Stephen L. Reeves was born in Glasgow Montana USA on January 21, 1926 and was the most well-known bodybuilder of his time because he was making movies. He was said to be the highest paid actor of all time in his day.
Steve moved to California at 10 years old with his mother Goldie when his father died in a farming accident. He enlisted in the army and fought in World War II in the Philippines but continued to do weight training and won the AAU Mr. America title in 1947.
Steve was always interested in acting and decided to study drama under Stella Adler but that did not work out and was eventually selected to play the title role in the movie Samson and Delilah done by Cecil B Demille.
He kept training and won the Mr. Universe competition in 1950, which got him a role in a Tarzan movie. Steve got the title role of Hercules in 1957, which became of box office hit grossing over $5 million in the USA alone.
By 1960 Steve was ranked as the number one draw to any movie theatre and was now offered $250 000 a movie. His passion was split between acting and bodybuilding but he developed some strong ideas about how to train in those days when science knew very little about gaining muscle.
Steve believed that most bodybuilders were training too much and he always would stick to a maximum of only three days a week. Today we know that recuperation is vitally important and Steve’s ability to listen to his body as well as his genetic potential to gain muscle made for a perfect mix.
Steve said that the perfect training program would be to train every 36 hours. That would mean he would train his whole body on Monday morning, his second workout would be on Wednesday evening, and the last workout of the week would be on Saturday morning.
Steve believed strongly in always using the correct form and to never cheat his movements. He developed a repetition tempo doing 2 seconds on all concentric contractions and 3 seconds on all eccentric contractions.
Steve had some radical ideas on training in those days and he strongly believed in pairing his different or opposing muscle groups. He explained that one should do this to ensure balanced muscular development and to achieve a tremendous pump.
What this meant to Steve and his training was that he would not just do 3 or 4 sets of bench-press and then move onto bent-over rows or deadlift but would do them back to back like a superset. He explained that this will ensure that maximum results.
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