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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeff Barkley

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeff Barkley! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Jeff Barkley
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 49
  • Where: Discovery Bay, California
  • Height: 6' 2"
  • Weight: 220 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :27
  • Favorite Bodypart: Delts, Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Barbell Rows
  • Favorite Supplements: Milk, RTD's, Protein powder, egg protein, protein pudding, CLA's, Flax seed oil, Omega 3 fish oil, COQ10, Green Tea extract, Saw palmetto, Multi-vitamin/mineral, Potassium...

How Did You Get Started?

I got my first weight set with greenstamps in 1969, I didn't have a clue what I was doing, however I continued to "play around" with them and started in the martial arts shortly thereafter. My passion for both of these endeavors continued to grow and by 1980 I went to work for a gym as a floor trainer. In 1981 I had the opportunity to go to work for the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott at his gym. That's when my education in bodybuilding really began. I continued to work with Larry for many years and have remained close friends ever since.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1982, this disease finally got severe enough that my colon was removed in 1986. Two months after surgery I was given the green light to go back to training. It was a slow go to begin with but I persevered and began to attain my previous stature prior to becoming ill.

In 1988 I began a personal training business and realized a dream of working for myself and making a living in the fitness industry. Continuing with this for many years to follow and still working with Larry Scott on his product line was the greatest of all worlds to me. Larry would take me with him to The Arnold's Classic and the Mr. Olympia contest as well as some smaller shows. This gave the opportunity to meet many of my bodybuilding hero's, Arnold, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada, Lee Haney and Lou Ferrigno to name a few of my favorites.

Life changed drastically in 2004 when I started becoming ill and severely dropping weight, finally in February 2005 I was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoma... to say this came as a shock is putting it rather mildly. I will never, ever forget when the doctor came into my hospital room and said the words "We think you have cancer". I felt the blood rush to my head, felt the warmth in my ears and I said to myself, "Man, you are really in trouble."

After going home from the hospital and having time to get over the surreal feeling, I decided I would not be beat by this disease. I went online and started investigating the things that caused cancer, what fed it and how it survived. Then, I did the opposite, and did everything I could to prevent it from growing more and metastasizing to other organs. By the time I started Chemotherapy I was actually feeling somewhat better and started to gain a small amount of weight back. I believe my diet of organic meats, fruits and vegetables greatly aided in this.

I used supplements throughout the chemotherapy to help protect my healthy cells so I wouldn't have further complications afterward. I had a very hard time with the chemotherapy and my weight started to drop again... all the way to 130 lbs. However, by June 2005 after having further biopsies taken, I was told I was cancer free and have been ever since. I really believe that my diet, my faith and belief had everything to do with my rapid recovery from the disease.

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I slowly started to workout again by the end of August, however the progress was very slow and I must admit frustrating. I persevered however and by the first part of 2006 I started seeing some progress. I continued to train on my own until February of 2007 when my closest friend and competitive amateur bodybuilder Dale Hick asked me to start working out with him. He reasoned since we were both the same age and had both been training the same number of years we would make perfect workout partners. He also convince me that I should compete, something I hadn't done in over 2 decades.

We made a plan that I would enter the Central Valley Classic here in Livermore, California and the next week I would enter the San Jose Championships. Training went extremely well and I started making great gains again. I competed in the Central Valley Classic the past weekend and took a third place finish in the Master's division. The weekend is the San Jose championship and I'm excited to get back up on stage again!

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I workout on a 5 day split and rest on the weekend. I workout with higher reps, between 12 and 20 because of my age, I think this works best for my joints.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I eat 6 times a day (40% protein, 30% Carbs, 30% fats), unless preparing for a show, then the protein percentile increases and the carbs decrease.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I love using a combination of proteins, milk, RTD's and protein powder, egg protein, and protein pudding. I also use healthy fats, CLA's, flax seed oil in capsule and liquid that I put in my protein drinks, also fish oil capsules. I use a multi-vitamin/mineral, CoQ10, green tea extract, Saw palmetto for prostate health and extra potassium to help with cramps.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

What's not to love, it's the only sport in the world that you have with you 24/7, you never get to old to train and there's no better feeling in the world than working out!

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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

The San Jose championships this coming weekend, then get back to training for some additional size and enter the Contra Costa championships next year and hopefully qualify for the National Master's.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Pay close attention to your diet, it can make or break you. Don't get discouraged if you aren't making gains fast enough, remember what I have been through and eventually the gains still came. And finally Live strong!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Bill Pearl, Larry Scott, Arnold, Frank Zane, Lee Haney, and Dorian Yates. And of the current guys, Jay Cutler is amazing and I believe Toney Freeman will one day win the Olympia, he has an amazing physique and he's tall.

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