Jeffrey Begue (retired)


ICG- (Jeffrey Begue) WABDL United We Stand from Iron Chamber Gym on Vimeo.

ICG- (Jeffrey Begue) W.A.B.D.L. 600 Plus In Four Weight Classes from Iron Chamber Gym on Vimeo.

ICG (Jeffrey Begue)- WABDL Great Lakes (717.3) from Iron Chamber Gym on Vimeo.


Name: Jeffrey Begue (2012 WABDL Hall of Fame Inductee)

Height: 5’9″

Weight: Has varied anywhere from 198-310

Birthdate: 12/11/73

Hometown: Canton, Ohio

Tell us a little about yourself: Personally, I am extremely blessed and thank GOD every day for my amazing family. My wife Andrea has been my everything from day one. She is without a doubt the best friend I’ve ever known. Together, we have three incredible son’s Aeden, Roman and Nolan who amaze and inspire me each and every day. Professionally, I am employed as a full time Corrections Officer serving proudly since 1998. I am a veteran of the United States Navy and the Ohio Army National Guard.

Why ICG: Honestly, because it’s all I’ve ever wanted. Anyone who has ever spent time at the ICG or around the ICG knows that we are not a gym. We are a family. We are a brotherhood. When the ICG started, I never envisioned it would become what it has. We became the gathering point for dedicated no nonsense lifters that just didn’t seem to fit into the mainstream commercial gym setting. One thing has remained constant over the years, the chemistry and commeraderie of the ICG is so closely protected. It is ours, and because of that it is special. Nothing will ever be able to rival what we have. I’d bet my life on it. I owe so much more than I could ever repay to my brothers and sisters within its walls.

What got you into Powerlifting: I first discovered weight training in high school. It was an escape for me, something I felt good about. It helped me get thru alot of struggles I carried with me day to day as a kid. From there I moved on to the military where I met a few other guys with a similar mindset. Every day I learned something new. Every day I grew. I eventually worked to a 300 pound bench press. I will never forget that day. It was something very special to me. It was earned, not given. It was mine. Shortly after the military, I met my wife Andrea. I remember coming home one day from the gym to find a large piece of posterboard she had made titled “Bench Press Chart”. It would prove to be the start of my powerlifting career. It was simple but so sacred to me. Each line carefully drawn and dated for my next eight bench sessions. A blank chart, a plan, an opportunity. The only other item on the chart she had made was a bold handwritten “350” located in the week 8 goal box. I remember her saying, ” I cant lift as much as you but maybe this will help you get there.” I needed nothing more. It became an obsession. I locked out 350 after the week 6 session, two weeks ahead of schedule. Over the next few years, I continued to grow and get stronger. Eventually climbing well into the 400’s. It was shortly thereafter that I discovered Powerlifting USA Magazine. I read every page, every line, and every meet result. I eventually called and spoke to WNPF Ohio State Chairman Ron Deamicis who encouraged me to compete in a state level event. It was my first taste of competition, It was all I would need. I was hooked. I competed in the WNPF and a few non-sanctioned meets over the next few years and spent every second I could reading and learning about the sport and how to improve. It had never really stopped for me from there. There is nothing else like Powerlifting. The struggles, the victories, the commitment. Everything about it calls to me. And to have the opportunity to stand beside my brothers from the ICG and to wage war solidifies my case even more.

Most notable accomplishments in powerlifting: I am not one to hang my hat on personal achievement but I am probably going to be most known for being the first and only bench presser in the history of the sport to bench press 600+ pounds in five sanctioned weight classes. Aside from that, my career best bench press was a 717.3 pound effort. I have also claimed 10 Drug-Free Bench Press World Champion titles (8 WABDL / 2 WNPF) and have recorded 9 Drug-Free Bench Press World Records (8 WABDL / 1 WNPF). I was named WNPF Lifter Of the Year in 2005 and have been named best lifter at both the WABDL and WNPF World Championships. I am also a 2012 Inductee into the WABDL Hall of Fame.

Supplements: Early in my career, I took a lot of supplements. I remember Twinlab’s Amino Fuel being one of the first. They made horse pills the size of a shelled peanut that were tough to swallow. They eventually created a liquid form of it which wasnt bad if you didn’t mind drinking motor oil (it was incredibly thick and very concentrated). I also took a protein powder called “Hot Stuff” that was sold on the Base Exchange at the Mayport Naval Station in Florida when I was on active duty. That was probably the first supplement I ever took that I began to notice results from. After the military, I discovered Creatine, and may have helped keep Muscletech in business with the amount of Cell-Tech I was buying in their early days. My first sponsor as a competitive lifter was Elite Delivery Technologies, I took everything in their supplement line religiously. I have no idea which supplement was doing what but I really began to make solid gains using their line. Shortly after my relationship with E.D.T. ended, I was approached by EST Nutrition regarding sponsorship and spent the final 5 years of my career as a proud member of Team EST. The EST management and marketing team gave me every opportunity to suceed on the platform and introducing their supplement line to my training helped me take things to the next level. I have also been a supporter of the Musclepharm line and have pretty much stayed to Pro-Performance Whey Protein my entire career.  

