“Saw Muscles and Veins Popping Out”: Bodybuilding Legend Frank Zane Suggested the Simplest One Can Start Training in 2021

Published 11/27/2022, 9:45 AM EST

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Three-time Olympian Frank Zane is a classic example of aesthetic bodybuilding. Unlike other bodybuilders, Zane trained with light weights. His wonderfully symmetrical body grew in popularity, making him one of the memorable bodybuilders in Mr. Olympia. Zane began bodybuilding with simple tricks and he has the same suggestions for beginners in this field.

Frank Zane is one of the three bodybuilders who defeated Arnold Schwarzenegger at Mr. Olympia. He competed for 20 years, winning not just Mr. Olympia but Mr. America, Mr. Universe, and Mr. World. Among all the bodybuilders of his time, he was famous for having the thinnest waist.


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Frank Zane’s bodybuilding advice to beginners

Frank Zane was famous for maintaining lightweight training. The 80-year-old had a very calculative bodybuilding regime. His workouts and meals were also highly measured. Along with it, he also took good portions of amino acids and supplements. These qualities of Zane gave him the nickname ‘The Chemist’.

Zane’s bodybuilding journey began with simple equipment. In an interview with Men’s Health in 2021, he was asked if he was a beginner, then what type of equipment would he use. Zane answered, “In my case, it was adjustable dumbbells. I bought a simple set of adjustable dumbbells, performed the basic exercises, and saw muscles and veins popping out in areas where they weren’t previously noticeable. Even then, I realized that dumbbell training could give me the look I was after.”


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Frank Zane’s strategy to win Mr. Olympia was to avoid gaining extra weight during holidays. On getting back to training, he would work out faster at short intervals. Although he followed lightweight training throughout his career, he did resort to heavyweight training during Mr. Olympia. Zane’s coach, Joe Weider, convinced him to try heavyweight. After winning the titles for three consecutive years, he experienced injuries leading to his retirement.

What did Zane do post-retirement?


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In 1985, Frank opened Zane Heaven, a platform for one-on-one consulting for people who wanted to have a symmetrical body. Previously, Zane’s learning center was in Palm Springs but now in San Diego. His learning center has been renamed to Zane Experience.

The retired bodybuilder also owns Zane Gallery, which features art and photography related to bodybuilding. Moreover, Zane also operates a commerce site where he sells his authored books, supplements, and bodybuilding-related types of equipment.


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Zane also received the Arnold Schwarzenegger Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 at the Arnold Classic for his relentless support of the sport.


Written by:

Muskan Sharma


One take at a time

Muskan Sharma is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Calcutta. Muskan has worked as a writer for 3+ years but has a knack for filmmaking, too.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi