Get to know pioneer, Boyer Coe

B: John Platero

For anyone interested in bodybuilding’s history, one man we should all know of is Boyer Coe, one of its hardest working pioneers. He is the only contestant to achieve a perfect score in the World Cup Bodybuilding Championship. His birthday is August 18th (another Leo; mine is the 17th so I like him already!) He competed in four decades— from the 60’s – 90’s claiming 15 professional and 11 amateur titles in the process.  Coe’s competition success includes the 1965 Mr. Texas 1st; 1965 Mr. Dallas 1st; 1969 Mr. America 1st; 1972 NABBA Mr. Universe Pro 2nd (under 5’9″); 1981 World Inv Cup 1st; 1981 Grand Prix Belgium 1st; 1981 Grand Prix Wales 1st; 1981 Grand Prix World 1st; 1982 Grand Prix Montreal 1st; 1994 Masters Olympia 3rd; 1995 Masters Olympia 10th.

From owning a health food store and running a gym, to prototyping exercise equipment and co-hosting a fitness program on ESPN, Boyer has been involved in the sport in one way or another since he was 14 years old.

When asked how he’s stayed motivated so long, Coe replied “Bodybuilding has always been a personal journey for me, I was simply interested in seeing how hard I could push myself, challenge myself, to see how much I was able to improve. The contests were nothing more to me than a goal to attempt to measure my progress – sometimes I was able to make really good progress, other times it was not as good as I would have liked.”

I met Boyer Coe in the late 90’s at an in-service for equipment at a gym I was working for. He was about 5’9 200+lbs. He still had a lot of size at 60+! I found him to be gracious, caring and motivated to share his experience and knowledge. Read how humble he was in this interview:

Q: You have also won your share of pro contests. What was it about your look that the judges liked?
“I do not have a clue; honestly I never thought my physique was all that good. Bodybuilding is purely subjective by nature. Judges will always have their bias. I trained hard, did my best to be in top condition; always did what I could to improve. After that it was out of my hands. The funny thing is, the contests, as I said, were never a motivating factor for me. I never cared that much, but naturally, at the same time, wanted to win and do well. I was never fortunate to have a contract and I am very happy that the guys today are getting these big contracts, but I would like to think that I was one of the pioneers that led to that.  As a competitor I always had a full-time job so going to the contests and winning was not all that important to me because at least I had a job to fall back on. And to be quite honest I never had any respect for any of the judges. If they placed me first, fine. If they didn’t I just took it and went about my business because I figured those guys did not know what it was like.”

Love this guy! He continues to work out every morning at 5.00 am, and still maintains good conditioning and size. I would like to thank Mr. Coe for his time years ago and for all of his hard work to make bodybuilding what it is today!