Randy Behr has been involved with fitness and sports for most of his life. He also has ties to the United States Armed Forces in more ways than one. A former member of the US Navy, his current career and role is that of Assistant Chief of the Air Force's Department of Sport, Fitness, World Class Athlete Program and Esports. Behr currently looks after almost 200 institutions around the world.
His connection to fitness, service and training dates back in particular to his childhood and attachment to his late father. Behr's father was a proponent of weight training at one time, well before it became popular.
"He trained in the 1960s, one of the first guys in Iowa, no shirt, bench press at twice his bodyweight," Behr said. "My dad was the one who got me into it."
Behr played as many sports as he could when he was a kid growing up in Iowa. He described himself as always active, and that included playing football in high school. His coach had told him he would 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. However, he did not join a commercial gym in the 1980s. His father went a step further with the commitment. His father became his coach and they trained at home.
"He said that in this role he wasn't my father, he was my coach and that I probably didn't like him a lot," Behr recalled. "He told me that sometimes I had to get up at 5 a.m. and sometimes I had to miss training with my buddies."
Young Randy accepted the offer. They worked out in a basement gym using equipment his father had built by hand.
“He made the bench out of wood, the upholstery and even the bars, which he welded washers onto. He even put cement in the weight caps and had a neutral-grip bench bar and a lat pull-down station on the wall.”
The equipment and training paid off for Behr, because even at a bodyweight of 153 pounds, he reported that by the time he graduated, he had set numerous weightlifting records at his school, including deadlifts, leg presses, and bench presses.
"I was the only kid on the team who was allowed to do my own training."
In addition to the results of the training, Behr developed other qualities that have carried him throughout his adult life, such as discipline, honoring commitments and maintaining high standards for himself. All these qualities helped him when he joined the military and also on his current career path.
"I've taken that into everything in life, I've lost friends from high school to suicide, lost jobs, been rejected by women, and focusing on fitness has shown me that nothing can stop me."
After growing up, Behr had served in the United States Navy while working as a journalist. The third-generation veteran's responsibilities included serving as administrative manager on a ship with over 7,000 active duty personnel. He also directed and directed a touring program that served over 300,000 visitors annually.
"It was a cool job. We would have athletes come in to perform like Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres and members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.”
The combination of sporting success and his experience in the Navy are big reasons why Behr is where he is professionally today. From this, Behr could also draw his passion for helping others improve their health and well-being. He has over three decades of combined experience teaching and coaching athletes to help them improve their performance, training and strategic planning.
He has worked with various organizations such as the National Football League, USA Olympic Track and Field, Korean and Chinese Olympic teams, Arena Football League, United States Armed Forces and others. Under his leadership as the first and only Head Performance Coach for Korea's Olympic track and field team, the Korean athlete set national records, won multiple medals at Asian Championships, and was ranked among the top athletes in the world.
He wants to help the athletes and service staff he works with feel what he thinks about training and improving because it might help them later in life. When asked what he thinks younger people need to focus on most in order to get better, he suggested focusing on the long-term future, giving as much attention to the fundamentals as to the more exciting movements.
"Jogging, jumping, lunging, even hopping is important," he advised. "They focus so much on the big lifts and lifting most of the weight, but these simple activities are what they're going to need later in life. Focus on being able to do this effectively.”
While being the best on the court, court, or stage is important to Behr, he hopes the key message his clients take away is that physical bests translate to other areas of their lives Whether you're an athlete, a soldier or in business Whether you're a leader or a parent, everyone can benefit from focusing on being their best self. All of Behr's accomplishments and people that he had a positive influence on can all be traced back to his younger days in Iowa and his time sitting under his father's learning tree. It turns out that he was doing more then just building muscle, he was building a foundation that would be far more important than weight room records.
"That set the tone. It showed that through fitness I can achieve anything.”
For more information about Randy and his coaching, visit www.behrsportsperformance.com.