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Albert Beckles: Super Peaked Biceps

Hard contractions helped the IFBB legend sharpen the peaks of his biceps.

By Greg Merritt

The first thing you need to know about Albert Beckles is that he’s probably found the fountain of youth—the guy was runner-up in the 1985 Mr. Olympia at age 47, and he went on to win a pro show at the AARP-qualifed age of 52. The second thing is that his biceps were some of the most highly peaked ever seen. Had you watched his arm workouts in the ’80s, you would’ve seen him doing set after set of peak- contraction reps.

Peak contraction—that’s got to be the secret, right? Well, sort of.

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Beckles’ emphasis on holding curl contractions allowed him to maximize his biceps spikes; but arm shape is mostly determined by DNA. To heighten your bicep peaks, focus more on the taller-rising outer biceps heads by curling with your thumbs above your pinkies, and hold those contractions. You may not have the genetics to build mini-mountains, but a Beckles-style workout will keep tension on your fully fexed bi’s, arming you with higher-caliber guns.

The Contraction Cheat Sheet

  • Hold each contraction for 1–2 seconds.
  • In the fully flexed position, squeeze as hard as possible.
  • Incorporate iso-tension with peak contraction by doing cable curls.
  • Continue flexing the targeted muscles for 6–10 seconds after each set is complete.

Beckles' Biceps Routine

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Curl 4 8-10
Cable Curl 4 8-10
Dumbbell Concentration Curl 4 8-10
One-arm Cable Curl 3 8-12

Beckles' Career Highs

  • 1971 IFBB Mr. Universe
  • 1985 Mr. Olympia, 2nd place
  • 8 pro wins (1981-91)

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