Jacked Up: Gaspari Athlete & Fitness Model Ryan Hughes Talks With Simplyshredded.com

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I always wanted to get bigger, being that I was one of the skinniest kids growing up. Initially I just worked out for the appearance benefits, but it began to get tougher and tougher to find motivation. I decided I needed a challenging, yet attainable goal.

This was when I chose to enter my first bodybuilding competition and from there I truly developed a passion for the sport and the lifestyle.

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation is derived from the disbelief of everyone around me growing up. Being that I was one of the skinniest kids in school, it seemed unrealistic to most people that I could attain what I was setting out to attain. This motivated me to push harder and prove to myself that I could in fact do it and succeed in it. Today, I continue to stay motivated with the constant need to improve and push past prior goals and plateaus.

Although others may now be believers, I am still not satisfied and want to see how far I can take this.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I have found my best results splitting up each body part and working them to full exhaustion, once per week. I have tried many splits and so far this has been the most effective for my body. However, everyone is different and I encourage each individual to try many routines and find what works best for them. Keep in mind, you need to devote at least 8-10 weeks to a program before deciding if it is effective or not. I see many guys changing their routines on a weekly or monthly basis. This is counterproductive as there is no real way to determine how your body will respond in such a short period of time.

Here is what my current split looks like:

  • Monday – Shoulders/Traps
  • Tuesday – Quads/Calves
  • Wednesday – Chest
  • Thursday – Back
  • Friday – Hams/Calves
  • Saturday – Arms
  • Sunday – Off from weights

In addition, I train abdominals every other day and do 20 minutes of cardio following every workout, with one extended session on Sundays.

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

The most effective exercises for me have always been the simple compound movements. People try and get too creative in the gym today and it is unnecessary. Throw in a few different movements and exercises but make sure to always include the basics because they WORK.

My favorite three movements would have to be Bench Press, Squats and Barbell Curls.

What is your diet like?

My diet is strict year round. I have learned a lot over the years in terms of dieting and how to make things as easy as possible. The first couple times I went through a strict diet or contest prep, I was miserable. Eventually I learned that to be successful you have to be strict and track your diet year round. Before I would diet, then when finished the show or event I would eat what I want because I felt I earned it. That is BS. I worked hard to achieve the condition I was in and as a prize I ate like crap? After looking back, I was using that as an excuse to cheat and eat what I want. This made things extremely hard when transitioning from bulk to cut. Now I eat the same foods year round and include cardio year round. This allows me to simply adjust my macronutrients when transitioning from building size to cutting down.

There is no shock to my routine or regimen and it makes things much easier mentally because I am already used to the foods and routine. I am simply adjusting the quantity at which I am eating them. This also allows me to maintain a lower bf% year round and be ready to shoot in less time.

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I do low-intensity cardio year round. The only change I make from building to cutting (I don’t like to refer to it as bulking, as I never truly bulk) is I add an additional session each morning.

However, the type of cardio never changes, low-intensity. I usually will use either the stairs or the treadmill for my cardio.

What is your supplementation like?

  • Protein: Gaspari Nutrition MyoFusion and IntraPro
  • Multi-Vitamin: Gaspari Nutrition Anavite
  • BCAA: Gaspari Nutrition BCAA 6000
  • Intra-Workout: Gaspari Nutrition Size-ON
  • Nitric Oxide: Gaspari Nutrition PlasmaJet
  • Pre-Workout: Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump MAX
  • Fish Oils: Controlled Labs Oxi-Mega Fish Oils
  • Post-Workout: Genr8 Vitargo
  • Fat Burner: Gaspari Nutrition Phenorex (during contest prep)

Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold’s physique is and always will be the best in terms of size, shape and proportions. He is the physique I always admired most growing up and still to this day proves best in my eyes. In terms of today’s bodybuilders, my favorites would be Phil Heath, Flex Lewis, and Evan Centopani.

Favorite Quote?

“Mind over matter, if you don’t mind then it doesn’t matter”

Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/dubcplaya069/