Albert Beckles – The Vegetarian Bodybuilder of Pumping Iron

When you think of athletes like long distance runners and bodybuilders, the image of that athlete consuming huge amounts of protein before a competition in the form of meat is a stereotype the public holds. Albert Beckles knew what real success was in bodybuilding and he did it all while living the life of a vegetarian.

But that didn’t stop him for realizing some of the highest achievements in the field of bodybuilding including being included with a select group of bodybuilders to be in the groundbreaking documentary, Pumping Iron. There is not question that Albert Beckles cut a striking figure in Pumping Iron and a figure that fully deserved to stand beside other phenomenal athletes of the time like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno in that film.

Albert Beckles is well known for enjoying one of the longest and most active careers in bodybuilding history. From his humble birth in Barbados in 1930, Beckles grew up to achieve notoriety in British bodybuilding championships including winning the NABBA Mr. Brittan title in 1970. Albert Beckles demonstrated the heart of a champion by completing in over 100 bodybuilding contests over his career in Great Britain and the United States. He was so successful and determined to achieve success that Albert Beckles competed in a phenomenal thirteen Mr. Universe competitions, six of them in which he placed in the top five of all competitors in those contests.

Clearly, vegetarianism may have given Albert Beckles a longevity that no many bodybuilders were able to sustain because even at the age of 61, Beckles won the Niagara Falls Pro Invitational bodybuilding championship. That longevity is a testimony to a lifestyle of healthy living and a dedication to his sport. When Albert Beckles graced the movie world in his appearance in Pumping Iron, it was just a glimpse into one of the longest careers in bodybuilding.

Even in retirement, Albert Beckles continued to make a contribution to the sport of bodybuilding. At the age of 73, it was easy to find the historic champion attending competitions and serving as judge for the very IFBB Mr. Universe competitions that he once competed in himself.

No doubt, many young bodybuilders sought out the sage bodybuilder for an autograph and some advice on how to enjoy a very long career in a sport that is very physically demanding. If so, they could not find a better mentor to give them tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle and stay competitive decade after decade. And no doubt, they also hear learned about the benefits of being a vegetarian that Albert Beckles has enjoyed through out his bodybuilding career as well.

Donna Morgan

Donna Morgan

Crank It is where inspiration, aspiration and solution converge to make things ‘happen’. Turn on your life or turn it around and see where it takes you!

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