T Nation

Looking For Classic BB'er Look


I'm a 40 yo lifter and I'm looking to build myself to look like the lifters from the 60's. Like Steve Reeves et al. I weigh 230 lbs and am 6' tall. Right now I'm doing all compound lifts at 4x7-9. I split my sessions to 6 days a week, about 30 min a day. Mon+Thu Bench+Chins, Tues+Fri Squats, Weds+Sat One arm rows and pull ups. Any ideas about his work out and also any tips on diet? Are there any good books(0ld or new) that deal with this??


Reeves has a training book from long ago. It costs a fortune new on Amazon but I think if you look in the used section or eBay it would end up being much less. Frankly, if you're 230lb all muscle @ 6' you should have no trouble looking like Reeves. With your split I would also make wed and sat arm days because you seem to be neglecting any kind of isolation work.


Wow...You're incredibly lucky. Most people would be happy as hell to just look like a body builder of ANY era...but to be able to pick and choose what style of body builder you're going to look like, that's pretty damn cool.



Well, I'm trying to look like that. And I am not anywhere near 230 lbs of muscle...


Just an FYI, the book is about half the price on his website, stevereeves.com


ironmind.com book section


I have the Steeve Reeves Book.Some good info in there


At your age and stats, I'm going to venture a guess and say that in your case diet is going to be the more important component of the diet/exercise equation. You can buy books if you like, but all the information you're going to need for a while is already here on this site for free. Look up stuff by a guy named Berardi (especially his Seven Habits article) and go from there.

Reeves was, if memory serves, about 6' tall and somewhere around 205-210 in contest condition. So you've already got more size than you need. But no "type of training" in the world is going to give any of us his proportions (or facial looks). :wink:


One of the suprising things he suggest is to not work the traps too much to give the shoulders a bigger look.


I don't disagree. unless the traps are completely lacking. Don't know the equiv of the ILS, imaginary lat syndrome as it applies to traps, but huge traps and marginal shoulders look kind of silly.


6'1", 215 lbs in contest shape. 52" chest, 28" waist (!!!), 18" upper neck, upper arms, and calves.

Every account I've ever read about Reeves, his contemporaries claimed that he looked much larger in person than the photos. Given those measurements, it's not hard to believe. I asked the same of Dr. Darden during one of his T-Nation forays, as he met Reeves. He agreed; the man looked much larger in person. As hard as it may be to believe, given how photogenic he seemed, the pictures still failed to do him justice.


There is also Vince Gironda. He achieved the same type of look back in the early 50s. He has a book "Unleashing the Wild Physique", which has some unconventional ideas in it.


I used to have a shitload of Reeves articles cut out and saved somewhere but I can`t find them now.

Off the top of my head I recall that he did whole body workouts three times a week and that his workouts could take upto 2 hours.

His favourite bicep exercise was incline dumbell curls a felt that this gave a great ROM and pump.

Didn`t do ab work as he felt that it would just give you thick abs. He felt that tricep pushdowns kep his abs tight and that long hours horse riding also helped.

Was quite keen on barbell hack squats.

Looked much bigger in person and stronger too. Reputed to have done 10x10 on the incline bench press with 100 lb dumbells.

Thats all I can think of now. Anyhting else springs to mind I will post it.