Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dynamic Muscle Building - Steve Reeves' Other Book on Classic Physique Building!

(Photo Above: The Cover of Steve Reeve's Other Book "Dynamic Muscle Building.")

Most people who are interested in classic physique building know Steve Reeves and might know about his book "Building the Classic Physique: The Natural Way." But perhaps fewer people know that Steve authored another book called "Dynamic Muscle Building."

This is a really good book that collects together many of the articles that Steve wrote in the Golden Age for some of Joe Weider's magazines. The first few chapters start off by providing routines for beginners, intermediates, and advanced trainers. These chapters are followed by chapters on specialized training (for different parts of the body). The remaining chapters reprint articles and interviews that Steve did. One of these articles is "How I Gained 19 Pounds in Two Weeks" - which is a true story that illustrates the power of muscle memory when it comes to regaining lost muscle.

The book is available through the Steve Reeves International Society (see our links) and probably through the regular channels (, etc). The book was actually published after Steve passed away and so John Little and George Helmer are listed as co-authors. So there may be some slight additions here and there that come from John or George and not from Steve. But when I compare the book to the original writings that Steve did in the Golden Age (from which this book is assembled), I can say that any such additions are very minor.

So, if you have the change, pick up the book! It is a must for any CPB'er!


P.S. If you would like a free, 1 year subscription to Classic Physique Builder zine (CPBzine) - a pdf "zine (do-it-yourself magazine) that is patterned after the mags of the Golden Age of Bodybuilding (the 1940s and 50s) - just email your name, the name of your city, state, and country (not your actual street address) to That's it! Any info you send us is strictly confidential. You won't get on any lists or receive any spam (even from us)!


Johnny G said...

So so glad to see that CPB is still going - I have been doing quite a bit of reading & talking to current & former bodybuilders about the Classic Era that being the true Classic Era and I don't want to get to negative about the bodybuilders of the mid 60's thru the 70's, but I was really surprised that the Casey Viators & the Mike Mentzers the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of these eras started off doing overall workouts 3 times a week and built the foundations doing this method, even Dorian Yates did this program as well - So let the truth be told that our former heros were on to something so many years ago that transends time thru generation thru generation - The more we study anything we seem to comeback to square one doesn't seem true - Sometimes we seem to repeat our thoughts & feeling about the benefits of Classic Physique Training, it's like we are preaching to the choir - So again Anthony thanks for adding another post

Ibrahim said...

This might be a little bit philosophic now but:
I think with all the technology development and the comfort and "easy way" that it brought, many people forgot about nature and simplicity.

As the Industrialism began many values had been gone.
Johnny i watched "Food Inc" a real life horror movie :)

And along with the industrialism everything got to be "Bigger, Stronger, Faster"
As a result no ideals, circumstance, no simplicity, no respect etc.

Do you know what Micheal Jordan said about todays nba "hype" "superstars" as a guest of Oprah.
"Todays players "superstars" don´t have to work for their achievement of a certain status" etc. (Not exactly the same words but what he meant)
Which comes as a byproduct of your work.

He then said: " they are already superstars before they even played one game" I can remember Kobe Bryant came directly from high school, sat mostly on bench but was always marked as the next "Jordan"! Lebron James got a 100 million $ contract before even playing one game.

Anyway, i wont give up my hope. This site is an evidence therefore there are people who believe in the nature of hard work, simplicity and ideals.

Johnny G said...

watching on Youtube and reading about Max OT training - Also was reading up on a Jeff Willet & Skip LaCour - What is natural about spending over a $1000 dollars a month on supplements and eating up to 12 meals a day - How insane can the new so called natural bodybuilders be taking a abundance of stuff without doing a blood work up to see if they are damaging themselves - This is NOT natural - 3 or 4 meals a day and a small snack to hold ya over after a tough workout is natural - I can almost believe they aren't using steroids, but they are taking their bodys to the same extreme aren't they - ENOUGH OF ANY SUPPLEMENT CAN GIVE A ANABOLIC STATE - Go Classic not the new Natural

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

That's one of the unfortunate things about "natural bodybuilding" - that they try to emulate the look (and therefore dietary behavior) of the roid-based bodybuilders. This is part of the reason why natural bodybuilding will continue to fail to become popular with the general public. It is great that they are rejecting steroids, but which would the public find more attractive, a classic physique like Steve Reeves' or the cadaver-like physiques of the modern natural bodybuilders? Many natural bodybuilders actually look much better off-season than when they are in contest shape. If only they would wake up collectively and realize that and then gear their contests accordingly!

Ibrahim said...


