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Building the Perfect Body: A Workout Program Inspired by Steve Reeves

Looking for a strength training program that will inspire you to achieve your fitness goals? Look no further than the Steve Reeves workout routine that will get you ripped.

Steven Hill
Building the Perfect Body: A Workout Program Inspired by Steve Reeves
Table Of Contents
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In the ever-changing world of fitness trends, getting lost in a sea of fads is easy. But amidst the chaos, our bodies remain uncomplicated. It's time to get straight to the point and look darn good doing it! Enter Steve Reeves, the epitome of classic, old-school perfection. Before we delve into his secret to a swoon-worthy physique, let's take a moment to appreciate the man himself and how he crafted that chiseled masterpiece.

Steve Reeves wasn't just a guy with muscles; he was a legend in the making. His body was so impressive it could make Michelangelo question his sculpting skills. Seriously, those muscles were a work of art! And the best part? He achieved it without all the fancy bells and whistles of modern fitness contraptions.

So, grab a protein shake and get ready to turn back the clock to a time when muscles were made of pure sweat and determination. We're about to embark on a journey to uncover the secrets of Steve Reeves' magnificent physique and the classic workouts that made his muscles pop like popcorn. Get ready to channel your inner fitness guru and make your body a masterpiece! According to Steeve Reeves:

"Building a perfect body is not just about physical strength, but also about mental discipline and determination."

Steve Reeves

Steve Reeves was an American actor and bodybuilder who lived from 1926 to 2000. He is best remembered for his roles in 1950s sword-and-sandal movies, such as "Hercules," "Ursus," and "Goliath." However, Reeves was more than just a movie star; he was also a dedicated athlete who worked hard to achieve his impressive physique.

Born in Montana, Reeves began weightlifting as a teenager and soon became interested in competitive bodybuilding. He went on to win the Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles in 1947 and 1950, respectively.

Regarding having a sculpted body, Reeves' was the best. When Reeves won Mr. Universe in 1950 at 6'1" and 220 pounds, he was praised as the perfect man.

After moving to Hollywood, Reeves became one of the most popular actors of his generation. Though he essentially retired from acting in the 1960s, he remained an iconic figure in fitness and bodybuilding. How Reeves looked was a big part of, if not the main reason for, his success. As we talk about how he trained and what he ate, it's important to remember that much of what we know about training and nutrition wasn't known or easy to find in the 1940s and 1950s.

So, even though we might question his methods now, Reeves was considered ahead of his time, and fitness wasn't nearly as popular as it is now.

Steve Reeves Workout Summary

Main Goal

Build Muscle

Workout Type

Full Body

Training Level

Intermediate

Program Duration

16 weeks

Days Per Week

3

Time Per Workout

60-90 minutes

Equipment Required

Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells

Target Gender

Male

Recommended Supps

Protein Powder, Multi-Vitamin

The Training Principles of Steve Reeves

Reeves was never afraid to teach anyone interested in his learning.

When people asked him how to improve their bodies, he always told them to follow three rules:

1. Attention to Recovery

Most athletes and trainees focused on training, but Reeves always stressed that recovery, both between sets and after workouts, was what let you do your best when you did train. Here are the recovery times he took to get better:

  • 45-60 seconds rest between sets.
  • In a workout, there is a 2-minute break between each exercise.
  • 1-day rest between workouts.
  • Reeves never thought training two days in a row was a good idea.

2. Work on Legs More as the Workout Comes to an End

Reeves did a full-body training split, which you can see in the workouts listed further down in this article. He always puts leg exercises in the middle or near the end of those routines because the quads, hamstrings, and glutes are the largest muscles in the body.

He thought training these parts first would make him so tired that he couldn't get the most out of his upper body training. After working on his upper body, Reeves also thought working on his lower body helped him keep going and get in shape.

3. Goal Setting for Each Workout

Reeves thought that to reach long-term goals; one has to set smaller goals to help one get better. So, to get the most out of his training, he set different goals, such as limits on time, weight, and reps. He never stood out in the weight room and rarely talked to others because he thought distractions would hurt his training and results.

The Steve Reeves Inspired Workouts

The Steve Reeves Inspired Workouts

This training program was written by Reeves in 1951 and is his most famous. He didn't train the same way every time, but this was his favorite routine. He thought the best way to recover was to exercise the whole body in one workout and then take a day off.

You will also see that he only used barbells, dumbbells, and his own body. Back then, machines were rare; only a few gyms had what we now call "basic" machines. From the end of the 1960s to 1970, their popularity grew.

Steve Reeves' Monday Workout

This day has ten exercises with three sets each and 8-12 reps. Keep increasing weight as you progress through the reps.

