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must be done . . . and quickly."
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Grimek Article on Reeves
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Growl

This was interesting to me. Reminds me of how Jones was able to whip himself into shape quickly. Perhaps Reeves was high intensity. Remember, Jones wasn't single set to failure when he attained his best either, but he was high intensity.

http://www.aafla.org/...+History+%29%29

Jeff
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T-Revelations

Yeah, I've read that article before - good stuff.

I would much rather have Reeves physique than the roided up champions of today!
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Growl

I believe that he (Reeves) built his physique a bit differently than what he later recommended. That seems to be common, doesn't it?
I will post some of what I believe his workouts were a bit later.

Reeves had a lot in common with HIT. In fact, I believe that he should be pointed to as an example of HIT. I will follow up later.

Jeff
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OSAKA/J

I was going to start a thread on the
influence of Reeves, but Growl beat me to it. Reeves was, I believe, ahead of
his time when it came to training, although I don't think he was into HIT as we know it.

From what I've read, he
was more of a pumper than a lifter, and
used a fairly high volume of sets in his weekly workouts. Even so, he was
said to be quite strong, almost on a
par with the other lifters of the day.

Regardless of what methods he used, his physique stands alone in
the natural world, and will continue to
stand alone in the professional roid
world of today. I'd take Reeves' look
any day of the week and twice on Sunday!

Osaka/J

P.S. Nice post Growl; good to know
people haven't forgotten the past
champs. It is they who should serve
as the standard, not the roid boys of
today.
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Growl

This broke my heart. Steve Reeves lost his father when he was 3. This is a newspaper article from way back.

http://www.stevereeves.com/...amily-press.asp

Not bodybuilding related perhaps, but everything shapes who we become. I'm glad he was able to succeed due to the obvious blessings he had, but I'm sure he would have traded it all for his dad. Not an easy thing.

Jeff
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Growl

According to Grimek, Reeves was a real animal in the gym and not just "pumping away" happily. Reeves got back into top shape in 7 weeks. He accentuated the negative part of the rep, moved quickly between exercises, trained to failure, and often cheated up a final rep to get another slow negative. ?He would repeat each exercise until he couldn?t do another rep?, Grimek wrote.

There are also conflicting accounts of the Reeves workout as far as the number of sets he performed. Some say he did as few as 1-2 sets per movement. It makes no difference to me whether he was using 1 or 3 sets per movement, if Grimek is telling the truth, he was training high intensity. Looks to me like Reeves was into HIT.

Oh yeah, Reeves also trained full body and with strict form, which was apparently different than what Grimek was used to seeing (the strict form). Grimek was a weightlifter at heart and Reeves was pure bodybuilder.

Here?s another on Reeves.

http://www.criticalbench.com/...-mr-america.htm
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Ellington Darden

In The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, in Chapter 1 where I interview Ben Sorenson, has some great comparisons and comments about Reeves and Grimek. Plus, there are photos.

Ellington
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JimBryan

Florida, USA

When Al Christensen was living here in Winter Haven and operating his Health Club, he talked a lot about Grimek, Reeves, Eifferman, Stanko, and a whole bunch of others. At this time we had some of the best around in BB in Florida and I used to see Ell quite often at different Contests throughout Florida.

Al also related a story like the one written by Grimek. Steve was staying with Al and his family and training in the local gym. Al said that Steve was very thin at the start and some of the local group made fun of his condition. They soon watched him grow daily. His concentration was what stood out the most.

He didn't talk or rest and eventually worked up to very respectable weights. I saw some pictures Al took at this time and he was huge! None of these have been used or submitted to any of the magazines and probably don't exist anymore.

Shortly after this time Steve was headed to Hercules fame and was thought to be to big for anyone to believe and he trained down for the part. There is a very nice DVD on the life and accomplishments of Steve Reeves out and you should pick it up if you can.

Al also had some pics he took of Grimek that were never published either. His arms were huge AND he had a small waist. A combination not seen in top BB today.
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Acerimmer1

You don't know the power of muscle memory.

Seriously!

It (the accomplishment to rebuild in 7 weeks) is not as special as you think.
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Growl

What surprises me, Mr. Rimmer is that Reeves was an animal in the gym. Eye witness accounts of his concentration and high intensity training show me why he could get in shape quick.

