Figure competitor Ryan Behr has a saying: "No one is unhappy when they are eating dessert." It's a surprising mantra coming from an NPC competitor, a demographic who is typically more interested in tilapia and asparagus than in chocolate cake. But Behr is not your average competitor. The 2011 culinary school graduate has a side business as a custom pastry chef. The dichotomy has puzzled more than a few people. "It doesn't make sense in people's heads when they see the foods I bake and then they see my arms," laughs Behr. "They are like, "How did you get like that?''' The two sides of her professional life are an apt metaphor for her balanced approach to fitness. Behr eschews the stereotypical obsessive lifestyle of a figure competitor and embraces balance and variety while pursuing her goal of an ever-improving physique. "I would say 95 percent of my diet is performance based, but I will fit a Pop Tart or something else into my macros that might make other competitors raise an eyebrow," she says.
Part of the reason why I am so passionate about this sport and the lifestyle is that there is a healthy way to approach things. And that is the direction this sport should be leaning, toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyleThe one place her two lives do clash is the pantry. The bottles of Primaforce GPLC, Beta-Alanine, Citrulline Malate, and Glutaform, as well as tubs of Scivation XTEND are fighting for space with the baking supplies in her kitchen. Her trained chef's palate does appreciate the refreshing taste of Pink Lemonade and Watermelon Madness XTEND however, and is looking forward to the release of Mango Nectar and Kiwi Strawberry flavors. This pursuit of a healthy balanced life is evident in her weight training as well. Behr began powerlifting last year and even competed in a sanctioned meet. In fact, powerlifting has been part of her preparation for the 2013 NPC USA Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Men's & Women's Physique Championships in Las Vegas. "I am working on tightening up my lower body. I think a lot of women strive to achieve a balance between upper body and lower body. That is more about training, so I am still lifting really heavy. I deadlift twice a week and do heavy squats twice a week. I also do more sprinting," she says. Behr views her time on the competitive stage and her work as a Scivation Brand Ambassador as opportunities to spread the message that fitness is not about dangerous deprivation and hours of slavish cardio. "Part of the reason why I am so passionate about this sport and the lifestyle is that there is a healthy way to approach things. And that is the direction this sport should be leaning, toward a more balanced and healthy lifestyle," says Behr. "It can be done. There are still a lot of people out there doing things the scary unhealthy way."