Bodybuilding Legends – Frank Zane

Ask any serious bodybuilder to name his favourite bodybuilders, chances are Frank Zane will be mentioned. In Bodybuilding Legends – Frank Zane, we take a look at this legendary bodybuilder who many believe had the perfect physique in what has been called the ‘golden era’ of bodybuilding. Zane had a long and successful competition career. He won several Mr America and Mr Universe competitions and earned bodybuilding’s highest status of Mr Olympia three times. Being only one of three men to ever beat Arnold Schwarzenegger is another achievement  Zane can be proud of.  

Like many of the bodybuilders of the 70’s and 80’s, Zane experimented with many classic bodybuilding techniques and approaches in his routines: supersets, drop sets, forced reps, high volume workouts, push/pull splits to name a few. Zane particularly favoured squats for leg and whole body development. He used partial deadlifts to build thick slabs of muscle all over his back.

For his chest, he placed emphasis on incline bench presses rather than the flat bench press. To develop his phenomenal midsection, it was not unusual for Zane to perform 1000 reps of ab work in a session!

Posing was one of Zane`s strengths. He confidently displayed his symmetrical and well proportioned physique on the competition stage. All his poses were strong and showed off his aesthetic physique and tiny waistline. His famous vacuum pose displayed his superior serratus muscle development. In fact, his outstanding serratus muscle development inspired Schwarzenegger to train his own  harder!

Zane was intelligent with his diet planning during his competition days. He never ate excessively (he avoided going above 3000 calories per day) and his protein intake was always above his carbohydrate intake. Of course, protein supplements were included in his diet and he particularly emphasised the value of amino acid supplementation for recovery.

Now aged 74, Zane is still as passionate about bodybuilding as he has ever been. He still trains, coaches, runs his own website, writes books and holds seminars.  A man with a strong mindset? That’s clearly an understatement!

Lots of bodybuilding fans say that many of today’s elite bodybuilding physiques are undesirable, claiming that they are too big, unwieldy and freakish.

Frank Zane’s chiselled, symmetrical and streamlined, physique was ahead of its time and is for many the ideal to pursue and still remains a fan favourite indeed especially now in this time of veganism, yoga and true health consciousness. One thing we can be sure of is that he will continue to inspire thousands of bodybuilders in the decades ahead…

You can learn more about Frank and see why he’s so highly regarded by checking out his website, Facebook page and yes he’s on Twitter too!

Alan Riseborough

Alan is a strength and physique enthusiast and has 28 years' of training experience behind him. He has competed in powerlifting, arm wrestling, bodybuilding and grip strength competitions. He also includes rigorous bodyweight, sprinting and kettlebell training regularly in his routines. He believes in the transformative power of the squat which is (believe it or not) his favourite exercise!

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