Ryan Reeves, the professional wrestler formerly known as “Ryback” and “The Human Wrecking Ball”, received considerable publicity after he admitted using anabolic steroids in a recent episode of the “Feed Me More Nutrition Podcast: Conversation with The Big Guy”. So it comes as no surprise that Ryback decided to revisit the topic of steroids in a new podcast broadcast this month.
Ryback and co-host Pat Buck discussed drug addiction on the eleventh episode titled “The Wizard and Addictions” on November 7, 2016. Ryback and Buck obviously thought this was an appropriate episode to discuss Ryback’s initiation into the world of anabolic steroids.
Ryback revealed that he first considered using steroids came after a few encounters with bodybuilding champion Jay Cutler in the early 2000s. Cutler went on to win the IFBB Mr. Olympia on four occasions in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.
When Ryback was still only known as Ryan Reeves, he was a college student in Las Vegas who worked at the front desk of the local Gold’s Gym. The gym also happened to be the location where future Mr. Olympia Cutler worked out. Cutler was already one of the top bodybuilders in the world at that time having placed highly in several pro bodybuilding shows including the IFBB Night of Champions, IFBB Ironman Pro Invitational and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic.
Cutler commented on Ryback’s physique potential and encouraged him to become a competitive bodybuilder. Cutler thought Ryback would do very well as a bodybuilder. But Ryback’s mind was already made up. He wanted to become a pro wrestler.
“[Jay Cutler] used to come into Gold’s Gym when I worked at the front desk and I was 19 years old,” Ryback said. “And at that point, I never touched anything. I was just a 235, 240 pound kid. Just full-time in school, working part-time. And he used to tell me, ‘you should be a bodybuilder. Like, you have good genetics.’ And I would tell him I want to be a pro wrestler.”
Even though Ryback had no interest in following the same career path as Cutler, he recognized that focusing on bodybuiding training would create an impressive physique and give him a competitive advantage in the world of professional wrestling.
Cutler’s compliments encouraged Ryback to start using anabolic steroids and start packing on more and more muscle. Ryback has since become widely known for his bodybuilder-like physique.
“[Bodybuilder Jay Cutler] was actually the one who kind of put it in my head, ‘maybe I should fucking do steroids because I have good genetics’…
“I like look at pro wrestlers. To be a pro wrestler, I have to do it. And that’s what kinda changed my mindset during that period which I’ve gotten away from. But in my early 20s, I thought I had to do that to be successful if that makes sense.”
Cutler has publicly defended the widespread use of steroids in bodybuilding and makes no apologies for doing what it takes to succeed in bodybuilding. In a deleted excerpt from the highly-acclaimed documentary “Bigger Stronger Faster” by director Chris Bell, Cutler vigorously defended bodybuilding and steroid use.
“[E]veryone is looking for that edge. You know there are steroids involved in the sport – in bodybuilding – obviously,” admitted Cutler. “And that’s the problem with the sport and why it has to get accepted by a lot of society. They look at bodybuilding and they say, ‘oh steroids.’ But they don’t actually understand what goes into the sport. You do what you do to be the best at what you do. You do what you do to win. If you want to call that cheating, fine. But I have the edge. And that’s why I’m the best.”
Cutler has had a great impact on Ryback far beyond the decision to use steroids. Ryback considers Cutler a role model for him in many regards. Ryback praised Cutler for his disciplined approach to bodybuilding and the impressive work ethic that got him to the top of the bodybuilding world as Mr. Olympia.
“Jay, he’s always [been] a down-to-earth funny dude… I like all different types of lifting and what not,” said Ryback. “I respect any one in any field that just gives it their all at any level whether there is drugs involved or not. To still make it to the elite of that level, I feel like the work ethic… to get to the top in that industry, is obviously great genetics… and work ethic. And he has absolute great work ethic.”
Beyond the steroids and the bodybuilding, Ryback also admired Cutler’s preparation for his future after retirement from bodybuilding. Cutler has been widely recognized for his business savvy. As the author of the book “CEO Muscle”, Cutler outlined his approach to bodybuilding as a business. And Cutler practiced what he preached.
“I am a big fan of… I love watching Jay Cutler the bodybuilder…. He’s doing great for himself. He’s one of the few guys who has made a great living outside of bodybuilding. He has his own supplement line. And when I found out, I always wanted to do that, and I had kind of my notes on everything, when I found out how well he was doing on that, I didn’t realize it was such an opportunity, that’s what started getting the wheels turning for Feed Me More Nutrition. Look I can do this. It wasn’t in my initial set of plans right away. But look no, I can do this. He is doing great.”
Cutler may have inspired Ryback to use steroids and to work hard in the gym but now Ryback is taking another page from the original CEO Muscle to launch a new supplement company. Ryback’s supplement company “Feed Me More Nutrition” is set to be launched in December 2016. The first two products will be “The Big Guy: Testosterone Booster” and “Wake Up: Unlimited Energy”.
It’s nice to see Ryback humbly praise Cutler as an inspiration behind his success.