Jeff Behar Bodybuilder hitting the Most Muscular Pose
Jeff first started weightlifting at age 13, to try to
put on weight to play freshman football. He
was under 5'6" and do not want to have a 4
year career as the teams tackling dummy. He
lifted to gain the strength (and respect) he
needed to face older players twice his weight
and 12 inches taller. He was determined.
According to Jeff, there was no other option.
Jeff spent 8 hours a day lifting, running and
force feeding himself. He used his paper route
savings to buy a hack machine and leg press
for his basement. He pawned his guitar and
amp to raise money to buy dumbbells and Iron
at a sporting god store 20 miles away. He
"borrowed a car" at drove to get the weights 2
years before he was legally allowed to drive. I
guess you can say Jeff was very determined
(Funny enough, Jeff still holds that determined
trait today, whether it is for a job task, in the
gym or when being a friend).
During that summer Jeff gained about 30
pounds (from 105 to 135 pounds) however his
peers averaged over 200 on the team, some as
high as 265. Jeff kept lifting and eventually
was able to bench double twice his weight and
gained strength in all areas. By the time he
graduated high school he weighed 150
pounds and had a bench of 330 pounds. He
was one of the stronger guys in the school,
especially pound for pound.
So it is possible to get big by accident?
If you know Jeff, you know that one thing Jeff
hates hearing from those that seek his consult
help is "I do not want to get too big". You also
know Jeff is adamant that he has never met
anyone that got big by mistake.
Well big guy? Wouldn't you qualify? I think so,
since you actually started bodybuilding by
Jeff's foray into bodybuilding actually started
rather slowly and innocently enough. Jeff
lifted during his high school years to
strengthen his body for sports. While at
college things changed, but not for the
reasons you may think.
While Jeff attended undergraduate studies at
Rutgers University in NJ he was on his own
working hard to pay for school, sometimes
40-60 hours a week, while also carrying a full
load. At that time Jeff wanted to be a
sportswriter (he was a writer for a county paper
previously). Jeff decided to major in
communications and minor in journalism. At
that time the job market was poor for liberal art
majors, many graduates found themselves
unemployed or employed in the service sector
(like waiting tables).
Jeff decided he wanted to pursue medicine.
Jeff was always good at science and was very
gifted at an early age (five) in math and
science. He also performed well in these areas
through out school.
So Jeff immediately switched gears and
started taking hard core science classes with
the premed students. He took 15 to 18 credits
of core courses. The communication path put
him behind and now he would have no soft
Jeff quickly found out the meaning of cut
throat and competitiveness. The Premed
students were all pitted against each other to
land high above the curve. Because of this,
the switch for Jeff required endless amounts
of studying to ensure the had the higher
grade. Having cruised in high school Jeff
found himself very challenged. He had the
fortitude but not the mental or ocular
endurance. He was falling asleep with his texts
in his face. This was the turning point....he
choose lifting as a way to break up the huge
amount of hours he needed to ensure good
grades in the competitive Premed environment.
Lifting prevented him from falling asleep with
the book in his face, made him more alert, and
gave him more energy... His first taste in these
added benefits of lifting weights. Jeff went on
to take many science courses, such as
physics, chemistry, microbiology, physiology.
He also snuck some nutrition classes in as
Because Jeff had on a limited amount of time
to lift his work outs were quick and intense.
The results of this approach quickly showed
and people around him started to take notice.
In 1986 he met Chris Confessore (Chris went
on to break legendary Super Heavyweight
Anthony Clark's 738 pound bench press
record). Chris noticed Jeff's genetics and
strength and they quickly shared workouts,
often going very heavy. It was Chris who
convinced Jeff to train heavy with him and
enter a local show. Jeff won his weight class
(lightweight) in this show. It was this
performance that caught the eye of Ron
Capodanno an icon in NJ bodybuilding. Ron
owned one of the first NJ Golds Gyms, and
was also a top NPC Judge and a contest
promoter as well.
Jeff became one of Capodanno's regulars and
Golds in Milltown NJ. Jeff and Ron grew very
close and they still stay in touch this very day,
even while 3500 miles apart. Jeff also became
a trainer and worked in Ron's gym. While
training at Gold's Jeff eventually became a
training partner of the legendary Rich Gaspari
(former Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia runner up,
Iron Classic, Night of Champions winner).
While working with Ron, Ron introduced Jeff to
the NPC. Jeff started to compete in the NPC.
Through Ronny Jeff also met IFBB judge and
NJ NPC Chairman John Kemper (A former Mr.
New Jersey 1974, NPC Junior USA winner in
1983 and NPC Masters Nationals winner in
1987). Jeff had a good eye for the sport and
became a NPC judge. Because of Jeff's
outgoing and friendly nature, along with his
work ethic Jeff became the Men's NPC Athlete
rep. for the state.
During these years Jeff placed in the
Suburban Championships, took runner up as
a Middleweight at the NJ Championships, took
runner up as a light heavyweight in the NPC
Empire States a year later, while slimming
down to compete at the USA Championships
as a middleweight. During these years in the
off season Jeff also competed as a Natural
Power lifter (NASA Strength Association)
winning several trophies. He was benching in
excess of 450 pounds with a pause, contest
squatting over 650 pounds, front squatting 550
pounds, dead lifting 675 pounds, shoulder
pressing 135 pound dumbbells, and throwing
around 80 pound dumbbells for bicep curls in
the gym. It was this power lifting routine with a
bodybuilding twist that was Jeff's key for his
early mass and thickness. Unfortunately Jeff's
career was caught short by a bad car wreck. It
was not until 15 years later that Jeff caught the
bodybuilding bug again.