Interview with Bench Press World Record Holder Roger Ryan

During a recent interview I had the opportunity to speak with world record holder Roger Ryan. Some of you might know Roger as ‘Ryano’ from the Muscle and Brawn Forum.

  • Hometown: Decatur, Illinois
  • Location: Decatur, Illinois
  • Height: 5’ 10 ½”
  • Weight: 295-300 lbs
  • Age: 57
  • Favorite Lift: Bench
  • Favorite Food: Meat
  • Website:

When did you start lifting and what made you start?

roger-ryan-1I was in the U.S. Navy for 6 years and then a police officer for 25 ½ years in Decatur, Illinois. I started lifting weights when I was a police officer to gain upper body strength. I began lifting to get stronger so I could end a confrontation easily without getting hurt.

Before I retired, I started reading lifting magazines. I thought I could beat them! I broke a national record in 2003 and I got hooked!

Where do you train?

I train at The Bloomington Strongman Gym, Lockup Gym, and Bench Press Mecca with Rob Luyando. People come from all over to lift with him; it’s almost like a meet.

Tell us about your training.

  • Tuesday – Bench, Upper Support
  • Wednesday – Back
  • Thursday – Legs
  • Saturday – Heavy Bench

Tell us about some of your competitions.

I began competing in 2003 and have continued competing since then.

My best lift is a 755 lb bench in a single ply shirt last November in Las Vegas. I came in third place this year at The Arnold, and third place last year in the Mr. Olympia.

My next meet is the WPC Can/Am in Detroit on July 20th, then in September I will compete at the Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas. In November I will compete at the WABDL World meet in
Reno, NV.

What have been your recent lifts and what are your goals?

Recently my best gym lift was an 800 bench for two reps, but they weren’t meet legal.

My ultimate goal is an 800 bench.


What do your pre and post supplementation and nutrition look like?

I use O4E on every heavy lifting day and at every meet. I believe in their products so much, I have become a distributor for them. You can check out their products @

I take Concrete creatine one hour before I train. After I train I just drink a generic protein powder that has 60 grams of protein and BCAAs.

What does your diet include?

I don’t eat as clean as I should. I eat at least 4 sometimes 5 meals a day, and in every meal there is meat; steak, chicken or fish.

How long have you been married and does your wife attend your meets?

I have been married for 33 years, this year. My wife is now retired and she attends most of my meets. She sometimes worries about me, but I have done a total of 600 sky dives, so she is O.K. with the danger part of it.

Do you have any pets?

I have a pit bull I recently rescued from a puppy shelter in December. Pit bulls get a bad rap.

His name is Murphy, and he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Everybody and every animal is his friend.

Any final thoughts?

Keep on rocking! I am not going to stop lifting.

Competition gives you a reason and gives you a goal. You never know what your biggest accomplishments will be and it gives you a reason to stay in shape.


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