract more, and gets your chest pumped.
“Don’t ‘bounce’ when the weight comes down,” advises Ryan. “It’s wasted energy, and you’ll get a bigger pump if you slowly control the motion.
Lessen the weight if need be as you don’t need to lift too heavy to get the most from the exercise.”
Terry Tip Number 4 - THIRST
“Even though you may not feel thirsty, take a sip. It will make what you’re doing about 30% easier!” Ryan tells me. I guzzle down the water. I feel like 30% wasn’t enough!
Terry Tip Number 5 – CIRCUIT
When Ryan is training for a show, he needs his body to be ripped and pumped. He uses circuits to train, and will often do three exercises one after the other with no rest.
I wonder if he has an issue with people using the equipment while he’s mid circuit. “It happens all the time! I often try and find another exercise, or I just wait!”
Ryan is a sponsored athlete and eats seven times a day to keep his size and muscles assimilating calories. His phone was repeatedly buzzing in his pocket with reminders and his rucksack was full of supplements and meals.
His seemingly simple bodybuilding tips gave me a huge burst of energy and I came away feeling stronger and noticeably pumped.
It’s made me think about my movements when I’m next in the gym, and who knows, maybe I’ll be seeing Ryan in the finals of the next Mr Olympia as a fellow contestant...
Our upper-body blast workout consisted of the following exercises:
- Incline dumbbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Incline Dumbbell Fly
- Back Row
- Cable rear felt
- Cable Row
- Decline Chest Press