Exercise

Sets

Reps

1. Military Press

3

8-12

2. Bent Over Barbell Row

3

8-12

3. Barbell Bench Press

3

8-12

4. Standing Calf Raise

3

8-12

5. Ab Crunch

3

8-12

6. Front Squat

3

8-12

7. Barbell Squat

3

8-12

8. Romanian Deadlift

3

8-12

9. Barbell Curl

3

8-12

10. French Press

3

8-12

Steve Reeves' Wednesday Workout

This day has eleven exercises with three sets each and 12 reps. Keep increasing weight as you progress through the reps.

Exercise

Sets

Reps

1. Romanian Deadlift

3

12

2. Military Press

3

12

3. Dips

3

12

4. Dumbbell Curl

3

12

5. Seated Calf Raise

3

12

6. Lying Tricep Extension

3

12

7. Pull Ups

3

12

8. Front Squats

3

12

9. Back extensions

3

12

10. Dumbbell Lunge

3

12

11. Hanging Leg Raise

3

12

Steve Reeves' Friday Workout

This day also has eleven exercises with three or two sets and 8 or 12 reps. Keep increasing weight as you progress through the reps.

Exercise

Sets

Reps

1. Deadlift

3

8-12

2. One Arm Dumbbell Row

3

8-12

3. Dumbbell Upright Row

2

12

4. Incline Bench Press

3

8-12

5. Standing Calf Raise

3

12

6. Front Squat

2

12

7. Dumbbell Hamstring Curl

3

8-12

8. Sit Ups

3

12

9. Dumbbell Lunge

2

8-12

10. Lying Tricep Extension

2

8

11. Concentration Curl

3

8-12

Steve Reeves's Opinion on Cardio

So, if you're wondering what kind of cardio Steve Reeves did, the answer is none. He focused on lifting weights and getting stronger. He thought this was the best way to build an impressive physique. His book "Building the Classic Physique - the Natural Way" says that when he wanted to get leaner, he just took less time off between sets and worked out harder. Cardio can help burn fat, but it's unnecessary for building muscle. Just lift weights and eat right, and you'll build the body of your dreams.

Steve Reeves' Food and Nutrition

Reeves knew how important it was to eat well and how it would help his body and performance. He thought that a diet with 20% protein, 20% fat, and 60% carbs was best because he felt that the high carbs gave him more energy to train.

Also, he would only eat three times a day on this plan, which is very different from the 5 to 6 meal plans that are common today. Steeve Reeves says:

"A well-balanced diet is the foundation of a perfect body. Feed your body with nutritious foods to fuel your workouts."

Steve Reeves Supplements

Remember what we said about the machines you can use to train? Well, this is also true for supplements. Outside of the Multivitamins and protein powder, little was known or available.Reeves performed well with his food and the protein powder in his shake. Reeves was always against steroids and said he never used them when competing.

FAQs

1. How can I achieve balanced muscle development like Steve Reeves?

To achieve balanced muscle development, it's essential to prioritize compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This includes exercises like squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and rows.

Additionally, paying attention to symmetry and proportion in your training routine can help ensure that all muscle groups are adequately targeted. Avoiding overemphasizing certain muscle groups while neglecting others is vital to achieving balanced muscle development.

2. What should my training frequency and intensity be like when following a Steve Reeves inspired workout program?

Training frequency and intensity depend on your goals, fitness level, and schedule. However, a general guideline would be to perform resistance training exercises two to four times per week, allowing for rest and recovery days in between. It's important to gradually increase the weights and intensity over time to promote progressive overload, essential for muscle growth.

Incorporating HIIT and cardiovascular exercises two to three times per week is also recommended to enhance overall fitness.

3. Can I follow a Steve Reeves inspired workout program even as a beginner?

Yes, a Steve Reeves-inspired workout program can be suitable for beginners. However, it's crucial to start with lighter weights and focus on mastering proper form and technique before progressing to heavier loads.

It's also recommended to seek guidance from a qualified fitness professional to ensure you follow the program correctly and safely. Gradually increasing the weights and intensity and listening to your body's cues will help you progress at a pace that suits your capabilities.

Conclusion

Even though many of Reeves' ideas might seem old-fashioned now, there's no doubt that his body was ahead of its time and could still be admired today. Reeves's work influenced many of the people who inspired us years later. There's no question that he left his mark on the fitness world and changed it in many ways that are still clear today.

Steve Reeves's workout program is great for building a strong, proportionate, and functional body. By following this program, you can develop a balanced and natural physique like Steve Reeves, improving your physical appearance and overall health and well-being.

Remember to focus on heavy weights, compound exercises, and various rep ranges and sets to challenge your muscles and prevent plateaus. Incorporate isolation exercises to target weak areas and use proper form and technique to avoid injuries.

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Steven Hill

Steven is a passionate health & fitness writer. Steven has considerable research experience, but also enjoys writing nutrition and workout articles for general readership. Today, it's easy to find health and wellness information. People use many different sites to get the information they ne

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