Favorite lift and why: The Bench Press. Everyone has a lift they are good at, mine happens to be the bench press. I was once told “stick to what you know”, that advice has paid off well for me. Plus, I am an awful squatter and deadlifter.

Favorite thing to eat after weigh ins: Usually a burger and fries with the guys. Some of my best memories in the sport are going to eat after weigh ins. Even better, after competing. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been part of shutting down a few all you can eat offers. 

Most memorable place you’ve ever lifted or competed: Like most competitive lifters, I have had the opportunity to train and compete in many different venues and gyms. I really enjoy World Championships, no matter where it is. I have had the opportunity to compete on the World stage in Atlantic City, Reno and Las Vegas. I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere, the people or what it is, but it’s special. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to lift at the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic Expo and the Mr. Olympia Expo. As far as gyms go, I’ll always have a soft spot for the garage, and 30th street. Those places helped forge the ICG and the brotherhood we have today. 

Favorite Lifter (outside of ICG): Anyone willing to lay it on the line, and leave your soul on the platform. I don’t care if it’s your first meet, or your last. The struggles, the successes and everything in between. It is easy to merge with the herd. If your willing to step on the platform and wage war against mediocrity, Im a fan. All it takes, is all you’ve got. Nothing less. Nothing more. Respect the sport, all who have paved the way and leave it better than you found it. That makes a favorite of mine.

Biggest milestone: There are things in the sport of powerlifting that I will be remembered for, but to call anything a milestone is a bit difficult to do. My achievements were nothing more than completed goals. Marks I expected to achieve. I can’t call any one item a milestone. My most prized accomplishment, if I had to name one, would be earning the respect of my teammates and peers. I value that more than anything I could ever do on the platform.

Toughest obstacle to overcome to date: I don’t allow myself to acknowledge obstacles, I choose instead to acknowledge opportunities. Choose your target, lock in, and pursue relentlessly until the target is destroyed. I’ve built my career on that principle. 

Best powerlifting advice you’ve ever been given: Shake the judges hands each meet after your final attempt, good or bad. Lifts get forgotten, class and respect last forever.

Most influential person to your lifting career: Everyone. I know that seems like the easy P.C. answer but it’s the truth. I am pretty much a self motivated man. I don’t require a lot from the outside world. However, I have no problem admitting that I use others, and outside sources as fuel for my fire. 

Favorite quote/bible verse: Just as iron sharpens iron, one man must sharpen another. – Proverbs 27:17

Anything you would like to say to your sponsors: I have been so incredibly blessed to have had the support of my sponsors over the years. I have truly enjoyed carrying the honor of representing APT Pro Wrist Straps, Anderson Powerlifting, and EST Nutrition both on and off the platform. I will be forever indebted for their years of financial support and valued friendship. 

What do you hope to leave behind now that you have retired from competition: I have been extremely fortunate to have had the health and opportunity to compete for seven years as a lifter. In that time, I have met some incredible people and have been afforded opportunities that I never could have experienced outside the sport. My time on the platform will always be very special to me. Having the opportunity to dictate when I leave the sport is something not every lifter gets to do. I am very fortunate to have achieved everything I have ever set out to do as a competitor. Having the freedom to step away at the top of my game is priceless. I could not have scripted a more rewarding or satisfying career as the one I was blessed to experience. I am forever grateful to the sport and to those who helped me along my journey and look forward to giving back to the sport, and the lifters that have given so much to me. I hope to be remembered as a lifter that enjoyed and appreciated every step of the journey, and every person I have been blessed to meet along the way.
Jeff’s Resume includes an impressive array of accomplishments and achievements both on and off the powerlifting platform:
• Only lifter in powerlifting history to Bench Press 600+ pounds in 5 sanctioned weight classes (242,259,275,308,SHW)
• Career best Bench Press of 717.3 pounds at 275.8 bodyweight
• 10 Time World Bench Press Champion (8 WABDL / 2 WNPF)
• Holder of 9 Bench Press World Records (8 WABDL / 1 WNPF)
• Named WNPF Lifter of the Year in 2005
• Received the WNPF Best Lifter Award at the 2005 WNPF World Championships in Atlantic City, New Jersey
• Received the WABDL Best Lifter Award at the 2008 WABDL World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada
• Featured in Powerlifting USA Magazine’s Top 100 in 4 different Weight Classes during 7 year career
• Sponsored Nationally by Anderson Powerlifting, APT Pro Wrist Straps and EST Nutrition
• Inducted into the WABDL Hall of Fame on November 17th, 2012 by Gus Rethwisch in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Career Personal Bests:
Class Weight Date-
220 518.0 (Single-Ply) 04/16/11
242 600.7 (Single-Ply) 05/22/10
259 639.2 (Single-Ply) 11/18/10
259 652.4 (Double-Ply) 05/12/12
275 622.7 (Single-Ply) 10/28/09
275 634.8 (Double-Ply) 07/28/12
308 717.3 (Single-Ply) 07/18/09
SHW 650.2 (Single-Ply) 05/16/09