Albert Beckles

From an island named Barbados, Albert Beckles moved to the UK and trained to be the best. Over the course of his 3-decade long career, he’s taken part in over 100 contests, including Mr. Olympia and Night of Champions.

Known for his high-peaked biceps and trademark performances on the stage, Albert competed at the elite level even into his 60s – placing 2nd at the 1985 Mr. Olympia to Lee Haney at 55 years of age.

This is his story.


Albert Beckles flexing his ripped muscles on a bodybuilding stage

Athlete Statistics

Full Name: Albert Beckles
WeightHeightArmsChest
215 - 225lbs (93.0 - 102.1kg)5'7" (170cm)19''48.5''
WaistThighsCalves
31''25''16.7''
AgeDate of BirthNationality
89July 14, 1930British
ProfessionAliasEra
Professional BodybuilderAlbert Al Beckles1960, 1970, 1980, 1990
Weight215 - 225lbs (93.0 - 102.1kg)
Height5'7" (170cm)
Arms19''
Chest48.5''
Waist31''
Thighs25''
Calves16.7''
Age89
Date of BirthJuly 14, 1930
NationalityBritish
ProfessionProfessional Bodybuilder
AliasAlbert Al Beckles
Era1960, 1970, 1980, 1990


Albert Beckles posing on the bodybuilding stage

Accomplishments

Contest History

1965
  • Mr. Britain NABBA, 5th place
  • Universe NABBA Medium, 3rd place
1966
  • Universe NABBA Medium, 6th place
1967
  • Mr. Britain NABBA, 3rd place
1968
  • Mr. Britain NABBA, 2nd place
1969
  • Mr. Britain NABBA, 2nd place
  • Mr. World IFBB Medium, 2nd place
  • Universe NABBA Medium, 3rd place
1970
  • NABBA Mr. Britain, 1st place
  • Mr. Europe, 1st place
  • Mr. Europe Medium, 1st place
  • Universe NABBA Medium, 2nd place
1971
  • Mr. Britain NABBA, 1st place
  • Mr. World AAU, 1st place
  • Universe IFBB Medium, 1st & Overall
  • Universe NABBA Medium 1st & Overall
1973
  • Mr. Europe IFBB Medium 1st & Overall
  • Universe IFBB Medium, 1st place
1975
  • Olympia IFBB Lightweight, 3rd place
  • Universe IFBB Medium, 2nd place
1977
  • Olympia IFBB Short 4th & 7th Overall
1978
  • Olympia IFBB Lightweight, 8th place
1979
  • Best in the World IFBB, Professional, 3rd place
  • Grand Prix Pennsylvania IFBB, 3rd place
  • Olympia IFBB Lightweight, 7th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 2nd place
1980
  • Universe Pro IFBB, 4th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 4th place
1981
  • Canada Pro Cup IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix Belgium IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix California IFBB, 4th place
  • Grand Prix Louisiana IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix Massachusetts IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix New England IFBB, 1st place
  • Grand Prix New York IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix Wales IFBB, 3rd place
  • Grand Prix World Cup IFBB, 6th place
  • Professional World Cup IFBB, 6th place
  • World Grand Prix IFBB, 2nd place
1982
  • Grand Prix Belgium IFBB, 2nd place
  • Grand Prix Sweden IFBB, 4th place
  • Night Of Champions IFBB, 1st place
  • Olympia IFBB, 5th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 1st place
1983
  • Grand Prix England IFBB, 5th place
  • Grand Prix Las Vegas IFBB, 3rd place
  • Grand Prix Portland IFBB, 4th place
  • Grand Prix Sweden IFBB, 5th place
  • Grand Prix Switzerland IFBB, 5th place
  • Night Of Champions IFBB, 3rd place
  • Olympia IFBB, 7th place
1984
  • Canada Pro Cup IFBB, 1st place
  • Olympia IFBB, 4th place
  • World Grand Prix IFBB, 1st place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 1st place
1985
  • Night Of Champions IFBB, 1st place
  • Olympia IFBB, 2nd place
1986
  • Olympia IFBB, 4th place
1987
  • Grand Prix France IFBB, 4th place
  • Grand Prix Germany (2) IFBB, 6th place
  • Grand Prix Germany IFBB, 4th place
  • Olympia IFBB, 7th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 3rd place
1988
  • Chicago Pro Invitational IFBB, 4th place
  • Grand Prix England IFBB, 7th place
  • Grand Prix France IFBB, 11th place
  • Grand Prix Germany IFBB, 8th place
  • Grand Prix Italy IFBB, 8th place
  • Grand Prix Spain (2) IFBB, 8th place
  • Grand Prix Spain IFBB, 7th place
  • Night Of Champions IFBB, 5th place
  • Olympia IFBB, 15th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 10th place
1989
  • Arnold Classic IFBB, 7th place
  • Grand Prix England IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix Finland IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix France IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix Holland IFBB, 11th place
  • Grand Prix Melbourne IFBB, 4th place
  • Grand Prix Spain (2) IFBB, 10th place
  • Grand Prix Spain IFBB, 10th place
  • Grand Prix Sweden IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix US Pro IFBB, 4th place
  • Night of Champions IFBB, 8th place
  • Olympia IFBB, 15th place
  • World Pro Championships IFBB, 4th place
1990
  • Arnold Classic IFBB, 9th place
  • Houston Pro Invitational IFBB, 11th place
  • Niagara Falls Pro Invitational IFBB, 12th place
  • Night of Champions IFBB, did not place place
1991
  • Grand Prix Denmark IFBB, 7th place
  • Grand Prix England IFBB, 7th place
  • Grand Prix Finland IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix Italy IFBB, 8th place
  • Grand Prix Spain IFBB, 9th place
  • Grand Prix Switzerland IFBB, 8th place
  • Niagara Falls Pro Invitational IFBB, 1st place
  • Night of Champions IFBB, 7th place
  • Olympia IFBB, didn’t place
  • Pittsburg Pro Invitational IFBB, 12th place
  • San Jose Pro Invitational IFBB, 5th place
1992
  • Chicago Pro Invitational IFBB, 16th place
  • Niagara Falls Pro Invitational IFBB, 8th place

