By Mark McConville
MEET the seventeen-year-old bodybuilder who has been sculpting his muscles at the gym for more than four years despite his young age.
Incredible images show 5ft 8, 11st 6lbs Ryan Sharp, from Dallas, Texas, USA, displaying his huge biceps, posing with his top off and pushing an enormous tyre while other pictures show Ryan at aged 12 before he hit the weights.
Video footage shows the intensity of Ryan’s workouts in the gym which goes some way to explaining how he has achieved such a muscular body at a young age while other parts of the clip show Ryan posing on stage at a bodybuilding contest where he finished in first place.
Ryan, who has 35k Instagram followers and more than 50k YouTube subscribers, started doing bodybuilding-style workouts from age 12 after noticing the lean muscle he was building while doing gymnastics.
“I started bodybuilding for quite a few reasons: I’ve been really health-conscious since I was like 10 years old, always looking for healthy things to eat and fun sports to keep me fit,” he said.
“I’ve also been conscious about my appearance, wishing I looked stronger, more ripped like Dwayne Johnson. That mindset of needing to be healthy and look like a big, strong man just came naturally to me.
“I immediately fell in love with the art of building muscle when I began seeing results from my workouts. I was doing gymnastics and working out with my dad back when I was 11 or 12, and I started to notice all the lean muscle I was building.
“I realised I have great genetics, thanks to my grandpa who is very lean and muscular. As soon as I saw those muscles start to grow, I got hooked.”
Ryan can squat a maximum weight of 165kg, bench press 106kg and dead lift 175kg. He competed in the 2017 Phil Heath Classic where he finished in first place in the Teen Classic Physique category before also besting some men by placing second in Men’s Novice Classic Physique.
“In these pictures, my physique represents way more than just what you can accomplish by working out and eating right,” Ryan explained.
“It represents the insane obsession, determination and motivation I have for making my dreams a reality. What I’ve learned from bodybuilding, and what I hope people learn by seeing my physique, is that anyone can accomplish incredible things over time if they have the right mindset. This goes way beyond bodybuilding and fitness.”
Although Ryan has been working out since he was 12 he has only followed a meal plan since he was 15.
He works out four or five times a week for around 60 to 90 minutes and explained his gym routine.
“I start the workout off by doing a compound exercise for a couple heavy sets, and then I do a variety of other exercises with lighter weight and higher reps,” he said.
“I don’t do lots of low-rep sets because that’s what you want to do if your goal is to build strength, not muscle. If you want to build muscle, then you need to lower the weight, increase the reps, use perfect form, and use “mind-muscle connection” to make your targeted muscles burn like crazy.
“However, there are still benefits to doing some sets with heavy weight, so I include some heavy sets at the beginning of the workout to get the best of both worlds.”
Ryan sticks to clean muscle-building foods such as rice, oats and fruits for carbs; chicken breast, ground beef and eggs for protein; and peanut butter and avocados for fats.
He explained what he loves about bodybuilding and the reaction he gets when people find out his age.
“There are so many things I love about bodybuilding, but the number one thing I love about it is the art of bodybuilding itself,” he added.
“I love seeing results as I “sculpt” my physique. I love feeling my muscles get pumped as I lift the weights.
“I also love the bodybuilding community. All the hardcore gyms are so much fun to train at. I love going to the expos and meeting such amazing people.
“Being surrounded by such hard-working athletes helps motivate me to work harder, not just in bodybuilding, but in other aspects of life too.
The sport of bodybuilding has truly changed my whole life. Having tens of thousands of social media followers is a fun bonus too.
“Many people simply don’t believe how young I am. Some of them say “I looked like you back when I was a teenager”, but no, they didn’t.
“People have been calling me names like “Mr. Muscles” since I was 12 years old. Also, I love to bounce my pecs in front of girls to make them laugh.”
For more information see https://www.instagram.com/ryan_muscle/