Ryan Birks drank before work, had a drug problem and was in a struggling relationship. But, he turned it all round with a new found love for bodybuilding.
After getting in touch, we wanted to hear his story in full and share it with the world.
So here is Ryan, a man who used to go to work under the influence, who now has a bodybuilding dream.
What is your fitness background?
I was never really into fitness of any kind up until five or six years ago. Even then I was only training with a few lads from work, and there was no training programme or any kind of consistency! I trained for two days and drank the other five. Pointless really.
Why did you decide to transform your body?
Two years ago I almost lost my partner of three years due to my drink and drug use.
Although I was working and had a gym membership, I spent my mornings drinking and my nights at work, most of the time under the influence. I’m not quite sure how I managed to keep my job.
I could see I was pushing her away and I was close to destroying myself. I needed to change my ways.
What was your training was like?
In the beginning I struggled, but after trying a few programmes and with help from friends, I’ve found a way that is working. I’m the gym six days a week:
Sat: Touch up on small bits forearms/calves
I don’t always stick to a strict routine but I always try to go six days a week.
What was your diet like?
I am a big fan of Kai Greene and my diet runs on his principle of. In the beginning don’t spend too much time counting calories or grams of protein, just eat. So my diet is simple, it’s five prepped meals of chicken or fish with rice and pasta. I buy own brand foods and can get a month’s worth for around £50 – £70. I try to eat every 2 or 3 hours or drink a protein shake if I don’t have time. Besides that I’m currently bulking, so I get to eat everything.
Everyone at Supplement Centre is always bulking.
What supplements did you use?
Due to funds or lack of, I was never able to afford supplements, but I’ve found if you get supplements that are nearly out of date or have damaged packaging, then they’re cheaper. I currently use a mass gainer protein shake, BCAAs and creatine monohydrate. I also use glutamine for recovery and in the morning and take cod liver oil, multivitamins and glucosamine sulphate tablets.
How has your lifestyle changed?
It’s changed completely. No more nights out (unless it’s a special occasion) or drinking on a morning. I have stopped smoking and I’m healthier mentally. Also my physical health has improved ten fold. My days are spent training and living a more fulfilling life my girlfriend.
How do you feel about your transformation?
I often look back at my photos and I wonder how I let myself get into such a mess. I like to think that I didn’t change my body, I changed my life and I got a body as a reward for doing so.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep going upwards.I’ve always said I’d be happy, if one day I had the body to be on the front of Men’s Health Magazine. I’ve managed to get this far on a very low budget and with minimum knowledge in 2 years. I often try to imagine where I will be in another 2 years with a better budget and more knowledge
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I’ve got to where I am with help from friends and girlfriend. I couldn’t have done it without them. I often tell people if I’ve changed my life around in two years, there is no reason why they can’t change too. Sacrifice, dedication and a goal that’s is all it takes.