Steven L Reeves had very good genes, with his broad shoulders and narrow waist together with his super good looks, made him the most well paid actor in Europe and the USA in 1958 with his box-office hit called Hercules, which pulled in a record $4.7 million at the time.
But all this fame and fortune only started after his bodybuilding career which peaked in 1950 when he won the Mr. Universe contest. He and John Grimek had stood onstage together often and they had a lot in common. They were both young and good looking and very marketable and both holding a lot of muscle mass, for those days.
Steve Reeves stood 6'1" tall and weighed around 215lbs on stage, his workout and his advice on nutrition suggest that Steve knew exactly how to gain muscle for natural bodybuilding.
Steve knew his body and he said more than once, that the average bodybuilder these days' trains too much. Steve stuck to his three times a week hard training most of his bodybuilding career. Steve explains that the perfect training schedule would be a day and half between each workout.
Steve had some rather unorthodox training methods. For example, he would stick rigidly to a 2 second tempo, with 3 secs on the eccentric. He would breathe in a moment before he started the positive and he then breathes out on the negative (eccentric). Steve believed in the pump and his full body training that he did 3 X week had a very specific order.
Steve believed in pairing his opposing muscle groups when he trains. He said the increased blood supply alone increases workout efficiency. Steve would always start his workout with shoulders. Then he would superset his lats and bench-press, he would take a break of a few minutes and start super-setting his biceps and his triceps, before ending his workout by super-setting his quads and hamstrings and then complete his workout with a thorough calf workout.
This 65-year-old muscle building routine still works just as well today as it did back then. Strength coaches will tell you today to use a heavy weight and low reps and bodybuilding coaches will tell you to build muscle using between 8 and 12 reps. The bottom line is that Steve knew how to gain muscle.
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