Page 2 of 2
As all bodybuilders do, measurements go up and down depending on the season and stage of training one is in. Steve Reeves was no different; he considered himself to be in his peak shape and condition when his measurements were as follows.
Height - 6'1"
Weight - 215
Neck - 18 1/4"
Chest - 52"
Waist - 29"
Hips - 38"
Biceps - 18 1/4"
Forearm - 14 3/4"
Wrist - 7 1/4"
Thighs - 26"
Calf - 18 1/4"
In his own words here is what Steve had to say with regard to building the classic physique the natural way.
Quotable Quote by Steve Reeves
“Today, everything about the top bodybuilding champions is oversized; they have lost the whole purpose of bodybuilding which is to create a harmonious whole, not to exaggerate the development of one part or parts, of the body. A body has hands, legs, feet, arms and a head. If a man’s arms appear bigger than his head, his body is thrown out of proportion.”
“Today’s bodybuilders are carrying too much muscle for their frames, which distorts and obscures the natural lines of the body. Why these men would aspire to deform themselves at such tremendous sacrifice is incomprehensible. This has been indulged in to such an extreme that I’m thinking of sanctioning a special Steve Reeves Trophy to be presented at shows to the man whom I think has the most classical proportionate, tastefully developed physique. The man who doesn’t actually win the contest might win my trophy, which in the long run might be more prestigious.”
“I don’t believe in bodybuilders using steroids. If a man doesn’t have enough male hormones in his system to create, a nice hard, muscular body, he should take up ping pong.”
“I’m often asked how I would compare myself with Arnold Schwarzenegger. I think Arnold Schwarzenegger is in great shape. But if there were two buttons, and I could push one button and look like Steve Reeves did in Hercules, and push another button and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger did in Conan, I’d push the Steve Reeves button.”
Steve’s quote regarding anabolic steroids is interesting because they have been for decades the key to contemporary size but back in the 50s, before anabolic steroids were used, Steve evidently was into Vitamin B-12 shots as a means to up the muscle gain factor in his dynamic physique.
A true physique champion and not just a paper tiger or movie star, Steve captured innumerable bodybuilding titles.
1946 - Mr. Pacific Coast
1947 - Mr. Western America
1947 - Mr. America (AAU)
1948 - Mr. World
1950 - Mr. Universe (NABBA)
Steve Reeves was one of the first, if not the first, real bodybuilders to become a world renowned movie star. His films inspired millions across the entire planet...in their many language versions... to take up some version of muscle training. Sound familiar? And you thought Arnold was the first.
The following is a list of some films and television programs Steve, appeared in.
A Long Ride from Hell (1968)
The Pirates of the Seven Seas (1964) Also known as Sandokan the Pirate, this film is a sequel to Sandokan the Great
Sandokan the Great (1964) with Rik Battaglia
The Slave (1963) (aka The Son of Spartacus)
The Shortest Day (1963)
The Trojan Horse (1962)
The Avenger (1962)
Morgan the Pirate (1961)
Duel of the Titans (1961) with Gordon Scott
The Last Days of Pompeii (1960)
The Thief of Baghdad (1960)
Giant of Marathon (1959)
Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)
The White Warrior (1959)
Hercules Unchained (1958)
Hercules (1957) with Sylva Koscina
Athena (1954) with Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, and Linda Christian
Jail Bait (1954) with Ed Wood regular Dolores Fuller and Lyle Talbott
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1952)
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1953)
Love that Bob with Bob Cummings
The Ralph Edwards Show (1954) The late, great Ed Wood was watching this show when he first saw Steve Reeves
Topper (1953) with Anne Jeffreys and Leo G. Carroll. Steve Reeves' guest shot garnered the most fan mail of any Topper show, which ran from 1952-1955.
Steve appeared on Broadway, on the legitimate stage, in the 1955 comedy musical called...THE VAMP starring Carol Channing. playing the role of a comic foil ‘Samson’. During this time he trained at the immortal strongman Sig Klein's Gym on Broadway...while seeking ways to further his professional acting career. And guesting on various television shows.
Cecil B. Demille considered Steve for the role of Samson in the famous movie Samson and Delilah which went to Victor Mature. He was close personal friends with Mario Lanza .
Lastly...he was the one considered for the Sergio Leone movie A Fist Full Of Dollars which started the Italian spaghetti western cycle of films and made Clint Eastward a major star. Steve turned this down...because he felt it too violent. He did seem to regret it. Additionally...George Pal considered him for the role of pulp character Doc Savage for his return to the screen out of retirement. Reeves reportedly turned down $100,000 for the role of James Bond in "Dr. No" (1962). Reeves produced and starred in his last movie, a western called "A Long Ride from Hell" in 1967.
Steve Reeves was not only one of the worlds most popular bodybuilders but perhaps the best know and most widely accepted Hercules of the silver screen. Many famous actors and bodybuilders, among them Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, credit Steve as being a continuous inspiration to them.
Steve Reeves was also an accomplished author. In 1982, Reeves published a best-selling book, Powerwalking, in which he encouraged runners to slow down and save their knees, ankles, and hip joints. Instead, he advocated a form of fast walking using ankle and wrist weights as a safer and equally effective form of aerobic exercise. He was in many ways a pioneer in the field of exercise walking, and in the years since the publication of his book Powerwalking millions of people have switched from running to walking. And in 1995 he published Building the Classic Physique--the Natural Way.
BONUS! – A Steve Reeves Favorite Drink
Blend the following ingredients until smooth. Makes one serving.
12 oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
2 Tablespoons of Wheat Germ
2 Tablespoons Bee Pollen
2 Tablespoons Knox Gelatin Mix
2 Tablespoons Raw Honey
1 Medium Ripe Banana
Steve Reeves was born in Glasgow Montana January 21, 1926 and passed away on May 1, 2000 at the young age of 74. Even today Reeves had what can be considered as perfect and socially accepted proportions. His rugged features, brown hair and blue eyes left no doubt he was a movie star and his physique left no doubt he was Hercules.
Oh one final irony...there may not have been a MuscleMag International in existence for close to 35 years of publishing had it not been for the awesome inspiring classical physique of Steve Reeves...since the Steve Reeves persona may have been the main influence of MuscleMag publisher and executive editor Robert Kennedy in his personal training life.
Thank you Steve...the iron game has been made richer by your existence. And may your memory be honored for as long as men and women pump iron in quest of the perfectly proportioned strong attractive physical structure!”
Dennis B. Weis is a Ketchikan, Alaska based power-bodybuilder. He is the co-author of 4 critically acclaimed books; Mass!, Raw Muscle, Anabolic Muscle Mass and Huge & Freaky. He is also a frequent hard-hitting uncompromising freelance consultant to many of the mainstream bodybuilding magazines published worldwide.
The information packed site of the legendary muscle writer & power-bodybuilder!