RD: What has always mattered the most has been my mind-set. In 2008, when I really started to pick up in the sport, I started to work out with this guy. He was a little crazy and had done some time in prison. He had this “going to jail” mindset where you try to bench more than anyone so no one wants to fight you. I am a kid from the suburbs, so I wasn’t ready for that! This guy would come into the weight room and scream, “Ryan! I hope you’re ready to die today!” This dude was nuts! He didn’t rest much and he used crazy weights. He was insane but I loved lifting with him. What I learned from that was when you think limitlessly, when you have no bounds in your lifting, it frees your mind. I got a little crazy. I think everyone needs to get just a little crazy and go for it.
MC: What happened to that guy?
RD: He slipped a few discs, so we don’t train together anymore. But I learned from him and he learned a little bit from me. I am grateful for whatever he did to go to jail, because it helped me change my mind-set! (Laughs)
MC: What is something that you’ve tried in your training that didn’t produce results?
RD: One thing that has never worked for me is following a program that makes me feel like I am going through the motions, like I am reading off a piece of paper. I don’t like doing work that “has to be done” as opposed to work that “needs to be done. “ I don’t like doing a program that I don’t feel in my heart just because some “guru” said to do it.
MC: Have you ever considered competing in bodybuilding that is not drug-tested?
RD: I think everybody thinks about it. I’m a huge fan of the IFBB. I can recite all the past Olympia winners and how many points they scored, but that is where the buck stops. It’s not for me. One thing that turns me off is the possibility of going to jail. Getting caught with performance enhancing drugs is just as bad as getting caught with LSD. After I met that crazy guy I trained with, I never want to go to jail!
MC: What is the hardest part about being a pro bodybuilder?
RD: The hardest part is the contest prep. It takes so long. I just did 25 weeks of contest prep. It makes you miss out on some family experiences. I was at my niece’s birthday party and she came up and put some Doritos in my mouth! What could I do, yell at her? [Laughs]. I do miss going to a restaurant and ordering. I don’t miss the food so much; it is just the experience of eating out. It’s a big thing in our culture.
MC: What is the first physique you noticed as a kid?
RD: The Ultimate Warrior from the WWF. I loved wrestling. He had crazy arms with vasuclarity popping. When I saw that, I decided I wanted muscle. I hadn’t decided on bodybuilding, but I knew I wanted muscle.
MC: What is your favorite Scivation product?
RD: Chocolate Scivation Whey. It is perfect. You don’t see too many pure whey proteins on the market. You see a lot of fancy ones with fillers and maltodextrin. I don’t need protein that has creatine already in it. I can add the creatine myself. Just give me some whey protein that tastes good, that mixes easily and doesn’t hurt my stomach. Scivation Whey is low fat, low-carb and perfect for dieting. I love it.