Randy Behr has been connected to fitness and sports throughout most of his life. He also has ties to the United States Armed Forces in more than one way. A past member of the US Navy, his current career and role is as the Vice-Chief of the Department of the Air Force-Sports, Fitness, World Class Athlete Program and Esports. Behr currently oversees close to 200 facilities around the world.
His connection to fitness, service, and training specifically goes back to his childhood and the bond he had with his late father. Behr’s dad was an advocate for weight training at a time long before it was popular to be.
“He was lifting back in the 1960s, one of the first guys in Iowa, no shirt, bench pressing twice his bodyweight,” said Behr. “My father was the one who got me going on that.”
Behr played as many sports as he could when he was a kid growing up in Iowa. He described himself as always being active, and that included playing football in high school. His coach had told him was going to be a receiver instead of a running back like he wanted to be. In order to be in his desired position, he had to build muscle. He wasn’t going to a commercial gym in the 1980’s, though. His dad took the commitment one step further. His dad became his coach, and they trained at home.
“He said that in this role he wasn’t my dad, he was my coach, and there would likely be many times I didn’t like him,” Behr recalled. “He told me that there would be times I have to get up at 5 AM, and there would be times I’d have to sacrifice training with my buddies.”
Young Randy accepted the offer, They trained in a basement gym with equipment that his dad built by hand.
“He made the bench out of wood, made the upholstery and even the bars which he welded washers onto. He even put cement in hood caps for the weights and had a neutral grip bench bar and a lat pull station against the wall.”
The equipment and training paid off for Behr because even at a bodyweight of 153 pounds, he reported that he had set numerous weightlifting records in his school by the time he graduated, including the deadlift, leg press, and bench press.
“I was the only kid on the team that was allowed to do his own workout.”
Besides the results from the training, Behr developed more qualities that have carried him throughout his adult life such as discipline, sticking to commitments, and holding high standards for himself. All of those qualities helped him as he went into the military and in his current career path as well.
“I took that into everything in life, I’ve lost friends from high school to suicide, lost jobs, been turned down by ladies, and focusing on fitness has showed me that nothing can hold me down.”
After becoming an adult, Behr had served in the United States Navy, when he worked as a journalist. The third-generation veteran’s responsibilities included working as an administrative executive on a ship with over 7,000 active-duty service members. He also operated and directed a tour program that would serve over 300,000 visitors yearly.
“That was a cool job. We would have athletes come in for appearances like Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres, and members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.”
The combination of athletic success and his experience in the Navy are big reasons why Behr is where he is today professionally. That also could be where Behr gets his passion for helping others improve their health and wellness. He has over three decades of total experience teaching and coaching athletes to help them improve performance, training, and strategic planning.
He’s worked with various organizations such as the National Football League, USA Olympic Track and Field, the Korean and Chinese Olympic teams, the Arena Football League, the United States Armed Forces,and more. Under his leadership as the first & only Head Performance Coach for Korea’s Olympic Track & Field team, the Korean athlete’s achieved country records, won multiple Asian Championship medals and were ranked among the best athletes in the world.
He wants to help the athletes and service members he works with feel what he feels about training and improving because of how it could help them later in life. When asked what he feels younger people need to focus on specifically so they can get better, he suggested focusing on the long-term future by paying as much attention to the basics as much as they would the more exciting movements.
“Jogging, jumping, lunging, even skipping is important,” he advised. “They focus so much on the big exercises and moving the most weight, but those simple activities are what they will need later in life. Focus on being able to do those effectively.”
While being their best on the field, court, or platform matters to Behr, he hopes that the main message that his clients take away is that being your best physically can transfer into other areas of their lives – whether it’s an athlete, solider, business leader, or parent, everyone can benefit from focusing on being their best selves. All of Behr’s accomplishments and people that he has had a positive impact on could all be traced back to his younger days in Iowa and his time sitting under the learning tree of his dad. It turned out that in those days he was doing more than building muscle, he was building a foundation that would be far more important than weight room records.
“That had set the tone. It showed that through fitness, I can do anything.”
For more information about Randy and his coaching, go to www.behrsportsperformance.com.