A look back at the career of the legendary Frank Zane with Posing (2023)

Who is Frank ZANE?

Who doesn't knowFrank ZANE in the world of bodybuilding and weight training?

For those who don't know, he was a professor of mathematics and chemistry and has a MASTER 2 degree in experimental psychology. He appeared in an episode of "For the Love of Risk".

He is also an American professional bodybuilder. He won 3 times the famous Mister Olympia which takes place every year in Las Vegas from 1977 to 1979. He also beat Arnold Schwarzenegger once during the title of Mr Universe in Miami thanks to his extraordinary genetic potential. With his nickname: THE LEGENDARY Frank Zane, he made many covers of magazines of the time.

Quick biography of Frank Zane:

He grew up in Pennsylvania and was always a shy and quiet man, discovering weight training at age 14 while flipping through a magazine found in the trash in math class. Frank started weight training some time later at the YMCA gym and bought weights to train at home. His father didn't like bodybuilding, which is what pushed him to continue weight training.

A look back at the career of the legendary Frank Zane with Posing (2)

At 17, he was already seeing visible results on his body thanks to his weight training sessions.

At the same age, he was an archery instructor during the summers at a Boy Scout camp and always continued to work on his strength training, both during school and even when he was working in the summer.

Later, he moved to Florida where he met his wife Christine who also discovered bodybuilding. She also did beauty contests and won them. Later, they will open a bodybuilding school in Palm spring and Frank will invent a bodybuilding machine called Leg blaster.

He is known to have always put forward his aestheticism and his muscular mass against competitors much more voluminous than him. His height was at the time the thinnest of the board. He never exceeded 84 kg in competition. His V-shaped back and broad shoulders as well as his slim waist remind us of the golden age of bodybuilding. The Old School period where competitors were neither too fat nor too dry. Known to be an expert in vaccum, he said in an interview with Muscle and Fitness that you should train to do it when you are hungry. Clearly, this is a legend.


Height : 1,75 m

Competition weight : 84 Kg

Weight out of competition : between 88,5 and 90 Kg

Waist size : 73 cm


  • 1961, Mr. Pennsylvania 17th place
  • 1962, Mr. Keystone - Winner
  • 1963, Mr. Keystone 2nd
  • 1965, Mr. Sunshine State - Winner
  • 1965 IFBB Mr. Universe 1ermedium size category
  • 1966 IFBB Mr. America - 1er average weight
  • 1967 IFBB Mr. America - 1eraverage weight
  • 1967 IFBB Mr. Universe - 3esmall size
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. America - Winner
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. Universe - Winner
  • 1970 NABBA Mr. Universe - Winner
  • 1971 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe 1ersmall size
  • 1972 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe - Winner
  • 1972 IFBB - Mister Olympia
  • 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

Against Arnold...

He is the only athlete who managed to win against the famous Arnold Schwarzeneggerat a competition in Florida: Mr. Universe.

Since the end of his career in 1983, he has written 5 books: His latest in 2016 is entitled 91 day Wonder body.

He is now 79 years old (2021) and a few years ago he helped IFBB Pro competitor Sadik Hadzovic in his physical preparation. He coached him for his posing when he decided to switch from Men's Physique to Classic physique during his competition in Olympia.

He is the model for many competitors and one of my favorite athletes.

A look back at the career of the legendary Frank Zane with Posing (6)

Symmetry is Frank's bodybuilding autobiography. It chronicles his training in his early teens, his first competitions, winning Mr. America, Universes and Olympias, all documented with over 300 photographs and 224 pages spanning over 60 years. The workouts, the mental attitude, the poses and presentations, the diets, the motivational and energy conservation techniques - everything that was important in her quest to build the perfect body. That's the story behind his appellation: "Mr. Symmetry."

Unfortunately this book version is not in French.

How did Frank Zane train?

Frank's training routine was like this:

  • Monday morning: Quadriceps and calves
  • Monday night: Shoulders, biceps, forearms and abs
  • Tuesday morning: back
  • Tuesday night: Pecs, triceps and abs
  • Wednesday morning: Quadriceps and calves
  • Thursday morning: back
  • Thursday night: Shoulders, biceps, forearms and abs
  • Friday morning: Quadriceps and calves
  • Friday night: Pecs, triceps and abs

He trained lightly because he was afraid of injuries until 1977. Joe Weider then persuaded him to change his program for the preparation of Mr Olympia by telling him to push heavier. That's the year he won the title.

He ate between 2,000 and 3,000 calories a day and his diet was based on cycling carbohydrates according to his fitness level and the training he was doing. If he felt tired, he would increase his carbohydrate intake.

My tribute

When federations NPC and IFBB decided to release the new Classic Physique category in 2016, the first competition took place in Florida. 2 weeks before the show, the vice president, Peter POTTER, asked me to intervene in the official course to help the novices learn the poses. Since I was an amateur at the time and was even competing for my IFBB PRO card in Men's Physique, I decided to compete in this category as well to have fun. Posing has always attracted me. I must say that at the time of my first competition in 2004, there was only one category: bodybuilding. Posing is something I miss today in the men's physical category because it is ultra simplified. (only 2 poses with transition). In this new category Classic Physique (height/weight ratio) there are poses imposed like :

Double Front Biceps, Cage Biceps, Triceps, Double Back Biceps, Thigh Abdominals and the famous Classic pose...

But you also have 1min30 of free posing time. The art of posing is very difficult and requires hours and hours of practice. It has to be fluid, the transitions have to be natural, always keeping a smile on your face while contracting your muscles as much as possible. It is not enough to be bigger, but you have to be harmonious, symmetrical and have presence on the stage, occupy the space. It's an art and it's important to know how to show off.

Here is an excerpt from the video:

So I wanted to pay tribute to Frank ZANE by doing a posing that looks like him and on the same music he used for his own competitions.

To prepare for several months by following an optimal diet and training without having worked sufficiently on posing is nowadays inconceivable. Everything must be perfectly mastered up to the imposed poses and the posing on the D-day! Bodybuilding poses are the culmination of all the preparation for a competition.

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

Thank you Frank ZANE!!!

Here are some of the most beautiful physiques from the golden age of the body suit:

Larry Scott

Serge Nubret

Sergio Oliva

Would you like to follow a program established by a sports coach that will allow you to reach your goals?


Feel free to leave your comments if you are a Frank Zane fan too

Other articles to read :

All about bodybuilding competitions

How to choose a good bodybuilding coach?

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