One of the earliest super star bodybuilders was Steve Reeves. Sadly, most people alive today will not have heard of him. During his bodybuilding career Steve Reeves won the 1946 Mr Pacific Coast, the 1947 Mr America, 1947 Mr Pacific Coast, 1947 Mr Western America, the tall man class of the 1948 NABBA Mr Universe and placed second overall, 1948 Mr World, and the 1950 NABBA Mr Universe. Steve Reeves was six feet, one inch tall with a contest weight of 213 pounds/ fifteen and a half stone. By todays professional bodybuilding standards, he would be considered too small, however use of performance enhancing drugs was not as widespread in the 1940’s and 50’s as it is now. Steve Reeves always maintained that he was completely natural, and his training program was focused on the body, he was not just a collection of body parts. His physique was a close to perfectly balanced as you could get. Wide shoulders, a big chest and a slim waist. His upper body and lower body were well balanced with no area being more dominant then the other.
Once he was done with his bodybuilding career Steve Reeves went on to become a successful actor. It was his work as an actor for which he became most well known for and was certainly a big influence on people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger. During the 1950’s Steve Reeves played Hercules, Goliath and Sandokan. At the height of his career Steve Reeves was the highest paid actor in Europe.
After his acting career ended Steve Reeves went on to become a successful author, writing books such as Building the classic physique: The natural way, Powerwalking and Legends never die among others. He also promoted Natural bodybuilding competitions before his death in 2000 at the age of 76.
In all aspects of his life Steve Reeves was successful and he is a big influence on me and my training programs to this day.