Bodybuilding Legends – Francis Benfatto

Lifting weights all your life can take its toll on your body. Not for the ageless Frenchman, Francis Benfatto though. Now 63 years of age, he is still sculpting his body and has a tremendous physique that looks at least twenty years younger. Like bodybuilding legends Frank Zane and Bob Paris, the much-admired Benfatto is known for having one of the most aesthetically pleasing physiques ever in competitive bodybuilding. Follow on for Bodybuilding Legends – Francis Benfatto!

Francis First Lifted Weights to Get Stronger for Boxing

Francis was born in Morocco in 1958 and moved to France with his family during his early teenage years. It was there that one of his school friends convinced him to try boxing. To build their size and strength for the sport, the friends started lifting weights.

Francis was Inspired by Bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger & Serge Nubret

Naturally, Francis liked the gains he made and this led him down the route of developing his physique further. He found inspiration from bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Serge Nubret, and many others from the French bodybuilding magazines he would regularly read.

Mr. France 1982: First Place Winner

Benfatto started competing in bodybuilding in his late teens. He got off to a good start in the sport and it wasn’t long until he achieved a first place position in the 1982 Mr. France competition.

Francis at the Mr. Olympia

A few more years of dedicated hard work saw him earn his place on the IFBB Mr. Olympia stage. He competed in four Mr. Olympia shows, achieving his best position of sixth in 1990, notably placing above Ronnie Coleman and former Mr. Olympia winner Samir Bannout in some of these shows.

Perhaps Francis’ most famous competitive moment was when he returned to the bodybuilding stage in 2006 at the age of 48, thirteen years after his last competition, and placed a very respectable sixth place in the IFBB Australian Grand Prix.

Francis Trained Heavy on Compound Movements & Light on Isolation Exercises

To build his physique Francis used a sensible and methodical approach. He trained heavy on compound movements and light on isolation exercises. As he progressed, he preferred using precise form with lighter weights and slower rep tempos to feel the targeted muscles working.

His Arms Measure 20″!

He achieved an arm size of over 20 inches which looked spectacular on his 5’6″ frame. His exploration of training methods and accumulation of experience led him to develop a system known as the A.R.T System (Auto Regulation Training).

Francis is a Top-Notch Personal Trainer that Continues to Inspire Many

The strong mindset a person develops through bodybuilding along with the will to succeed, often stays throughout life and can help support their endeavours in a vast myriad of ways. This is clearly true for Francis. He has been a personal trainer to a huge number of people, he’s been a writer for bodybuilding magazines, and has his own successful supplement and clothing range. And with such a big following on social media, he’s continuing to inspire old and new bodybuilders alike.

What do you think of Francis Benfatto’s physique? Do you prefer aesthetics and symmetry over sheer size? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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