Pumpers cannot get into shape as fast as Casey in the Colorado experiment. I now believe Reeves could. He would change himself so fast that Grimek, and many others in the weight game, were in disbelief. I don't think Reeves is thought of like that at all.

Jeff
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Growl

Here is a very early Steve Reeves workout taken from his boyhood home garage wall. The folks who owned the Oakland home had to tear up some dry wall to find it. Looks like a one set Darden routine to me.

(Edit)
I know Dr. D. doesn't have people do cleans, but you all see the similarity, I'm sure.



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Butters

Acerimmer1 wrote:
You don't know the power of muscle memory.

Seriously!

It (the accomplishment to rebuild in 7 weeks) is not as special as you think.


We're still not sure how muscle memory works exactly, or if it even exists. A couple of hypotheses are:

1. Your body is able to rebuild the muscle quicker that you once had.

2. You know how to train your body most efficiently from past experience and the nutrition you need to grow best.

Growl wrote:
Pumpers cannot get into shape as fast as Casey in the Colorado experiment. I now believe Reeves could. He would change himself so fast that Grimek, and many others in the weight game, were in disbelief. I don't think Reeves is thought of like that at all.


Everyone is so quick to disbelieve single minded determination among HVTrainers. Arnold was able to do a similar turnaround training for the 75 and 80 Olympias. It seems the biggest key to success is someone that can go into the gym and put all their focus and energy in it. The system you train with is secondary to that.
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Growl

Arnold was driven to succeed like no other but he required a lot more time to get into shape.

I believe Mentzer to be accurate with the assessment below.

Mike Mentzer: "Now contrast Casey's achievement with what Arnold Schwarzenegger did to prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest. Arnold has gone to considerable lengths advertising the fact that, starting in July of that year, he trained twice a day for two hours each session, or four hours a day, six days a week, right up to the contest date in November.

As a result of training that totalled 288 hours, Arnold put on approximately 25 pounds of lean mass, going from his starting weight of 200 pounds to 225. It is interesting to note that Arnold, in gaining back only 25 pounds of muscle, failed, in that four-month period, to reach his previous best muscular bodyweight of 237 pounds."

"Not only are Casey and Arnold genetically gifted, both were also regaining muscle mass, which happens more readily than gaining it in the first place. And since both were taking steroids during these periods of training, one is left to conclude that the factor accounting for Casey's vastly superior achievement was his use of high-intensity training principles.

(When I asked Arnold, in 1979, why he had failed to attain the same 237 pounds for the 1975 Mr. Olympia that he competed at in the 1974 Mr. Olympia, he responded by saying that the four months he had to prepare wasn't enough time.)"

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marcrph

Spain

Growl wrote:
According to Grimek, Reeves was a real animal in the gym and not just "pumping away" happily. Reeves got back into top shape in 7 weeks. He accentuated the negative part of the rep, moved quickly between exercises, trained to failure, and often cheated up a final rep to get another slow negative. ?He would repeat each exercise until he couldn?t do another rep?, Grimek wrote.

There are also conflicting accounts of the Reeves workout as far as the number of sets he performed. Some say he did as few as 1-2 sets per movement. It makes no difference to me whether he was using 1 or 3 sets per movement, if Grimek is telling the truth, he was training high intensity. Looks to me like Reeves was into HIT.

Oh yeah, Reeves also trained full body and with strict form, which was apparently different than what Grimek was used to seeing (the strict form). Grimek was a weightlifter at heart and Reeves was pure bodybuilder.

Here?s another on Reeves.

http://www.criticalbench.com/...-mr-america.htm


Hi Growl,

Thanks very much for the article. I have a picture of Mr. Reeves doing the T-Bar handle hack squats. I do believe these T-Bar hack squats to be inferior to hip belt squats done on a decline. See the Pro Tip on this following article:

http://www.T-Nation.com/...le.do?id=460624

I know Mr. Reeves did front squats, and after looking at the quad development on Olympic weight lifters, who do lots of front squats in the clean and jerk movement, I'm not so sure if "plain old vanilla front squats" would not be the way to go for body building and athletic performance issues. I do know they are safer to perform.
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marcrph

Spain

Ellington Darden wrote:
In The New Bodybuilding for Old-School Results, in Chapter 1 where I interview Ben Sorenson, has some great comparisons and comments about Reeves and Grimek. Plus, there are photos.

Ellington


Many thanks for that great, informative opening chapter!

Marc
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EB Jones

New York, USA

for those interested here is what was on the wall at Reeves boyhood home with explanation from another site and author.The 3 day a week prg came from same site by another writter.

Steve Reeves 1st Workout Prg.

Do for 6 to 9 months:

All exercises are done for 10 rep's when you can do any exercise for 12 rep's increase weight by 5 pounds.
Cleans
OHP
BP
Row
Reverse curl
Curl
Squat Pullover
Abs
After 6 to 9 months do same exercises but add a 2nd set, use same rep and weighht increase as before. This second phase lasts for another 6 months .

The 3rd phase you do same reps and weight increase but no more than 3 sets unless other wise indicated.

Dead hang or Clean, or clean and press
Upright row
Lateral raise
Inclines 4 sets done is a rapid but controlled manner going from a heavy weight to light weight.
Pulley triceps curl followed by
Reverse curl

Seated db curl 4 sets

Full Squat followed by
Db pull over, or machine PO

Half Squat followed by either db pull over or machine pull over.
Good mornings or SLDL
Abs

REEVES 3 day per week high intensity routine:

A). B).
Upright row Press behind the neck
Incline bench Bench press
Seated row Bent-over row
Incline curl Standing Barbell curl
Triceps Press down Triceps extension
Leg press Squat
Forward bend Stiff leg dead lift
Calf raises Calf Raises
Abs Abs

Reeves would do 6 sets of 10-12 reps each, decreasing weight by 10 pounds each set, with 30 seconds rest between each set.
Volume may have to be adjusted down depending on ability. That is doing less than 6 sets per exercise.

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medici

Spain

Eric Broser's Power/Rep Range/Shock routine owes much of its origin to how Reeves trained - something Broser has acknowledged in print. Many Golden Era bodybuilders alternated heavy and light workouts, or heavy and light weeks.

All things considered, Reeves made his real progress when he joined Ed and Alyce Yarick's famous gym in Oakland, California prior to World War II. That gym was like Vince Gironda's was in the 60 and 70s back in the forties through early fifties. It all fell apart, sadly, when Alyce became pregnant by John Davis, the then reigning American heavyweight Olympic lifting champion. There was no denying it was his child since he was of a different race than the Yarick's. As I recall, Ed turned to booze for solace, and like many before him was destroyed by it.

That's the same gym Mr Americas Clancy Ross and Jack Delinger also trained at. As did Roy Hilligan, outstanding bodybuilder and Olympic lifter - still going strong at close to 80 in South Africa.

Yarick's, Vince's, then Joe Gold's Santa Monica gym, later his world gym in Venice were the meccas - centers of intense training and energy - in their day. Don't know that we have any left now. When Pearl shut down his LA gym, moving to Medford, Oregon, his famous Barn became yet another site bodybuilders gravitated to.

Reeves also made a great deal of what he called "mind/muscle" connection. His training included a huge amount of flexing and posing practice, building a bridge between mind and muscle that was of utmost use in his high quality training.
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medici

Spain

Growl wrote:
This was interesting to me. Reminds me of how Jones was able to whip himself into shape quickly. Perhaps Reeves was high intensity. Remember, Jones wasn't single set to failure when he attained his best either, but he was high intensity.

http://www.aafla.org/...+History+%29%29

Jeff


That article appears in Iron Game Historical Quarterly, published at the University of Texas, Austin, by Jan and Terry Todd - a part of their Todd-McLean Physical Culture Archive, with 200,000 plus items the largest such collection in the world. Terry was very close to Grimek - and most all of the other old timers.
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Growl

Thanks for that, EB Jones. A full body workout while moving quickly between exercises, using good form, and high intensity. If accurate, I call that HIT.

He starts off with one hard set and adds volume from there, obviously trying to figure out what amount of volume is enough. Seems logical. He doesn't just pump away and hope luck gives him some perfect set and rep combination.
Dr. Darden, the best bodybuilder who ever lived built his body with HIT.

