Frank Zane: biography
Frank Zane is an American bodybuilder, known as The Chemist. He is a three-time Mr. Olympia, the winner of prestigious competitions. The man has the most proportional body in the history of bodybuilding.
Frank was born during the Second World War. He is one of the oldest professional bodybuilders, an expert in the field of bodybuilding and active longevity.
Childhood and youth
Frank Zane was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, on June 28, 1942. His father Adam F. Zane repaired television and radio equipment, mother Laura kept the house and raised children: older Frank and younger Adam.
The religious views of his protestant parents made the Zane family stand out among the inhabitants of the city. The boys were laughed and bullied. Frank was a fragile teenager and could not protect himself and his younger brother. He decided to become stronger and went into sports. At first, it was a team sport: baseball, football, basketball, then archery. At the age of 14, the future athlete started bodybuilding.
Another reason that motivated Zane to go in for sports was the lifestyle of his father, who died at the age of 57 from alcohol and cigarette abuse. The teenager did not want to suffer the same fate and did everything to control himself.
Physical activity did not prevent the young man from studying well. He was good at mathematics and natural sciences, received awards, became the best student in 1960.
Frank continued his education; he first entered Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, and then Cal State LA, where the young man earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics and a master's degree in experimental psychology.
Zane is a three-time Mr. Olympia. His workouts are not aimed at gaining muscle mass, but at creating an aesthetics figure. The athlete has the second-thinnest waistline of all bodybuilders after Sergio Oliva, and he distinguished himself with wide shoulders making for a distinctive V-taper.
Frank got the nickname The Chemist because of his Bachelor of Science degree, and he also took a lot of supplements and amino acids, which had been unusual before. Besides, the athlete combined training with teaching. At first, he was a chemistry teacher in Reading, Pennsylvania, and then a maths teacher in New Jersey and Florida.
Zane participated in bodybuilding competitions for 20 years, until 1983, and won about 150 awards. At the age of 18, he first finished fifth out of 50 participants at the Mr. Pennsylvania contest. In 1969, Frank surpassed young Arnold Schwarzenegger and won the Mr. Universe title in Miami.
In 2003, the outstanding bodybuilder received the Arnold Schwarzenegger Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and longtime support of the sport.
Frank's body measurements are ideal for a bodybuilder:
- Contest weight: 185 lb (84 kg)
- Off-season weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
- Height: 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
- Waist: 29.9" (76 cm)
- Chest: 51.9" (132 cm)
- Thighs: 26.3" (67 cm)
- Arms: 18.8" (48.5 cm)
- Calves: 17.3" (44 cm)
Zane trained with lightweight, which earned him many awards. Joe Weider, a founder of the International Federation of Bodybuilders, recommended to train with heavier weights, but Frank stroke the right balance for himself and won the three consecutive Mr. Olympia titles from 1977 to 1979.
After three consecutive titles of the most prestigious competitions and six weeks before the 1980 Mr. Olympia, the athlete had a tragic accident. The man slipped on the edge of the pool and hurt his inner thigh. In the hospital, he lost 15 lbs (7 kg) of muscle mass and the chances to win. So, Arnold Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia title in 1980, and Frank finished third.
In 1983, Zane completed a bodybuilding career and devoted himself to coaching, began to write books and study guides for bodybuilders. Another chapter in the athlete’s life was participation in The Mike Douglas Show from 1961 to 1982 and shooting in the films Pumping Iron and The Comeback.
Frank practiced various workouts. His ways commonly known as “push-pull” involved pushing muscles of group body parts. On one day, a person should do a back and bicep workout, then train legs on the next day. On the third day, one does abs, shoulders and triceps exercises. This method is useful for deep and short muscles, but cannot help to achieve rapid progress in changing a body.
In the 70s, Zane turned to the Pumping Iron training program but abandoned it because some parts grew muscles faster than others. As a result, the athlete developed his workout plan which distinguished itself with high intensity. This workout alternates between volume and strength blocks. So, the training involves two large muscle groups and a small one at once.
This program is suitable for both gaining mass and shredding. What makes the difference is dietary calories.
In December 1967, Frank married Christine Harris. The wife’s sister, a student of Zane, introduced them. The young people lived in California, in Santa Monica, the unofficial capital of bodybuilding, and in 1978 moved to Palm Springs, founded the “Zane Haven” resort zone with a training center for people seeking to have a symmetrical physique.
In 1988, the couple bought the Cary Grant Estate and opened the Zane Experience learning center.
His personal life is successful. Christine immediately accepted and supported her husband's lifestyle. She trained with heavier weights and became his photographer. In 1970, the woman became the Miss Universe Bikini and then quitted the sports career to devote time to study and art. She graduated with honors from California State University, Los Angeles, with a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting, graphics, sculpture, photography, and jewelry. In 1990, Christina received a master's degree in clinical psychology from California State University in San Bernardino.
In 1994, Zane was inducted into the Joe Weider Hall of Fame. In 1998, the athlete wrote the newsletter entitled Building the Body, describing the latest training methods that aimed at building a proportional figure.
Frank Zane now
The Zane family now lives in San Diego, California, where his training center is also located. In her free time, Christine creates jewelry from precious stones and metals.
The athlete founded the Zane Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, which shows photographs and works of art dedicated to the golden era of bodybuilding. Besides, Frank runs a commercial site selling books, his bodybuilding manuals, and training equipment, and has a blog.
Frank has pages on social media. On Instagram, he posts mainly old photos, and there are several new ones in which the athlete’s body looks no worse than in his youth.
Zane continues to train and help those who wish to improve their bodies. In 2018, he developed a fitness program for people over 40. It includes three days of training on the beach, the Mr. Olympia system, meditation training, diet, and much more. The program costs $ 697 per person.
Titles and awards
- 1965 - Mr. Keystone (Winner)
- 1965 - Mr. Sunshine State (Winner)
- 1965 - IFBB Mr. Universe (1st, Medium Height category)
- 1966, 67 - IFBB Mr. America (1st, Medium)
- 1968, 70 - IFBB Mr. Universe (Winner)
- 1971 - NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (1st, Short)
- 1972 - NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (Winner)
- 1977 - IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs & Overall Winner)
- 1978 - IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs & Overall Winner)
- 1979 - IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs & Overall Winner)
- 1979 - The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body
- 1982 - Super Bodies in 12 Weeks
- 1992 - