Big muscles on campus: George Swankie

Eat clean train dirty

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It’s 12 in the afternoon and George is wearing a full tracksuit and carrying a gym bag but it’s OK – “I’m going to the gym after this”, he says.

Let’s be honest you’ve probably already heard of George Swankie. His Facebook page has almost 6,000 likes and you’ve almost certainly tried to chirpse him in the uni gym.

It’s hard to imagine it now but it all started in second year of school when George was picked on for being “quite a chubby guy”.

Training with the school rugby team pushed him to get fit and he began watching videos online.

From then it all took off, he started going to the gym and was instantly hooked.

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I can confirm he did not attend this interview shirtless.


Name: George Swankie

Age: 20

Degree: Sport and Physical Activity

Hometown: Troon

Best thing about Glasgow: The people are friendly unless you go looking for it. It’s just a good atmosphere for example the Commonwealth Games the vibe was amazing.

Signature t-shirt: Has to be a Driven To Succeed string vest, I wear them all the time.

Current weight: 98 kilos

Weight he:

A) Benches: 155kg

B) Squats: 225kg

C) Deadlifts: 245kg

Cheat day treats: Burgers, pizza, ice cream. An example would be I went to McDonald’s and I had a Big Mac large meal, 40 chicken nuggets, a McFlurry and a McChicken sandwich. Anything fatty.

Suns out, guns out.

Suns out, guns out.

The regime

This fitness fanatic puts those of us who struggle to climb the hill to uni to shame by going to the gym everyday for two to two and a half hours. He would only take a day off if he knew he needed it. He tells The Tab: “It isn’t a club, there’s no set training times, I try to fit the gym around my uni timetable.”

Views on steroids

From looking at his Facebook page it’s spelled out clearly: George doesn’t take steroids. He comments on how easy it is to obtain steroids and how when you’re in the gym there will always be someone who takes them, it might not always be the fittest looking people either. What he does have a problem with is when people take steroids and pretend they don’t, “people can make a lot of money by doing it”.

Cheat day for George.

Cheat day for George.

The Future

Down the line he would like to compete in body building competitions. He makes it clear he doesn’t do this hardcore training regime purely for the physical aspect. He loves reading messages supporters send him on Facebook, saying he has inspired them to get fit. Mr Swankie emphasises he aims to show people fitness still can be done even though you’re at uni, “I want to show them it doesn’t need to take over their lives – it can be part of it.”

His role models are his parents (at this point I audibly aww-ed) because of the “work ethic” they have instilled in him. Fitness wise, he names the obvious Arnold Schwarzenegger and the more up to date Steve Cook and Simeon Panda.

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Last words of wisdom

“Do what you’re passionate about. Don’t just go with the herd. I did it when I originally studied economics at Strathclyde but when I got into it I knew it wasn’t my passion. Change can make you stronger.”

On a closing note I ask him, “are you happy?” He grins, “definitely, if I can make a small impact on someone’s life then it’s a truly great thing.”

So c’mon then Strathy, no excuses, if this guy can do it then so can we.