(Photo Above: CPB Champ Steve Reeves on the cover of the Reg Park Journal July 1958 issue)
OK...we learned some new tools from Vince Gironda about obtaining "Maximum Definition" - but here is the Steve Reeves approach to classic (not maximum) definition - another tool. It worked for Steve.
As you can see from comparing Steve's photo above to Vince's in our previous post, Steve had definition all right - but not the "maximum" or "extreme kind" that Vince was going for (and Vince still didn't get quite the same level of definition as a steroid user such as Frank Zane). But Steve's level of definition is what we call "classic definition" - meaning he had muscularity & muscle separation, but his skin still had a healthy glow and he looks full of natural vitality. This is because he had a higher level of body fat than Vince (or those that go for extreme definition).
Here is what he said about "training" for definition (we will follow this with some of his diet advice). This comes from his book "Building the Classic Physique - The Natural Way" (1995: p. 154)
"Question: When you were training for your Mr. America and Mr. Universe wins, did you ever include any aerobic training along with your bodybuilding workouts in order to become more defined?"
"Steve Reeves: No, I never had to. I was always in fairly good shape all year around. If there was a contest coming up, I would simply train a little harder. In other words, I would just train a little bit faster and increase the intensity of my workouts by having less rest time in between sets and muscle groups."
"The whole key to acquiring a Classic Physique lies in the proper balance of intensity, duration and frequency of your workouts. If you work out at too high an intensity, you can't work out very long - which means you may stimulate some muscle growth but you'll not burn off much body fat. If, on the other hand, you train with an intensity that is too low, you can go on for long duration - and burn some body fat - but it's too low an intensity to stimulate much increase in muscle size. Training to either extreme is not desirable. It's a waste of time unless you have a balance of both intensity and duration in your workouts, as well as adequate rest periods in between workouts to enhance your recuperation from training."
CPB Commentary: The bottom line is that Steve had no special routine for definition. He used his same routine, but just increased the intensity of the overall workout by going through it a bit faster - by reducing the time between sets and between muscle groups. His normal time between sets was 45 seconds and normal time between muscle groups was up to 5 minutes. So he is reducing these times.
Now, let's look at his diet advice regarding reducing - which can also be used for those needing a bit more definition. It is based on his typical diet and is very simple.
Breakfast: Steve Reeves Power Drink
Lunch: Steve Reeves Power Drink
Dinner: One huge salad (with rice vinegar & olive oil dressing - 1 tablespoon each), turkey, fish, or chicken, and one of the following carb sources: whole wheat bread, potatoes, corn, pasta, beans or rice.
In case you forgot how he made his power drink, here is the recipe again:
14 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon of knox gelatin
1 tablespoon of honey
2-4 raw eggs (pasteurized)
2 tablespoons of high protein powder (Steve's custom mix)
OK...here is how he made his protein powder:
Combine 1/2 lb of powdered egg whites, 1/2 lb of powdered skim milk, and 1/4 lb of powdered soy protein. That's its! Then use 2 tablespoons of this in the power drink above.
CPB Commentary: Steve believed there was nothing magical about losing body fat - just take in less calories than you need (to maintain your weight) and you will start losing. He recommended not losing more than 2 lbs a week - otherwise, he felt you would start losing lean muscle tissue.
His protein drink probably has about 40 grams of protein. So the overall protein intake of this diet is still high (although it seems that it might be less than 1 gram per pound of bodyweight for him and most people - unless you are eating quite a bit of meat for dinner).
For those that can't take or don't like low carb dieting, Steve's approach here is another tool. You probably won't be able to achieve "extreme definition" on it, but then for classic physique builders, that is not our goal. You should be able to attain "classic definition" - a much healthier look in our book!
If you find that you cannot lose fat on this diet, then cut back a bit on the portion of your carbs at dinner. If that doesn't work, then you can cut out all the carbs at dinner except for the salad. You will still have carbs in the orange juice, honey, and banana. If you still need to cut more calories, then go down to 1/2 banana and use 10-12 ounces of orange juice instead of 14 oz.
In any case, you can make adjustments as necessary for your situation!
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