Albert Beckles showing off his most muscular pose in bodybuilding

Biography

Emigration to London and First Contests

Albert Beckles was born on a Carribean island named Barbados. He later emigrated to London, where his love for bodybuilding first emerged.

After many years of training, Albert’s physique looked better than ever. This is when he began to take bodybuilding more seriously – deciding to become a competitor.

His first show came in 1965. It was the NABBA Mr. Britain, and Albert impressed right from the start by cracking into the top 5 at the contest.


Albert Beckles during his early bodybuilding days, posing shirtless

Albert Beckles during his early bodybuilding days.


First Breakthrough

After a series of 2nd and 3rd place finishes, Albert took his first victory at the 1970 NABBA Mr. Britain.  He repeated the success at Mr. Europe that same year.

By the end of 1970, Alber competed in one more contest – NABBA Universe – taking 2nd place.

Entering the IFBB

One year after winning his first show, Albert repeated the success once again, winning the 1971 Mr. Britain NABBA. But his best was yet to come.

That same year, Albert went on to win the AAU Mr. World contest, which saw him join the IFBB circuit.

Albert continued his awesome streak in the IFBB, winning the  1971 NABBA Universe and IFBB Universe in both his weight category and overalls.

His bulging biceps and ‘sharp’ physique quickly became Albert’s trademark features on the stage.


Albert Beckles flexing back double biceps, looking huge and ripped


Record Breaker

Throughout the years, Albert went on to become one of the most active bodybuilding competitors in history – taking part in over 100 contests over the course of his career.

He also broke many records along the way.

In 1982, Albert claimed the 1st place title at the Night of Champions. He was 52 years old at the time.

