DH12 – our quest to find guys from across the globe that not just look great but have the power to inspire!

Twelve months. Twelve guys. Twelve shoots. Twelve inspiring stories.

Ryan Watts is DH12 No.3.

Believe it or not, Ryan Watts was bullied as a teenager for being thin. This led him to begin his fitness journey at the age of 16 after leaving high school. A few years later Ryan suffered a major setback following a hit and run car accident but this pushed him to work harder.
Now aged 25 the personal trainer is helping his clients look their best whilst competing in bodybuilding competitions.

NAME: Ryan Watts
AGE: 25
OCCUPATION: Personal Trainer / Bodybuilder

How long have you been training?
I started training at the age of 16, as soon as I left school.

What made you start training so young?
I was teased for being skinny and felt as if I was the thinnest boy in school. A lot of the other guys were rugby players with good physiques so I was very self-conscious.

So this acted as a catalyst for you?
Initially yes, but within a year or so it turned into a general interest and I was fascinated by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Did you leave school knowing you wanted to work in the fitness industry?
Not at all. When I left school I tried my hand at so many different trades from builder to barman. It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I really decided to focus on it.

Which meant going back into studies? 
Yes. I went to college to study ‘Gym Instructor level 2’, ‘Personal Trainer level 3’; and ‘Advanced Nutrition’. I soon started getting clients and began working at gyms with athletes and bodybuilders.
That same year I entered my first modelling competition for Heat Magazine’s ‘Torso Of The Year’, making the top 5 out of six hundred applicants from across the UK.

The boys that teased you at school must have been eating their words!? 
Haha. Yes, I imagine so!

Did the Heat Magazine competition give you a taste for competing?
Partly but I was more drawn to the idea of having goals to work towards.
My first competition was Fit Factor at BodyPower in 2013. I scored top 15 out of 80 competitors. That gave me the drive to want to do better and progress by doing more shows.
The following year I entered again and beat my previous ranking. I also entered the Body Building category at Mr Coventry and came 2nd best overall poser in show.

How often do you train?
5/6 days a week with cardio and weightlifting. If i’m prepping for a show I’ll introduce more cardio to cut down.

What tip would you give people that want to improve their physique?
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency. It’s important to stick with a plan in order to see the progress. Everyone wants the quick results but you need to look at the bigger picture. And enjoy it!
Set realistic goals that will give you something to work towards.

Are you on a strict diet?
Im not too hard on myself unless im preparing for a show. Then I’ll fuel my body with macro foods like oats with protein powder, chicken with rice and veg, steak and potatoes, cottage cheese and almonds.

What challenges have you faced?
I’ve had various injuries including damaged shoulders, knees, and even a broken leg.

A broken leg!?
A car knocked me over when I was 19. I lost a lot of muscle but after rehab I came back stronger and more determined than ever to keep active.

What’s next?
I want to progress the personal training and expand my operation with more online presence and possibly a team. I also plan to compete in more international shows and one-day win!

Are you our next DH12?

We’re searching the globe to find guys that not only look great but inspire.

One candidate each month will be hand-picked for a shoot with our campaign photographer who will fly to your nearest major city.


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