Steve Reeves Workout Routine

Stephen L. Reeves or Steve Reeves was an American professional bodybuilder, actor, and philanthropist. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe during 1950-1960. Steve is considered as the God of male fitness by many followers. He developed a healthy masculine body without the help of any new age gym equipment and without using steroids. 
Reeves developed an interest in bodybuilding in Castlemont High School and trained at Ed Yarick’s gym in Oakland, California. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, and served in the Philippines. After getting retired from army at early age, he won “AAU Mr. America” in 1947 and won “Mr. Universe” title in 1950. After retiring from competitive bodybuilding Steve got interested in acting and tried his luck in show business as an actor.

About Steve Reeves 

  • Born Name — Stephen L. Reeves 
  • Born — January 21, 1926 
  • Born Place — Glasgow, Montana, United States
  • Died — May 1, 2000 (aged 74) 
  • Died Place — Escondido, California, United States
  • Reason — Blood clot
  • Occupation — Bodybuilder, actor, philanthropist
  • Spouse — Sandra Smith (m. 1955;div. 1956), Aline Czartjarwicz (m. 1963; her death 1989), Deborah Ann Engelhorn (m. 1994; his death 2000)
  • Birth Sign — Aquarius

  • Height — 6′ 1″ or 185.92 cm
  • Weight — 215 lbs or 97.5 kg
  • Arms — 18.5 inch or 46.9 cm
  • Chest — 54 inch or 137.16 cm
  • Waist — 30 inch or 72.6 cm
  • Neck — 18.5 inch or 46.9 cm
  • Thighs — 27 inch or 68.58 cm
  • Calves — 18.5 inch or 46.9 cm 


Steve’s diet was very simple. He didn’t follow any complicated nutrition regimens. His diet consisted of 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 20% fat. His protein intake was far from the recommended two grams per pound of body weight espoused in many bodybuilding magazines today.

Steve generally ate three meals per day. Steve believed in eating real food and avoiding white sugar and white flour. For a pre-workout energy boost Steve had a drink with some lemons and honey. 

Steve recommended a “pre-workout day” diet consisting of a good amount of complex carbohydrates. For example, Steve suggested starting the pre-workout day dietary with a bowl of oatmeal combined with some almonds, apples, and raisins; then eat several bananas through out the day.

Here’s a sample diet given from Steve Reeve

Breakfast: The Steve Reeves Power Drink consisting of:

  • 14 ounces of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Knox gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 banana
  • 2-4 raw eggs (he recommends that pasteurized eggs might be safer today)
  • 2 tablespoons of High-Protein Powder (which he made himself)

  • cottage cheese (with a handful of nuts, raisins)
  • 2 pieces of fresh fruit (in season)
  • 1 huge salad
  • 1 swordfish steak (or turkey, tuna, or lean ground beef)


He used to train for three times a week. He used to perform full body exercise. Here are his favourite exercises.

  • Perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  •  perform 20-25 reps for calves and abs
  • 45 seconds rest between each sets.
  • 2 minutes break between each exercise. 
Monday (Strength workout)

  1. Military Press 

  2. Bench Press 

  3. Bent-over Row 

  4. Barbell Curl 

  5. Triceps Extension 

  6. Parallel Squat 

  7. Standing Calf Raises 

  8. Deadlift 

  9. Crunches 

Tuesday (Rest) 

Wednesday (Maximum size workout)

  1. Alternative Dumbbell Military 

  2. Parallel Bar Dip 

  3. Pull-up 

  4. Alternating Dumbbell Curl 

  5. Triceps Extension Bench Press 

  6. Front Squat 

  7. Seated Calf Raise 

  8. Back Raise 

  9. Hanging Leg-raise 

Thursday (Rest) 

Friday (Strength-focused workout)

  1. Upright Row 

  2. Incline Press 

  3. One-arm Dumbbell Row 

  4. Concentration Curl 

  5. Lying Triceps Extension 

  6. Dumbbell Lunge 

  7. Standing Calf Raises 

  8. Deadlift 

  9. Sit-Ups 

Saturday and Sunday (Rest) 

I don’t believe in bodybuilders using steroids. If a man doesn’t have enoughmale hormones in his system to create, a nice hard, muscular body, he should take up ping pong.
— Steve Reeves

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