Johnny you're so right about the "maniac" diet plans. When i used to read the mainstream muscle mags, i always thought "hmm, maybe i can do this 1 day or 2 at most 3 days, but how can you do this say for one month or more"

Although i even can´t drink 1 gallon of milk :) , i found the diet principles and plans pretty simple to understand and to use.

I mean even if someone takes steroids, how can you stay up at night for a protein drink or use an alarm clock to remember "Oh i need some protein"

UKSteve said...


Really good to see a new entry on my favourite blog Anthony and to hear from Ibrahim and Johnny G again - hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying their training.

I have been reading a lot of the old courses on the Sandow site recently and doing a bit of experimentation with my training. I am doing one day a week strength barbell training (just deadlifts, bent press, and bent over rows), one day per week bodyweight / hand balancing routine, and one day of kettlebell conditioning (kettlebell swing, jump rope, Turkish getup). Along with a bit of Pilates. So not exactly a CPB routine - but it is a lot of fun - and whilst not exactly piling on the muscle has made my waist nearly 2 inches slimmer and my shoulders noticeably wider. I also feel really fresh after each different workout without a hint of overtraining.

The Turkish getup (which is a new move for me) in particular is an excellent all round conditioning and strength exercise.

I might get hold of a copy of the Steve Reeves book - I have a copy of 'Building the Classic Physique' and whilst it is a very inspirational book - I found the routine a bit too taxing and quickly overtrained. I have also read from other sources that he didn't actually train like that - that he used much more abbreviated routines to build himself up originally, and that he used to be quite sporadic in his training (sometimes having long layoffs to work on his acting career) and then using 8 x 8 tyoe routines to quickly get ready for contests. I guess we will never really know - and more than likely he used a number of different approaches depending on how he felt and what was going on in his life at the time - just as we all do.

Sorry for the long post - good to hear from you all again.

Kind regards

Johnny G said...

it was good hearing from Steve about having fun with ones workout - I'll check into that Turkish workout - To Steve, I totally agree that we will never know 100% percent of what Reeves' workout were - I still bet it was instinctive training and he went by feel - I know some will say that his book Building the Classic Physique talked about his workouts that they set in stone, but I never bought into it and the reason being that bodybuilding back then and today has always been a journey and always changing and I feel those in the past felt the same - Even us who want to believe that it was etched in stone continue to change up our own programs depending on our life style - I like to believe that his workouts were the same, but I know they weren't - He was always changing with his life journey and I feel he was never monolithic with his approach to training & dieting either - Oh by the way I have the books Building the Classic Physique & his autobiography by Chris LeClaire Worlds to Conquer and signed by Chris as well - I had them rebounded in hardback as well - So Steve you are not the only one who writes long emails// p.s. Again since I have no proof about SR training I just use the former top notch bodybuilders I know and they were always seeking new ways as well

Ibrahim said...


i´m sure you know the course of Reg Park from the time of his active bodybuilding career. He had also very short abbreviated routines but used to workout like 2 or over 2 hours. I even read an article which i did not believe at first. Because it´s about his training in the 60´s and probably his workout for the 65 Mr.Universe.
And his routine was split like todays are.

The article is written from somebody else, so i don´t know how reliable that is. Anthony must have the necessary knowledge on this.

Anyway there were trainers like Marvin Eder who trained very long in duration.

My opinion is ,which also a good friend told me, to many people jump in a workout from some bodybuilder and expect the same results. I don´t want to criticize anyone here. Even when the routines are from 30´s, 40´s, 50´s. I think everybody got to start from 0, that means very short abbreviated routines, build a fundamental and building from there your own routine.

For example Vern Weaver started with the York course. The routine consits of different exercises which are not few but you do 1 set on every exercise. I read that used this form of workout (the article is written by himself) until he made no progress and then defined his own routine.

Also there people like Ed Yarick back in the day. Who would make an almost ideal routine that was fitting you.

Nils said...

Not going to lie, I bought Steve Reeves Building The Classic Physique The Natural Way.

I read that it was the updated version of this book.

Didn't care for it much...A lot of it started out talking about Steve Reeves past, which is interesting and all, but wasn't what I really wanted.

The training advise seemed kind of sparse, I dunno maybe I should re-read it, I was just expecting a bit more training information.

Johnny G said...

