First name: Ryan
Last name: Young
City: Los Angeles
State: California (Originally from outside Chicago, IL)
Profession: Model and Actor
How long have you been modeling for?::
I started in the mid/late nineties while growing up in Chicago. but it really took off once I moved to LA around 2000.
What agencies are you signed to?
I’m blessed to work with such great people at LA Models/LAM2 in Los Angeles, Spot 6 Management in Toronto and Brand in Orange County. Lately I’ve been looking to expand and reach further markets.
When did you start working out?:
Fitness has always been a part of my life. Growing up I played soccer, baseball and volleyball. My first summer job was lifeguarding so I became a great swimmer then too. I was fortunate to grow up in a family that placed an emphasis on excelling in all areas of life, fitness being one of them.
How many days a week do you work out?:
I’m active seven days a week. I know, I know… I’m suppose to take a day or two off and rest but I find it hard to sit and relax! Six of seven days I’m lifting and running; the other ends up being lighter with maybe a hike, a shorter run, a spin class, an ocean swim, something.
How long is your average workout?:
My average workout is usually an hour and a half. I’ll hit at least a couple body parts, throw in some abs and do some stretching. I should come clean and let you know, I do split my day up with workout sessions. I’ll lift in the am and then run in the early evening, or I’ll switch it up. Either way, my day isn’t complete until I get both sessions in. Yeah, its a bit of an addiction at this point.
Favorite muscles to exercise:
Favorite muscle to exercise, abs. Or legs. Its a satisfying feeling putting in the effort and seeing results from both of these muscle groups fairly quickly.
Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Not necessarily my least favorite, but definitely least worked, would be my back simply because I rarely see it. Vain but true! Lately I’ve been trying to change this and concentrate on it more because its been neglected.
Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I’m constantly setting new goals; they give me a sense of what to work toward. Its part of why I love running so much. There usually isn’t a time I’m not registered to compete in a race. At the moment, I’m training for marathons in Reykjavik, Chicago and Long Beach. Then I’m set to run across the state of California in January… the short way, west to east. Along with all this running my goal is to keep on the small amount of mass that I do have. Finding the right balance is constantly in the back of my head.
Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
I’m constantly picking up inspiration from a variety of places. I’m that guy who while running will look at the faces of other runners and wonder what their stories are. I’ll be out along the beach and find inspiration in nature. Or I’ll be reading piece of news and be blown away by some small act of courage. Other athletes, small miracles of nature, music can all be inspirations to me. Its hard for me to separate what’s a “fitness inspiration” and what inspires, motivates me in general. I see it all as one. I believe how and what we choose to see in the world is reflected in our choices and therefore our fitness.
Do you have any other people you look up to?:
I do! At the moment I’ve been consuming everything I can about the great Indian runner from the 50s and 60s, Milkha Singh known as The Flying Sikh. His story of loss, tragedy, the power to over-come odds, and give back in charity inspires me greatly. Last year an awesome film called “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” was released about his life story. I highly recommend it, athlete or not.
What supplements do you take or recommend?:
These days I swear by C-8 MCT oil added to coffee or foods I’m already eating. Just a small amount goes a long way in providing an energy boost, increased focus and greater endurance. I make myself whey protein shakes after each lift or run and take daily potassium and magnesium supplements.
Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I eat healthy but don’t have a set, strict diet. I allow myself to make daily choices and occasionally give in to my sweet tooth. Any given day, I’ll have a couple shakes with protein, chocolate almond milk, bananas, a variety of berries and maybe some peanut butter. Salads and lots of chicken and turkey are always on the menu.
I know that you are also a runner. How often do you runner each week? And how many miles?::
Usually I run 6 days a week, sometimes 5. Total mileage varies. Because of the run I’m doing in January, almost 270 total miles over ten days, I’ve been approaching my training a bit differently than as I normally would. I’ve been setting a distance to achieve and doing the same mileage for five days, taking a day of rest (or two) and then upping the mileage and repeating. Averaging out my total miles since the beginning of the year I’m at about 42 miles a week; lately, with more increased training I’m in the mid 50 range.
Can you explain more about your “Race across California?”::
This coming January I’ll be taking part in the Race Across USA marathon challenge. Along the way runners will be raising awareness on the benefits of health and fitness to children. I’ll be running the California state portion running from the ocean, Huntington Beach to the CA/AZ border, (just under 270 total miles) before passing off the run to other runners who will carry it across Arizona, and then another group through New Mexico, then Texas and so on until the race reaches the White House. All the while, there is a core team of runners who will complete the full run across the country; I’ll just be keeping them company in California! Part of my involvement is to raise funds to support the sponsoring charity, The 100 Mile Club. This organization has over 700 chapters in elementary schools across the country and encourages kids to pledge to run 100 miles per school year. While pursuing their goal, the pledging kids earn small incentives to continue on along with learning the values of goal-setting and a lifestyle of making healthy choices. If anyone reading feels inclined to donate and be a part of my journey please take a look at my site http://www.imathlete.com/donate/RyanYoung . I appreciate it!
Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
I see health and fitness not in terms of dieting or exercising to get that “summer body,” but rather in terms of practicing wellness through our daily choices. Its deciding to live a life consuming good foods and training. Achieving fitness goals, I believe, requires a change in our thinking and habits so that any positive results we see become long-lasting. Making these choices that at first might feel like sacrifices; giving up those sugary foods we love, going out for drinks or skipping a workout we just don’t feel like doing, but with a true commitment to ourselves, along with the answer to “why am I pursuing this goal?”, these sacrifices become just another way of life. So I guess that’s my humble advice: achieving fitness goals requires a change in mindset from what was to what is possible.
Do you have any other things you would like to say?(Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
Yes, make sure to get plenty of sleep too! It does a body good.
Did you like this week’s Feature Friday, Ryan Young? Would you or someone you know liked to be featured? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments, or ideas for other topics.