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Frank Zane discovered bodybuilding at the age of 14 when he attended a math class at high school and noticed a bodybuilding magazine thrown in a bin. He read the magazine and soon afterwards he started to work out at the local gym. He bought a 15kg set of dumbbells and started to workout at home as well. From the age of 14 to 17, he managed to increase his weight to 72 kg and felt great to see the results of his hard work. During high school, Frank used to spend the summertime as an archery instructor in a scout camp. He walked home 32km on weekends and since his 25kg dumbbells were at the camp, Frank had to carry them home so that he could workout. This way he made sure he never missed any training. 
“The first competition in which I participated was Open Novice in Allentown. There were 45 competitors and we all had to do 4 poses. I ended up 5th, which was very encouraging for me. Bob Hoffam, who watched me pump up behind the scenes, came to me and said: “Young man, if I had a body like you, I’d walk shirtless all the time.” 
In 1980, Frank and his wife Christine opened the Zane Heaven Bodybuilding Training Center, where people can still learn about this lifestyle. Frank has been granted a patent for the invention of a machine called Leg Blaster and has launched a program called Zane Experience which includes – strength training, nutrition, stress management and deep relaxation. 
• Age: 73 yrs
• Place of Birth: Kingstone, Pennsylvania
• Height: 175cm
• Competition weight: 84kg
• Off-season weight: 91kg
• Nickname: The Chemist 
Measurements in the competition period
• 1960 Teen Age Mr. America (3rd place, first trophy, won as 18 years old)
• 1965 and 1968 IFBB Mr. Universe (1st place)
• 1965 IFBB Mr. North America (1st place)
• 1966 IFBB Mr. Eastern America (1st place)
• 1966 – 1968 IFBB Mr. America (1st place)
• 1970 NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe (1st place)
• 1971 – 1972 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (1st place)
• 1974 and 1976 IFBB Mr. Olympia (2nd place under 90kg)
• 1977 – 1979 IFBB Mr. Olympia (1st place under 90kg and absolute winner)
• 1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia (3rd place after suffering nearly fatal injury requiring hospitalization)
• 1982 IFBB Mr. Olympia (2nd place)
• 1983 IFBB Mr. Olympia (4th place after suffering another bike injury that required shoulder surgery shortly after the competition)
In 1968, Frank achieved one of his greatest bodybuilding achievements. Not only did he win Mr. America and Mr. Universe titles, but also beat Arnold Schwarznegger.
“Arnold wasn’t prepared to win,” Zane says. “He was just a big unshaped guy without a competitive color. I didn’t see him as a competition. However, Joe Weider was all around Arnold.” “Back then, everyone already knew that he was destined for magnificence.” “I was just beaten by a chicken with a 43cm biceps,” Arnold said after the contest. Zane was 13cm lower and 23kg lighter than Arnold, yet he was proportionally more aesthetic and more shredded. “Arnold’s comments kicked me like hell, I just couldn’t stay mad at him. He’s so diplomatic.”
In 1981, he did not participate at the prestigious competition Mr. Olympia because he boycotted it due to previous Mr. Olympia 1980, which was very controversial for him.
Arnold has won 6 Mr. Olympia titles and retired before Zane won his 3 titles. Later, in a typical circumvention maneuver, Arnold returned in 1980 and took with him the seventh victory in Australia, where Zane expected to win his fourth title. 
At the top of his career, he probably had the most aesthetic and muscular figure of all time. With its clear lines, effective size and almost perfect symmetry, he represented the peak of physical beauty, at least in men’s bodybuilding.
His body was the result of heavy and light workouts. At the beginning of his career, when leanness was his main goal, his training consisted of light weights and a higher number of repetitions. What he lacked and what Joe Weider constantly reminded him of was the size of the muscles that could only be achieved with a heavier weight. Zane refused to exercise with heavy weights because he was afraid of injuries.
Weider managed to persuade Zane in 1977, when he changed his training in preparation for the respective Mr. Olympia. His training during this time consisted of 3 to 4 exercises by 3 sets for most muscle groups. It was less intense for him than he was used to.
Most of the sets were in the range of 8 to 12 reps, except for the calves and abdominal muscles, which continued to exercise with a higher number of reps. As a result, he added a considerable size to his muscles and won his first of three Mr. Olympia titles.
“The only way you can gain muscle mass is by using heavy weights,” said Zane after his victory in 1977.
Unfortunately, Zane’s fears of heavy training were eventually justified as his shoulders, knees and lower back suffered.
“Using the wrong form of heavy weight exercise will double the chance of injury.”
Injury was not the only reason why Zane avoided extreme loads. His training approach was based on the idea that heavy weight is not needed if you can direct your focus to the muscles you are exercising.