I agree with you Nils that Reeves book wasn't overly informative to todays standards, but it was to the point which matter most - With todays blueprint to bodybuilding you need a degree in physics & chemistry as well - With all the supplements plus the underlining use of steroids or HGH I guess Reeves' book does seem boring, but again it was to the point - Keep it natural without all the BS that today stars are giving us and read what Steve Reeves was talking about and that was a common sense approach to a very simple way during a simplier time - If you are on this site Nils then I know you are old school classic bodybuilder and I rather read a simplisic book like Reeves then the BS of today

Johnny G said...

Oh by the way - when we were discussing Reeves workouts of what he did or didn't do their seems to be conflicting message about traps & abs workouts - In Building a Classic Physique he is dead set against trap training, but in Dynamic Muscle Building he discusses about trap developement in the positive way - Also in one book he discusses not doing any true direct abs training but in the later book he says he added abs training in between exercises & sets - ???????mmmmm Confused there!! So the question remains as Dave Draper once said to me, that most bodybuilders have a set program that they go too, but they always vary here & there when it comes to training which I feel Reeves did as well - tweak this tweak that !!!!!

Nils said...

Oh i completely agree, I don't like that people over complicate nutrition, and I often feel overwhelmed by today's information.

I do like Bob Parris' 10 week transormation book, bob admits to steroid use in the past, but his book works well without any steroid use. His beginner program is pretty similar to Steve Reeves program too.

I've found that I can look pretty good off three meals a day, I was just hoping i guess for more of a guide to bodybuilding by steve reeves, instead I got a "here's the building blocks, go make what you want"

Which is probably better in the long term, but i'm 20 years old, so i'm obviously not patient enough.

P.S. this blog is amazing, great information.

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Johnny (and Everyone),

Yes...there are some minor differences in advice/info between Steve's two books. Probably, the most helpful way to look at this is that in book "Building the Classic Physique" - Steve is really focusing on the "classic physique" and training in a specific way to create that look (e.g., not training abs, traps, directly).

His other book was put together from a collection of articles that he wrote on specialization training and how to do it for each body part. So it was advice for a different purpose.

I suspect that his co-authors might have inserted the ab exercises into the Beginning Routine in the Dynamic Muscle Building book (which was published after Steve passed away). In the actual beginning and intermediate routines that Steve actually used (which are in his Classic Physique book), he did no direct ab training.

Johnny G said...

you know Anthony I agree with you about no direct abs workouts - We discussed this a ways back that because they used so much free weights that the abs got hit from supporting the torso, where as today there is a lot of machines that bypass the abs - that is why I feel once a week or every 2 weeks to do in one day a ton of calisthenics to help balance out the body (keeping it real) - These guys from years past were more concerned about being funcutional not just pretty - they were truly athletes compared to the monsters of these days - Just that they had so much more balance in their daily lives - a truly simiplier lifestyle I guess we all strive for - I some times feel more pity for the so called Natural bodybuilders of these days because they don't know what they want - I am not supporting the druggies but at least they know what they want even if it is unhealthy and misguided - CPB is on the right track thank God !!!

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Johnny (and Everyone),

Yes...I agree. Steve did not say that he did not train his abs, he said that his abs got plenty of training in every exercise he did for other body parts! So, he didn't have to train them directly.

So that is something to consider, if you are training mainly with barbells and dumbbells, then you might find your abs being worked much more than if you use machines for everything. So if you are doing a lot of machine training, then some direct ab work to keep the abs toned (not for mass building) would be appropriate.

Yes...the CPB Champs of the Golden Age were more well-rounded athletes than the roid-monsters that came later. In a way, they had to be, because so many of the physique contests back then actually REQUIRED them to do some kind of athletic performance (aside from posing). Actually, that's how Reeves lost out to John Grimek one year. They were tied in terms of physique points, but Grimek won because he had better gymnastic ability!

So perhaps that is the key or a "way back" for the natural bodybuilders of today. If the natural contests required some display of athletic ability, then perhaps they could not dehydrate themselves for that "cadaver" look since that would rob them of their strength. It might then give the advantage for a more healthy looking and functioning physique - just a thought!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Ibrahim said...


i really like the thought of you, that NB´s should do athletic displays but not like the women fitness contest :)

That´s why i think the bodybuilders of 80,70,60 years ago are and should be superior. Not only that, they also wrote many articles about Strength feats, arm wrestling etc.

Even Bill Pearl did strength feats like ripping telephone books, Reg Park can be seen lifting a taxi. Sorry Franco Columbo was not the first :)

I read an article that John Grimek tried to outjump everybody in his competitive days. There were also a lot of bodybuilders who strong in weightlifting like: Marvin Eder, Reg Park, Roy Hilligen etc.

I think one has to build the right physique and then has to start with athletic stuff to or supplementary.

