Steve Reeves was an American bodybuilder and actor. To this day, many consider his physique ideal. One of Reeves’ strongest body parts besides his big arms, slim midsection and wide lats, were his massive diamond shaped calf muscles.
How did Steve Reeves build his lower leg muscles?
According to the information online, Steve Reeves did not rely solely on traditional calf raises to build his massive lower legs. Back in the day, Reeves used to deliver newspapers in Oakland, California. He was riding a bicycle for miles every day. In order to place more stress on the calf muscles, Reeves made a conscious effort to stay on his toes when peddling.
Years later, Steve attributed his calf development to this technique. An additional factor that played an important role was the uneven route, which often consisted of uphills and downhills. This added even more resistance.
During his preparation for the 1950 Mr. Universe in London, England, Steve Reeves used the so-called “yoke” apparatus for his calves. The unique “yoke” or harness rested on top of an old parallel bar set-up.
Reeves also performed the popular Donkey calf raises with people sitting on top him. He was obsessed with proper form and each repetition was done under control. There were no jerky movements.
Finally, in order to further stimulate his calf muscles, Reeves used to run backwards.
Conclusion: Steve Reeves built his calves through hard work. However, he also had favorable genetics – short Achilles tendons. On the other hand, people with long Achilles tendons usually present poor lower leg development because there isn’t that much muscle in the area, to begin with.