Training

Retro Athlete: Albert Beckles

The high-def legend with the dagger-like biceps.

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Retro Athlete: Albert Beckles

FATHER TIME COULDN’T TOUCH THE HIGH-DEF LEGEND WITH THE DAGGERLIKE BICEPS

Albert Beckles’ victory at the Niagara Falls Pro Invitational in 1991 at the AARP-qualified age of 52 remains a record for the oldest winner of an IFBB pro show. But there’s so much more to his stupendous four-decade career. The Barbados-born Beckles competed in more than 100 contests, including 13 Olympias. He won the 1971 Mr. Universe and eight pro titles and finished second in the 1985 Olympia, and he still serves as a judge today. Most remarkably, this pollo-vegetarian reinvented himself in middle age. It seemed time to terminate his already-long career when he sank to the bottom of the 1978 Mr. O. But in the early ’80s, the 40-something Beckles remade himself as the leanest man in bodybuilding, and his HD physique repeatedly won the biggest checks and contended for Sandows. Throughout it all, Beckles’ biceps were celebrated for their sharp peaks—apt metaphors for the great distance he traveled in the IFBB Pro League, from down in the valley to almost the summit.

 BECKLES ON BICEPS 

“I like exercises that allow me to focus on contractions, like cable curls and concentration curls.”

“At the top, I twist my wrists outward as far as they can go. This creates a tremendous contraction that I hold.”

“Higher reps don’t bring out more details. Dieting does. I try to stick to eight to 12 reps for biceps.”

 BECKLES’ BICEPS ROUTINE 

Seated Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets, 8–10 reps

Cable Curl: 4 sets, 8–10 reps

Dumbbell Concentration Curl: 4 sets, 8–10 reps

One-arm Cable Curl: 3 sets, 8–12 reps

 

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