I mean come on, there are even photos of Vince Gironda doing negative one arm chins while holding a 100 lbs dumbbell in the other hand. He also organized teams to participate in local Highland Games and he tossed cabers. Evidence are photos which you can see if you google "Vince Gironda".

Dzenan said...

I think you guys are attempting to climb Mt. Everest if you think the naturals of today will somehow come to appreciate and compete like the bb's of old or that judges and public will change. The need to see freakish physiques will always be there; and there will always be people willing to try to get bigger or stronger than nearest competition, to push the envelope, and show off. If steroids had been more prevalent in the old days, I'm sure some of the old bb's would have used them.

I think the best that this movement can achieve is to form a following of its own and compete side by side with the other two, sort of like how powerlifting and olympic lifting still exist. If there are enough people in the future, we'll be able to start our own federation and have our own competitions, independent of IFBB and the likes. It would be a fantastic thing to return the Mister titles, include an element of weightlifting, endurance, real posing shorts, athleticism, and feats of strength all combined into this new competition. It would attract public and competitors world wide if it was something unique, positive and progressive. There is a long way to go, but I see this as a possibility.

- CPB (Blog and Zine) - said...

Hi Dzenan (and Everyone),

Yes...I agree. Even though there is a "way back" for the naturals, it doesn't mean that they will take it.

In all likelyhood, it will take a worldwide CPB movement that will have to grow in numbers, form its own federation, and then sponsor its own contests with hierarchical Mr titles at the city, state/province, region, national level, etc, in order to bring about a restoration of sanity. In essence, CPB'ers will have to build their own world and bring about a new Golden Age. Because it will attract the general public, it does have the potential of becoming the mainstream and marginalizing "modern bodybuilding" and "natural bodybuilding."

I agree, it is a long way to go, but such a healthy and sane movement would be a major contribution to the world!

All the best,

CPB (Anthony)

Johnny G said...

I agree with all on this post - I think the major flaw with bodybuilding is that today people look for extremes in their entertainment - not enough to watch a film with a good story line, but ya got to have 3D 1080P - most everything today has to be over the top - So I feel that maybe the bygone days are truly gone in bodybuilding and this will have to be for all of us just a personal journey shared with a few physical culturists - Maybe we can reach out on a personal level to some - I still believe that common sense is not dead yet (Hope I'm right)

Nils said...

Oh huh, didn't know the books were all that different...dangit, spent my money on the wrong thing!

I don't think old school bodybuilding will ever hit mainstream again, but I think that being healthy still is.

Let's face it, p90x style workouts (which are the rage right now) really do lead to a more healthy lifestyle, I may not agree with the dieting it involves, but it definitely promotes a nice physique over the roided up ones.

I also think movies now days promote good healthy physiques, which is a good thing.

But to be honest I did once see a bodybuilder, with his really really shredded look (i'm not sure what the word for it is) I don't ever want to look like that, but I can tell and respect that he put effort into it.

As far as functionality goes, that sometimes bugs me, I got into bodybuilding because let's face it, as much as I love playing sports, my coordination just isn't top notch, I got frustrated, until I got into bodybuilding my confidence was pretty low. Doesn't help that I have asthma either.

Honestly I kinda think it's why most kids who lift weights a lot seem to be such nerds :)

Andrew said...

Hey there,

I check in with this blog about once a week just to see what's happening and if there's anything new. What are your plans for it next?


Frank said...

will this website be active again - enjoyed the comments - no one else discusses true natural training anymore accept here on this forum

Muscle Building said...

These all chapters are giving enough of information on the bodybuilding concepts. Such that these tips can be easily followed to form the bodybuilding. That would be great for us.

Anonymous said...

Can someone reply if Classic Physique Magazine is still been published. Thank you 4-30-2011


Thesis Writing said...

Very interesting and informative article indeed. I have to admit that I always follow all news about this, so it was quite interesting to read this your post about this subject. Reading this your entry I have even noticed some new information which I haven’t known before. Thanks a lot for sharing this interesting post and I will be waiting for other great news from you in the nearest future.

Anonymous said...

I am just curious, on the cover of that book it says "How I gained 19lb of muscle in 2 weeks". I've been training for 3 years now and never met anyone who showed evem close to that kind of muscle gains while not taking steroids. Just wondering what you guys think?

Anonymous said...

Is this blog closed forever?? too bad i just discovered it now, it is fantastic, love classic physiques.

Mike said...

I just found this site and I find it incredibly informative! I do not know if this site is still active or if it has moved on to another webpage. If anyone can let me know, I will greatly appreciate it!


Anonymous said...