I know, the overly dogmatic HITers will foam at the mouth in anger and the HVT crowd will cry foul. I think Reeves was using less volume than A.J. back then, and from the looks of it, training just as hard. Alright Dr. Darden, lets get Reeves photos all over this site and claim him for HIT.

Jeff

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Acerimmer1

In all probability Reeves didn't train HIT (if he did then it wasn't all the time and even then you don't know what you're talking about) these are most likely records or targets rather than an individual workout and you are a bullsHITTER. Don't be a bullsHITTER it doesn't help anybody.
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Acerimmer1

It says his routine was 2-4 hours. HIT my arse!
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Butters

Acerimmer1 wrote:
It says his routine was 2-4 hours. HIT my arse!


I have to agree with you there. HIT doesn't have the monopoly on full body workouts.
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Growl

Rimmer's feathers were so ruffled, he came back to add more. Easy fella. I'm only half kidding though. If Reeves was able to go for that long later on, he had stamina. Probably built it up.

Jeff
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Growl

marcrph wrote:
Growl wrote:
According to Grimek, Reeves was a real animal in the gym and not just "pumping away" happily. Reeves got back into top shape in 7 weeks. He accentuated the negative part of the rep, moved quickly between exercises, trained to failure, and often cheated up a final rep to get another slow negative. ?He would repeat each exercise until he couldn?t do another rep?, Grimek wrote.

There are also conflicting accounts of the Reeves workout as far as the number of sets he performed. Some say he did as few as 1-2 sets per movement. It makes no difference to me whether he was using 1 or 3 sets per movement, if Grimek is telling the truth, he was training high intensity. Looks to me like Reeves was into HIT.

Oh yeah, Reeves also trained full body and with strict form, which was apparently different than what Grimek was used to seeing (the strict form). Grimek was a weightlifter at heart and Reeves was pure bodybuilder.

Here?s another on Reeves.

http://www.criticalbench.com/...-mr-america.htm


Hi Growl,

Thanks very much for the article. I have a picture of Mr. Reeves doing the T-Bar handle hack squats. I do believe these T-Bar hack squats to be inferior to hip belt squats done on a decline. See the Pro Tip on this following article:

http://www.T-Nation.com/...le.do?id=460624

I know Mr. Reeves did front squats, and after looking at the quad development on Olympic weight lifters, who do lots of front squats in the clean and jerk movement, I'm not so sure if "plain old vanilla front squats" would not be the way to go for body building and athletic performance issues. I do know they are safer to perform.


Hi Marc,
There is a photo I was trying to find which showed Reeves with a lot of weight hanging from a belt. I think it was a hip belt but it also had harnesses. The amount of weight hanging from it must have been for squats.

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Growl

kayo wrote:
Eric Broser's Power/Rep Range/Shock routine owes much of its origin to how Reeves trained - something Broser has acknowledged in print. Many Golden Era bodybuilders alternated heavy and light workouts, or heavy and light weeks.

All things considered, Reeves made his real progress when he joined Ed and Alyce Yarick's famous gym in Oakland, California prior to World War II. That gym was like Vince Gironda's was in the 60 and 70s back in the forties through early fifties. It all fell apart, sadly, when Alyce became pregnant by John Davis, the then reigning American heavyweight Olympic lifting champion. There was no denying it was his child since he was of a different race than the Yarick's. As I recall, Ed turned to booze for solace, and like many before him was destroyed by it.

That's the same gym Mr Americas Clancy Ross and Jack Delinger also trained at. As did Roy Hilligan, outstanding bodybuilder and Olympic lifter - still going strong at close to 80 in South Africa.

Yarick's, Vince's, then Joe Gold's Santa Monica gym, later his world gym in Venice were the meccas - centers of intense training and energy - in their day. Don't know that we have any left now. When Pearl shut down his LA gym, moving to Medford, Oregon, his famous Barn became yet another site bodybuilders gravitated to.

Reeves also made a great deal of what he called "mind/muscle" connection. His training included a huge amount of flexing and posing practice, building a bridge between mind and muscle that was of utmost use in his high quality training.


Thanks, kayo.
Interesting info.

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