Sunday, January 25, 2009

Steve Reeves: Classic Physique Mass!

(Photo above: Steve Reeves - Mr America 1947, Mr World 1948, Mr Universe 1950)

We are posting the photo above of Steve Reeves to show that classic symmetry does not exclude classic mass! Steve's weight varied throughout the years - from 215 lbs during his competitive days to between 190 - 225 lbs during his film days. His lowest bodyweight was about 190 lbs during the filming of the "Giant of Marathon". His highest bodyweight was probably about 225 lbs during the filming of "Hercules."

The shot above shows that a classic physique (of which Steve is the epitome) can carry a good deal of mass. We see broad shoulders, large arms, big forearms, wide lats, narrow waist, great classic V-taper. This is truly a "Herculean" physique in that it has mass, but like the mythical Hercules, that mass is truly functional! Steve did not have trouble with flexibility or impairment of his athletic ability.

Steve's arms were 18.25 inches, his forearms were 14.75 and he had a 24 inch difference between his shoulders and waist (waist was 29 inches) that produced that classic V-taper. Steve was inspired to intentionally develop that V-taper by seeing Jack LaLanne who had a 25 inch differential between his shoulders and waist!

So our take home message here is that a classic physique is balanced and symmetrical. But it can also have "Herculean" mass! The good news is that natural, classic mass looks "Herculean" not "Hulk-like" (it takes drugs and hormones to look "Hulk-like"). So, classic physique builders should be inspired to pursue classic mass as well as classic symmetry!

In our next post, we will present a one-month mass gaining routine for intermediate classic physique builders from the pages of Junior Mr. America - a Golden Age mag (circa 1956).



Anonymous said...


Steve Reeves looks amazing on that photo.
Can't wait to your next post about the one-month mass gaining routine.

- CPB - said...

Hi Anonymous,

Yes...this photo better shows the mass he acheived.

We have visited some of the online, mainstream bodybuilding forums and have read comments by drug and hormone enthusiasts (or wannabe's) referring to Steve's physique as being that of an "underwear model." But you can see from the above photo how untrue that is!

Actually, to really see the impressiveness of Steve's classic physique, we encourage anyone to view any of his 17 films (which are available on DVD through or or other places - just do a search on "Steve Reeves").

We think anyone would be more than happy to have his amount of mass (not to mention symmetry)!

All the best,


brendon patrick said...

C P B,
I also saw that rediculous comment ( underwear model!?? )about Steve Reeves. If that should be the case, I would be happy to look like that type of "underwear model"!!
Even at his lowest bodyweight of 190 Lbs. he in no way appeared weak or "model-like". He exuded strength and masculinity.
These kind of comments are uncalled for and inappropriate.
I appreciate the way you conduct your blog, without ugly and unkind remarks. Your last three posts have been really good!

- CPB - said...

Hi Brendon,

Thanks for your comment! We are doing our best and appreciate the constructive comments, input, and info from our readers!

As you know, we are inspired by the Golden Age champs - most of whom (like Reeves, Eiferman, Ross, Stephan, etc) were "gentlemen" in addition to having classic physiques. They still had the sense of what it meant to be "heroes" to young people and acted accordingly.

We hope to convey the message that classic physique building means more than building a physique, but also involves building the heroic character that should go along with it. In that sense, classic physique building is truly "physical culture" - involving the body, mind, and character!

All the best (and feel free to contribute anytime!)!


Andy said...

People that has such bad words to say about Steve Reeves are simply extremely jaleaous.

I've also read that some people think he didn't have a 29inch waist size, "more like 31inch", which is irrationnal. I've rarely seen such a narrow and trim waist.

It's nice to see people interested into building a classic physique, that's truely positive. Steve wasn't only the greatest bodybuilder of all times, but also a great person.

- CPB - said...

Hi Andy,

We agree. Regardless of what people say about Reeves (on the mainstream bodybuilding sites and forums), we know that almost no man would in any way regret having a classic physique like his.

Whether his waist was "29" or "31" - both actually indicate a very narrow waist for a person 6 ft 1 in.!

That being said, however, we have good reason to believe that his best waist measurement was "29 inches." Why? Because everyone who actually knew Steve says that he was a gentleman and a straight shooter. We, ourselves, have noted an incredible consistency between what he said in his later years (in the 1990s and 2000) and what he wrote in his early years (during the Golden Age of the 1940s and 50s).

BTW, Steve was quite open about the imperfections he perceived in his physique. For example, he said that it was his goal to achieve a 24 inch differential between his shoulder and waist measurements. He only attained a 23.5 inch differential before working in movies (which caused him to cut back on his training). He stated that he regrets not having achieved this goal. So if he lied about his measurements, why admit this seeming failure? With a V-taper like his, anyone would have believed it if he had said he achieved his 24 inch differential (note that he doesn't even round up 23.5 to 24!).

So we have no doubt that Steve was an honest and truthful person and that his measurements were exactly what he said they were.

We believe that most of us who take up weight training are actually interested in buiding a classic physique - not simply for its own sake, but also as the most visible expression of natural health, vitality, and mental (even spiritual) well-being.

We (classic physique builders) are more than happy to follow the example of those like Steve Reeves and other Golden Age champs who were great people and are still great role models!

All the best!


Johnny G said...

Steve went about 205lbs for would be tough for me to beleive he weighed 225lbs, that is quite big for the movie screen...I think that the reason for Reeves to be lean for the movie cameras was that it was easier for him to stay looking totally fit all the time for the cameras, but I really have a good eye on what someone weighs and a good eye on how tall someone is as well, and Steve reeves went 205lbs maybe 210lbs tops at 6'1"-..he still looked unreal