Frank Zone shirtless, contracting his biceps and abs.

Frank Zane, a bodybuilding legend

Who doesn't know Frank Zane, in the world of bodybuilding? This extraordinary athlete possessed a physique of incredible harmony. Endowed with a sublime geneticFrank Zane was above all a hard worker. Let's take a look at the career of the man still nicknamed "Frank Zane". The legendary" .

Who is Frank Zane?

For those who don't know, Frank Zane was a teacher of mathematics and chemistry. He also obtained a Master 2 degree in experimental psychology.

But it's also a professional bodybuilder who left his mark on the history of bodybuilding.

He has won three times in a row the famous Mr. Olympia between 1977 and 1979, in Las Vegas.

As proof of his talent, he even had the luxury of beating Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Mister Universe title in Miami in 1968. With his extraordinary genetic potential, Frank Zane was quickly dubbed "the best of the best". The legendary "("The Legendary Frank Zane").

Her performances earned her a place on the cover of many of the magazines of the day.

Shirtless bodybuilder Frank Zane during a posing session, muscles bulging.
Throughout his career as a professional bodybuilder, Frank Zane displayed superb muscularity.

Before that, Frank Zane grew up in Pennsylvania. He was always a shy, quiet man. He discovered strength training quite young, at the age of 14, by leafing through a magazine found in the math class garbage can.

Frank will start weight training some time after that at the YMCA gym and will buy dumbbells to train at home.

At 17, he was already seeing visible results on his body thanks to his workouts.

At the same age, he was a summer archery instructor at a Boy Scout camp. Even during this period, he continued to perfect his muscle strengthening through intensive training.

He later moved to Florida, where he met his wife Christine, who in turn discovered bodybuilding. She also entered and won beauty contests.

A few years later, the couple opened a bodybuilding school in Palm Springs, California. Here, Frank Zane invented a leg-building machine known as the leg blaster.

Frank and Christine Zane
Famed bodybuilder Frank Zane and his wife, Christine.

Known as an expert in vacuumhe said in an interview with Muscle and Fitness that you need to practice this exercise when you're hungry.

Frank Zane's measurements

Frank Zane is 1.75 metres tall, with a waist measurement of 73 centimetres.

Outside competition, his weight fluctuated between 88.5 and 90 kilos.

During the competitions, it tended to revolve around 84 kilos on the scale.

Her arm circumference was around 45 centimetres, and her thigh circumference 66 centimetres.

Frank Zane owes his success to the aestheticism of his muscle mass. Throughout his career as a bodybuilder, he took on competitors who were much bulkier than he was. At the time, his waist was the slimmest on the board.

He has never weighed more than 84 kg in competition. His V-shaped backHer broad shoulders and slim waist made her body harmonious, symmetrical and balanced. A model of physical perfection which recalls the golden age of bodybuilding, an old school period when competitors were neither too fat nor too lean.

An impressive track record

In a career spanning almost 20 years, Frank Zane has multiplied his performances in various bodybuilding competitions. A prize list with three consecutive victories at Mr. Olympia (1977, 1978 and 1979).

  • 1961 - Mr Pennsylvania: 17th
  • 1962 - Mr. Keystone: Winner
  • 1963 - Mr Keystone: 2nd
  • 1965 - Mr Sunshine State: Winner
  • 1965 - IFBB Mr. Univers: 1st medium size category
  • 1966 - IFBB Mr. America: 1st middleweight
  • 1967 - IFBB Mr. America: 1st middleweight
  • 1967 - IFBB Mr. Univers: 3rd small size
  • 1968 - IFBB Mr. America: Winner
  • 1968 - IFBB Mr. Universe: Winner
  • 1970 - NABBA Mr. Universe: Winner
  • 1971 - NABBA Pro Mr. Universe: 1st small size
  • 1972 - NABBA Pro Mr. Universe: Winner
  • 1972 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 4th
  • 1974 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 2nd
  • 1975 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 4th
  • 1976 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 2nd
  • 1977 - IFBB Mister Olympia: Winner
  • 1978 - IFBB Mister Olympia: Winner
  • 1979 - IFBB Mister Olympia: Winner
  • 1980 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 3rd
  • 1982 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 2nd
  • 1983 - IFBB Mister Olympia: 4th

Frank Zane is the only athlete to have achieved the feat of winning against Arnold Schwarzenegger at Mister Universe 1968 (Florida).

Frank Zane (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (right), both shirtless, at a bodybuilding competition.
Frank Zane (left) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (right) at a bodybuilding competition.

The end of his career

Frank Zane retired in 1983.

