Steve Reeves Workout: Here are his Bodybuilding Secrets!

Stephen Lester Reeves, who is popularly known as Steve Reeves, was an American bodybuilder, actor, and philanthropist. Born in an era that did not have the modern-age gyming equipment, he wooed everyone away with his spectacularly muscular body.

Today we are going to cover Steve Reeves Workout strategies and also, his diet plan.

He shook people by attaining a full-fledged muscular body without the use of steroids. People were surprised as to how one can get a body like his without even using legal steroids.

Bodybuilding was totally his cup of tea and luckily, he realized this at a very early age, when he was just in high school. He came to fame when he won the “ AAU Mr. America” in 1947, just after retiring from the army.

He later won the “Mr. Universe” title in 1950. By this time, he became the heartthrob of millions of people all over the world. He tried his luck with acting and went on to become one of the highest-paid actors of his time.

Steve was one of the most hardworking and legendary bodybuilders that the world has ever seen.

Needless to say that he had an extremely healthy lifestyle and he worked out as frequently as possible. He, however, also believed that one’s body needs proper rest in order to recover from those intense workout sessions.

Steve Reeves workout and bodybuilding Strategies

Today, we will have a look at the Steve Reeves workout and diet plan. But before we do that, let us first look at his physical stats.

Physical stats of Steve Reeves
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 215-225 lbs
  • Arms: 18.5”
  • Chest: 52”
  • Waist: 29”
  • Thighs: 26”
  • Calves: 18.5”

Now, let’s have a look at Steve Reeve’s workout routine first before we move on to Steve Reeve’s Diet Plan.

Steve followed a workout routine that involved exercising on alternate days. The idea behind this was to give proper time to the muscles to recover and grow.

He once said, “When I worked out, I would concentrate deeply on the exercise I was doing and the muscle I was working.

I would picture those strands of muscle working and getting bigger. I’d put myself into almost a hypnotic trance when I was working out.”

That pretty much sums up his dedication towards working out. Below is his weekly workout routine:

Monday: (Morning)
  • Military presses- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Bent over rows- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Bench presses- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Standing calf raises- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Romanian deadlifts- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Crunches- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Parallel squats-3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Full squats- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Barbell curls- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Triceps extensions- 3 sets (8-12 reps)

Steve Reeves

The video below shows how to choose the best deadlift form for you.

Deadlift Form: Conventional vs. Sumo | Jim Stoppani, PhD

Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: (morning)
  • Deadlifts- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Military presses- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Parallel bar dips- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Alternating dumbbell curls- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated calf raises- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Triceps extension bench presses- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Pull-ups- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Front squats- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Back raises- 2 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Dumbbell Lunges- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Hanging leg raises- 2 sets of 12 reps
Thursday: Rest
Friday: (evening)
  • Deadlifts- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • One arm dumbbell rows- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Upright rows- 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Incline presses- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Standing calf raises- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Front squats- 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Glute/ ham raises- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Sit-ups- 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges- 2 sets (8-12 reps)
  • Lying triceps extensions- 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Concentration curls- 3 sets (8-12 reps)
Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Also Read: Finn Balor Workout and Diet Routine for Great Abs

Steve Reeves diet plan

Steve Reeves workout

Steve Reeves firmly believed that eating healthy and in right proportions is the key to keeping your body fit and energetic.

He considered a diet that contained roughly 20% fat, 20% protein, and 60% carbohydrates.

He followed a three-meal diet plan and made sure that he took a balanced diet. He followed the same diet plan pretty much every day.

He started his day by drinking a homemade energy drink. For this, he blended 1 banana,3 raw eggs,14 ounces of fresh orange juice, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 spoonfuls of protein powder ( he prepared his own protein powder by combining ½ lb of powdered egg whites, ½ lb of powdered skim milk, ¼ lb of powdered soy protein).

According to him, this drink gave him the required energy to kick-start his day.

Next, for lunch, he took a wholesome diet. He included fresh seasonal fruits, nuts, and raisins. He was fond of cottage cheese so that was a staple part of his lunch.

Also Read: John Grimek Body Workout

Lastly, for dinner, he consumed freshly made salad. He was also fond of seafood. He ate salad with either swordfish steak or turkey or even tuna. He also included one of the carb sources from whole wheat bread, potatoes, corn, pasta, beans or rice.

Steve believed that this full-fledged diet would provide just the right amount of nutrients to his body. This also lowered the level of fat and helped him to gain muscle. The energy drink, in particular, was the secret drink for his perfect body.

Must read:

  1. Finn Balor Workout and Diet Routine for Great Abs
  2. John Grimek Body Workout Routine and Diet Plan
  3. Ian Somerhalder Workout Routine And Diet Plan
  4. Jen Selter Workout and Diet Routine
  5. Phil Heath Workout and Diet Routines
  6. Terrell Owens Workout Routine and Diet Plan – Hit it Hard!


If you’re inspired by Steve Reeves’s body and want to gain muscles like his, you can follow the above-mentioned routine and strictly follow the workout routine that was followed by Steve Reeves.

While working out, make sure to give enough rest to your body. Working out on alternate days is the best way to do that. This will give ample time for your muscles to grow. Also, remember to do legs workout at the last.

Coming to the Steve Reeves diet plan, you can follow it if you are looking for ways to lose weight. But, if you are willing to gain muscles, you should keep in mind that his diet was high in carbs and low in protein (as you might have noticed), so you might want to alter that. Because increasing protein intake will make it easier for you to gain muscles.

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.