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Meet Baruch Shemtov, the Jacked News Reporter Whose Muscles Are the Envy of NYC

”People stop me on the street every day,“ Shemtov tells TheWrap

Less than a decade ago, Baruch Shemtov was a scrawny Harvard student working toward a psychology degree. Now he’s an absolutely jacked workout freak on “Good Day New York,” the Fox morning show in America’s largest market.

While he typically wears a suit on air, the producers at “Good Day New York” are well aware of Shemtov’s physique and seem to find an excuse for him to show it off whenever possible. He’s done remote stories in bathing suits, wetsuits, tight softball gear and a variety of skimpy outfits and it has resulted in some bizarre encounters with viewers.

“I get a lot of feedback with people saying they weren’t aware how much fitness means to me, but they use other language,” Shemtov told TheWrap. “Some people are caught off guard.”

The 29-year-old Shemtov said he has been “very well received across demographics” and is often given compliments that aren’t appropriate for print. He said fans are “less intimidated and less afraid to share” on social media but that hasn’t stopped people from asking about his body in person. Fans have even asked to feel his biceps on the street, which he allows “within reason” if things are kept PG.

“People stop me on the street every day and it’s fascinating to see the range of people. I have everybody from people younger than me to people who could be my great grandparents,” Shemtov said. “While I do try to be accommodating, there is a limit… there are certain comments that I try to absorb and move on.”

His unconventional path to morning news is almost as unique as his body transformation. Shemtov never studied journalism and made a series of on-line videos for exposure when he decided to pursue a career in television while interning for CNN’s David Gergen after graduating in 2009.

“I started a series on The Huffington Post. I produced it myself, hosted myself, booked it myself,” he explained. “I had never been on camera. Nobody wanted to give me a shot.”

The New York City native was promised prime real estate on the Huffington Post’s homepage if he delivered quality, unpaid interviews — so he “reached for the stars” and landed everyone from Ivanka Trump to Russell Simmons.

“I got the eyeballs, but I had to make it happen,” he said. “I didn’t have connections getting into this business. My father is a urologist.”

Shemtov parlayed the opportunity into paid gigs hosting a variety of digital content and eventually landed on Fox’s New York affiliate in 2014 as a guest, then a freelancer which eventually became a full-time gig.

“That was my goal from day one,” Shemtov said. “The people I’m working with today are people I grew up watching.”

Shemtov has landed his dream job as an on-air reporter, but he continues to work on his dream body on a daily basis. Fitness is such a large part of Shemtov’s life that he’s currently working to become a certified personal trainer. He doesn’t plan to actually take on clients and give up television; he simply wants to be as informed as possible. (He stopped TheWrap’s interview multiple times to discuss working out and to offer diet tips.)

“What’s your celebrity body crush? You need to have that. If you watch what you eat and treat it like an obsession, for a period of time, you will get obsessive results,” he said at one point.

“The thing with fitness is, once you start and once you start to see results, you have to keep going,” Shemtov said.

Shemtov had his own “celebrity body crush” prior to hitting the gym.

He initially started working out because he wanted to look like Mario Lopez and set out to accomplish his goal. He even enlisted the help of a personal trainer who has worked with Lopez in the past in order to mirror the former “Saved by the Bell” star’s workout routine.

“My approach was, ‘OK, Mario looks great… Who works with Mario? Let’s go find him,'” Shemtov said.

The reporter said he met Lopez many years ago but he’s never confronted his fitness role model about the lengths he’s taken to replicate his body.

“He probably wouldn’t remember me,” Shemtov said.

Shemtov shared a shirtless photo from before his workout days with TheWrap — but refused to let us publish it. He hasn’t shared the pic publicly since bursting onto the New York television scene, but keeps the photo in his phone to remind him of his baseline.

“I had to fight against genetics,” he joked. “People haven’t seen the before picture.”

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