In 2015, he helped IFBB competitor Pro Sadik Hadzovic in its physical preparation. He coached him in his posing when he decided to switch from Men's Physique to Classic Physique at his Olympia competition.

Today, Frank Zane is a role model for many bodybuilders. Personally, he's also one of my favorite athletes.

Left, shirtless Frank Zane in his thirties. On the right, Frank Zane still shirtless, but much older.
Even in retirement, Frank Zane has continued to maintain his sublime physique.

Since then, he has written 5 books. His latest, 91 day wonder body ("91 days for a dream body"), dates back to 2016.

He also wrote his own autobiography : Symmetry. This book retraces his training in his early teens, his first competitions and his many victories (Mr. America, the Universes, the Olympias, etc.). Everything is superbly documented with over 300 photographs and 224 pages covering more than 60 years of existence.

From training sessions from mental attitude to posing, presentation, dieting and motivational techniques, all the subjects inherent in the life of a top-level athlete are covered.

The cover of Frank Zane's book Symmetry.
Particularly inspiring, Frank Zane's book has unfortunately never been translated into French.

Throughout his life, Frank Zane has worked hard to build the perfect body. That's the story he tells in this book. Unfortunately, this book is not available in French.

How did Frank Zane train?

During the most intense periods, the training routine Frank Zane's workout schedule consisted of 9 sessions a week:

  • Monday morning: quadriceps, hamstrings and calves ;
  • Monday evening: shoulders, biceps, forearms and abs ;
  • Tuesday morning: back ;
  • Tuesday evening: pectorals, triceps and abs ;
  • Wednesday morning: quadriceps, hamstrings and calves ;
  • Thursday morning: back ;
  • Thursday evening: shoulders, biceps, forearms and abs ;
  • Friday morning: quadriceps, hamstrings and calves ;
  • Friday evening: pectorals, triceps and abs.

Do you want to follow a totally personalized program that will allow you to reach your goals?

For several years, the American bodybuilder preferred training with light loads, as he was afraid of injury.

But in 1977, Joe Weider persuaded him to change his program in preparation for Mr. Olympia and to push harder. That was the year he won the supreme title.

In terms of nutrition, he ate between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day. His diet was based on cycling carbohydrates according to his day's fitness and the training he was doing. If he felt tired, he increased his carbohydrate intake, and vice versa.

My tribute to this extraordinary athlete

When the NPC and IFBB federations decided to introduce the new Classic Physique In 2016, the first competition was held in Florida.

Two weeks before the show, the vice-president, Peter Potter, asked me to take part in the official training course to help the novices learn the compulsory poses. Since I was still an amateur at the time, and even in the process of competing for my IFBB PRO card in Men's Physique, I decided to take part in this competition for my own pleasure.

The posing has always attracted me. It has to be said that at the time of my first competition in 2004, there was only one category: bodybuilding.

Posing is something I missed in the Men's Physique category, as it is ultra-simplified with just two poses with transition. In this new Classic Physique category, several poses were imposed:

  • Front double biceps;
  • Biceps cage;
  • Triceps ;
  • Double back biceps;
  • Thighs Abdominals ;
  • Classic pose ;
  • Etc.

In addition, you also had 1 minute 30 of free posing. The art of posing is very difficult and requires hours and hours of practice. The final result must be fluid, the transitions natural, and you must always keep smiling while tensing your muscles to the maximum.

It's not enough to be bigger, you have to be harmonious, symmetrical and have presence on stage, occupying space. It's an art, and it's important to know how to show off.

The reason I'm telling you about this competition is that I wanted to make tribute to the legendary Frank Zane by making a posing that resembled him. In fact, I'd chosen the same music he used for his competitions.

An extract from my Frank Zane tribute posing in 2016.

This earned me 4th place and an award for best installer.

These days, it's inconceivable to prepare for several months on an optimal diet and training regime without having worked sufficiently on posing. Everything must be perfectly mastered! That's right, bodybuilding poses are the culmination of all the preparation for a competition.


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10 Comments

  1. All the bodybuilders of the time make dream that it is franck zane arnold or nubret
    having information on their training and complete bodybuilding program would be great like you did for the superheroes
    in any case their musculature gives desire to surpass itself
    thank you for this article
    enthusiasts like me must be happy

  2. Hello julien
    This man has marked the history of bodybuilding so congratulations Julien for this tribute

  3. For information the only defeat that Schwarzenegger knew it was against Sergio Olivia, at the time of the first participation in mr olympia. Frank Zane never beat Schwarzenegger.

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