Boyer Coe: Old Habits Die Hard

coe1Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1946, Boyer Coe was a top-line bodybuilder of the late-Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

His name is synonymous with perseverance, consistency and endurance and these traits helped him form his legendary status amongst other old school bodybuilding greats.

It is these qualities that helped make him a four-time Mr Universe, seven-time Mr. World and Mr. America champion.

All this without some of the natural genetic advantages other champions possessed.

Bodybuilding Career

Historical record says that Boyer started his iron game career at the tender age of 14 at the Lake Charles Gym.

His ambitions were high even his formative years. His fellow friends and trainees all knew of his desire to one day become a future Mr. America.


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Certainly he was developing the strength to fulfil his motivation. By the age of 17 he was already benching a respectable 420lbs

College took him to Lafayette, Louisiana. It was there he started training at Red Lerille’s Gym.

His physique was fast developing and it was at Red Lerilles that his posing routine was honed to a championship standard.

In 1965 his ambition started to be realized by him winning the Mr. Louisiana title.

Over the next five years he stormed his way to Mr Teen America, Junior Mr. USA, Mr. America, NABBA Mr. Universe titles. This is not to mention the many competitions where he gained Most Muscular wins and top three finishes.

The Seventies saw him win IFBB Mr. International, NABBA Pro Mr. Universe, Mr World title as well as placing highly in the coveted Mr. Olympia competitions of the period.

The early Eighties saw him win the IFBB Canada Pro Cup, and Grand Prix competitions in Belgium, Massachusetts, and Wales. Along with this he captured the 1981 Grand Prix Cup, World Grand Prix, and Professional World Cup.

Boyer’s last competition was the 1995 Olympia Masters competition where he place 10th.



It is fair to say that Boyer’s career was both prolific and highly successful. This is despite some genetic traits that worked against him. In particular, he had atypical muscle bellies that both for and against him.

On the plus side he had spectacular biceps where the dual heads were visibly split. On the negative side he had unusually undefined abs despite competing at sub 5% body fat levels.

By the Eighties he had managed to add considerable definition to his abs through old fashioned hard work and targeted training and this goes a long way to explaining Coe’s successful career.

Boyer credited his upbringing in instilling the qualities of hard work and perseverance to bringing about success in both bodybuilding and life.

His career displayed a synergy of determination, visualization and goal setting which was both measured and deliberate.

This is summed up perfectly in a quote, where he stated “If you believe you will be the champion, then you have the battle half won”

Personal Life

Boyer married Valerie in 1979 surrounded by many bodybuilding cohorts. In fact Joe Weider himself gave Valerie away.

In an interview, Boyer said that he felt fortunate to what bodybuilding gave to him. He also said that he would like to put back something in return to what the sport has given him.

He encapsulates this by taking opportunities in giving talks in front of different civic groups and organizations, where he talks about bodybuilding and the benefits that it gives to people.

Boyer now owns a gym and a health food store. He also co-hosted in one of ESPN’s fitness program which maintained his connection in the fitness community.

Boyer Coe still starts his day very early in the morning at the gym.

Although he does not have to train anymore for competitions, he just train for the same old reason that he has way back when he was just 14 years old. He trains out of his love for the sport. Truly, “Old habits die hard.”

Boyer Coe training in the early 90's before the Masters Olympia


Bodybuilding Titles

1965 – AAU Mr. Texas

1966 – AAU Teen Mr. America

1968 – AAU Jr. Mr. USA

1968 – AAU Mr. America (Most Muscular)

1968 – AAU Mr. USA (Most Muscular)

1969 – AAU Jr. Mr. America

1969 – AAU Mr. America

1969 – NABBA Mr. Universe

1970 – NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (Short)

1971 – IFBB Mr. America (Medium)

1971 – IFBB Mr. International

1971 – WBBG Pro Mr. World

1972 – WBBG Pro Mr. World

1973 – WBBG Pro Mr. World

1973 – NABBA Pro Mr. Universe

1974 – WBBG Pro Mr. World

1975 – WBBG Pro Mr. World

1975 – NABBA Pro Mr. Universe

1975 – PBBA Pro Mr. Universe

1981 – IFBB Canada Pro Cup

1981 – IFBB Belgium Grand Prix

1981 – IFBB Massachusetts Grand Prix

1981 – IFBB Wales Grand Prix

1981 – IFBB Grand Prix World Cup

1981 – IFBB Professional World Cup

1981 – IFBB World Grand Prix