Cover Guy: Jakub Bandoch
Beyond buff. Better than buff.
“Buffy The Body Fat Slayer” buff.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the Greek god-worthy musculature of 27-year-old Jakub Bandoch…or perhaps depressed if you, like myself, are a little less “This is Sparta!” and a lot more “This is Dunkin’ Donuts!” (Speaking of: Have you tried their blueberry bagel with blueberry cream cheese? Yum.) Anyway, as you know, world-class beauties are somewhat dime-a-dozen in these pages. But there’s something special about Jakub, something so down to earth and sweet that it’s easy to forget just how gorgeous he really is in person. Building your body to superhuman levels is one thing—a very impressive thing, of course, and so handy for those hard-to-open pickle jars—but having an equally impressive inner beauty is quite another.
Jakub’s story starts in 1985, when he was born in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic. Growing up in a small village on the outskirts of Brno, Jakub had a very specific dream as a child. “When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an NBA player,” he says with a shy smile, “but that didn’t quite work out.”
Although a pro basketball career wasn’t in the cards, Jakub’s father noticed his athletically gifted son’s dedication to fitness and sports and started taking him to the gym. At age 14, Jakub had found his passion. The youngest member of the local gym by far, the teenager applied the same dedication he’d used to gain amazing physical results to his schooling, going on to study at Masaryk University.
While he enjoyed the independence of being a university student, Jakub became even more passionate about fitness and began studying nutrition, exercise science and personal training. In 2005, he entered and won the regional round of the Czech “Man of the Year” modeling contest. Much like Miss America, Jakub was then able to compete in the Man of the Year pageant for the entire Czech Republic and made the final 12. With this exposure, he earned a flood of modeling offers and started appearing on billboards and in runway shows around the world.
As a rising star in the world of male fitness modeling, Jakub then entered the Model Universe competition in Miami, where he made several important American contacts. Despite his professional success, however, Jakub still likes to make time for lots of active, fun activities.
“I love to play sports like basketball and soccer, and of course going to the gym. I’m always willing to try something new,” he says. “Amusement parks are so much fun, and I love doing adrenaline-pumping stuff like skydiving and bungee jumping. I love to spend some time in nature hiking or walking dogs.”
The most pulse-racing of all, however, was when Jakub came out as a gay man, something he hadn’t thought was possible growing up in Eastern Europe.
For more on Jakub, pick up the new February/March issue of Instinct!