“During the training, I close everything in my mind except the muscle that I workout. Larry Scott once told me that feeling the movement is the most important thing in training. I cannot isolate an area by using heavy weights as much as with lighter ones… all you need is a constant effort of consciousness!”
Zane’s typical training split
• Monday morning – Quadriceps, Calves
• Monday evening– Shoulders, Biceps, Forearms and Abs
• Tuesday morning – Back
• Tuesday evening – Chest, Triceps, Abs
• Wednesday morning – Quadriceps, Calves
• Thursday morning – Back
• Thursday evening – Shoulders, Biceps, Forearms and Abs
• Friday morning – Quadriceps, Calves
• Friday evening – Chest, Triceps, Abs 
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You can see two trainings that Zane used to prepare for 1977 Mr. Olympia below.
August 16, 1977
|Smith Machine Overhead Shoulder Press||3||10|
|Dumbbell Shoulder Press||3||10|
|Cable One Arm Lateral Raise||3||10|
|Hanging Knee Raises||4||20|
|Hanging Leg Raises||5||30|
|Cable Crunches||3||25 per side|
July 15, 1982
Morning training 
|Dumbbell Bench Press on Bench (75°)||3||12, 11, 10|
|Barbell Bench Press on Bench (30°)||4||10, 9, 8, 6|
|Lying Chest Flys||3||12, 11, 10|
|Bench Press (close grip)||3||10, 10, 8|
|Dumbbell Tricep Extension||3||10, 9, 8|
|Tricep Cable Pushdown||3||10|
“The weight of my workout exercises depended on how I felt at the moment. Let’s say I did Dumbbell Bench Press. I would start the first set with 27kg by 12 reps, then 32 to 36kg by 11 reps. The weight of the next set depends on how I felt with 36kg. Either I stay at 36kg and make a few extra sets, or I’ll use 38-40kg dumbbells. It all depends on how I feel. If I’m ready for a new weight, then it’ll just happen.” 
“I’ve always had a limited amount of carbohydrates. My carbohydrate intake was always lower than protein intake. If I needed a boost, such as when I didn’t get enough blood repletion (pump) during the training, I ate more carbohydrates. Generally, I used 4-day cycles. I had low carbohydrate intake for three days and the next day I ate more carbohydrates. When I was training, I never went above 3000 calories a day. In general, I maintained calorie intake between 2000 and 3000 per day. I did not make radical changes in my diet. I think this is the biggest mistake because it affects you in ways that are not known to your body at all.” 
“Let’s suppose that I was on a low carbohydrate diet a month before the contest. Now, I would be completely carbohydrate-free for 5 days. On the 6th day I may be physically exhausted, so what I can do is fill my body with carbohydrates as soon as I wake up. I can have roasted potatoes, probably before I go to the gym. This repletion should be enough for the next few days. During these few days, I can maintain my energy almost without carbohydrates, thanks to increased fat intake. Amino acids and liver support supplements will help you get through carbohydrate-free days.” 
“I relied a lot on pre-workout food.Before the training, I always had protein and carbohydrates.After the training, I relaxed and sometimes ate a few hours later. It depended on how demanding my training was. When I got hungry, I just ate. Usually, my first meal after training was a protein drink – some sort of protein-carbohydrate mix.” 
Despite the fact that three decades have passed since Zane’s last victory at Mr. Olympia, his body remains timeless and respected by bodybuilding fans to this day. His name still appears as a reference in discussions among bodybuilding fans regarding the topic of ideal figure. Even his training philosophy, focused on the idea of maintaining a holistic mind-body connection, is a model against which other training philosophies are compared. 
 Frank Zane’s Official Website, Frank Zane’s Biography, 2016 – http://www.frankzane.com/bio/
 Fred Duncan, Q&A with Bodybuilding Legend, Frank Zane, 2015 – http://www.flexonline.com/training/pro-advice/qa-bodybuilding-legend-frank-zane]
 Wikipedia, Frank Zane, 2016 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Zane
 Bodybuilding.com Contributing Writer, Frank Zane May Have Had The Best-Looking Body Ever. BB.com Tracked Him Down To Learn His Secrets, 2011 – http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/zen-of-zane.html
 fitFLEX, Frank Zane's Diet Plan & Workout Routine plus Photo Gallery, 2016 – http://www.fitflex.com/frank-zane-bodybuilder-gallery.html
 Joe Wuebben, FRANK ZANE: BEST BUILT MAN, 2016 – http://www.muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/news/frank-zane-best-built-man
 Dennis B. Weis, Frank Zane Workout and Nutrition, 2013 – http://www.musclenet.com/frankzane.htm
 Muscle & Strength, Interview With Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, 2010 – https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/interview-with-mr-olympia-frank-zane.html
 The Legend of Frank Zane: An Interview With The Man Who Achieved Physical Perfection, Simplyshredded, 2008 – http://www.simplyshredded.com/the-legend-of-zane-an-interview.html