He’s also the record holder for the most appearances in Mr. Olympia, having appeared 13 times on the world’s biggest bodybuilding stage.

Competing Against Lee Haney

Albert cracked into the top five on six occasions at Mr. Olympia. But one time, in particular, Albert achieved something that was unheard of before.

In 1985, he placed 2nd at the Olympia to Lee Haney at twice Lee’s age.

Although this came as a huge surprise to many people, it didn’t to Albert, who once said that he looked better in his 50s than 30s.


Albert Beckles flexing his huge and ripped muscles in bodybuilding contest


Later Contests and Retirement

Albert’s latest win came at the 1991 Niagara Falls Pro Invitational, where he outshone everyone else at 61 years of age.

On May 9th, 1992, Albert drew the curtains on his glittering career after over 3 decades of competing at the top.

Known for his fairness and friendly personality, Alber Beckles has cemented his status as the “British gentleman” and one of the greatest bodybuilders that have ever lived.


Albert Beckles then and now

Training

Albert Beckles was proud of the progress on his physique, but even in his 50s, he believed he could look better. He’d always want to achieve more.

This insatiable thirst for improvement is what allowed Albert to stay on the top of his craft even after 3 decades of competing.

High-Volume Training

In terms of his training specifics, Albert loved to include a lot of volume in his workouts. He was known for doing multiple sets of power cleans for over 16 reps.

This caused the notorious burning sensation in his muscles, which he believed was one of the keys for growth.

Training the Same Body Part Multiple Days in a Row

There was a time where Albert felt his thighs were lacking behind. In order to change this, he started training them 4 days in a row with as much volume as he could pack into a workout.

While some argued this would lead to overtraining, Albert proved through his example that this wasn’t the case. His legs grew enormously after he began training them on consecutive days.


Albert Beckles flexing side chest looking ripped


Albert’s Bicep Training Advice

Famed for his sharp biceps peaks, Albert believed that the key to great arms was doing a lot of isolation exercises, such as cable curls.

Here’s Albert talking about his biceps training; “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.” – Albert Beckles

In terms of reps and sets, Albert never believed that higher reps bring more definition. He says this is just a myth in bodybuilding.

Instead, he sticks to 8-12 reps per set, which he says, is an ideal range for muscle hypertrophy. His biceps training routine;

Full Biceps Workout

  • 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

Albert Beckles flexing his swole and ripped muscles in a bodybuilding show

Nutrition

For most of his career, Albert Beckles ate a strict diet consisting of chicken, rice, and vegetables. He almost never ate sugars or refined foods. He says, on the odd occasion where he’d eat something sweet, it would be in very small quantities.

There was also a period in Albert’s career where he ate a vegetarian diet. During this period, he replaced meat with foods such as lentils, grains, dairy, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.

However, even though this diet worked for him, Albert still returned to eating meat eventually, believing that a balanced diet is one that the human body is made for.


Albert Beckles spreading his arms wide in front of an audience on the bodybuilding stage

Idols and Influences

Although he had his own influences, Albert Beckles was, and still is, an idol for many bodybuilders.

With his extensive career and record-breaking feats, he’s a role model for everyone who wants to see how success is made as a bodybuilder.


Albert Beckles flexing his ripped arms in a bodybuilding photo shoot

What we can learn from Albert Beckles

From a career standpoint, Albert Beckles has shown us that you should never put limits on yourself. Albert started competing when he was around 30 years old, and stayed at the top of his craft even during his early 60s.

This was previously unheard of in bodybuilding, but Albert proved that with the right approach and mindset, anything is possible.

And despite the success he’s achieved, Albert Beckles has always been a humble individual who’s helped others with his bodybuilding advice – this is why he’ll forever stay remembered as the “British gentleman” and a true legend among bodybuilders.

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One comment

  1. AltrdBeast

    April 19, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Thank you for posting this profile. Albert Beckles’s successes through more than 40years in the fitness industry is truly an AMAZING accomplishment. His muscular development, balance, and definition were exceptional.

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