by Ben Yosef

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon, I was at home just searching around YouTube for fun, interesting, and educational fitness videos. I stumbled upon a a “Top 10 Greatest Bodybuilders” YouTube video featuring Steve Reeves. (the exact video can no longer be found on YouTube)

Although I don’t always agree with their opinions, I do appreciate fans who spend time creating these types of videos. I usually find them entertaining on some level. So, I decided to check this one out. It starts off with some hard rock guitar blaring, as the decently animated text begins. About thirty seconds in, the guitar quiets to a halt, as Steve Reeves is introduced as “Number 10”. As the video/photo montage begins, the music transitions to something more my speed, a beat-rich, eerie sounding track. The montage opens with Steve apparently in the midst of a photo shoot, circa 1950’s. He is hitting shots outside of what appears to be some sort of mansion foyer while standing on a cement walkway railing.

Picture1I don’t know if it was the music or the uber-vintage mid-twentieth century mood captured in the scene, but I felt profoundly moved. I just sat there thinking, “this guy is incredible.” I am often affected by odd little details that most people do not notice, and if they happen to notice, it is a non-event for them. As Steve came out of each pose, he would throw or swing his arms in sort of a controlled chaos kind of way. Arnold used to do this a bit as well, but not like Steve. Arnold Schwarzenegger was quoted saying, ”Steve Reeves is a great man and has contributed much to the sport of bodybuilding, Steve was a great inspiration to me.”

Steve Reeves was, and still is, in a class all by himself.        

sr3The image of Steve Reeves’ “Side Chest” pose is iconic.






sr4His“Abs & Thigh” shot is a thing of beauty. It is classic Reeves. Pure perfection. Why don’t we pose like this anymore?






sr5His “Front Double Biceps” pose, as well others, would be competitive with some of today’s best naturals.






Steve authored the book, Building the Classic Physique – The Natural Way. He would occasionally give seminars on bodybuilding, cross training, and power walking.

sr6These are two of my favorite Steve Reeves images. In most of the photos that you find of Steve, he appears very lean and a bit down in size. The pictures here show a bigger, fuller Steve Reeves.


Sixty years later, Steve Reeves is still impressive.

Though Steve’s competitive bodybuilding career was relatively short (1946-1950), he did win many major titles.








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