Charles Archibald had a pretty unique 40th birthday this year.
On that day, Dec. 21, he was officially qualified as a ‘master’ bodybuilder.
The very next day, on Dec. 22, he competed in his first national bodybuilding championship, and placed first place in two categories: Men’s Classic Physique – Masters 40+, and Men’s Bodybuilding – Masters 40+.
“Achieving that on my 40th birthday was pretty cool, I’m not gonna lie,” he said.
Originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, Archibald now lives in Sparwood. He moved to the Elk Valley for the skiing 15 years ago, and lived in Fernie for most of that time.
Archibald clocks in at just under 6 feet tall and 212 pounds. He had already qualified for the Dec. 22 championship, put on by the Canadian Physique Alliance (CPA) at Vancouver’s Massey Theatre, following a couple of second-place finishes over the summer. But, until competing and winning on Dec. 21, he wasn’t qualified to compete in the Masters 40+ category in the nationals.
He caught wind of the Dec. 21 regional championship, and decided to throw his hat in the ring.
“I realized that the regional show is literally on my 40th birthday. So I was like, well… I’m there anyway. So, let’s do it.”
He qualified, and came in first place in the Classic Physique category. He took second place in the Bodybuilding round.
“And then the next day I took first place in classic and open at the national show.”
Following his most recent wins, Archibald said he is qualified for the North American championships being held in Pittsburgh in September. He would be competing there against bodybuilders from Canada, the United States, and Mexico. If he wins in his categories, he could become officially recognized with professional status.
Archibald began lifting weights at the age of 14 back in Truro in his basement with his mom’s weight set.
“And then I progressed to gyms, and 26 years later, I’ve just never ever stopped. It’s just an absolute passion. I look forward to it every day still. It’s a lifestyle.”
Competitive bodybuilding is something he always wanted to do, but never found the time due to work hours and being on the road. But, about seven years ago, he decided to take his passion to the public arena.
“I didn’t do quite well on my first show, but I was super proud of myself, and I caught the bug, and just kept pushing and growing and training hard and going from there.”
He said that seeing his body change through the process is one of the things that drives his passion. Looking at photos from the recent championships, he realizes he’s attained the body he’s always wanted.
“It’s the way I’ve wanted to look since I was a kid… I couldn’t be more happy with my physique.”
But the progress never ends, he said.
“You can never stop finding something you want to improve on. And that’s what… takes it to the next level, is you’ll never be satisfied.”
Archibald gave a shout out to the Body Garage Fitness gym in Fernie, calling them a “world class” weight lifting facility.
“They’ve been a huge support for me throughout all this. And they really help all their athletes. They really support everybody.”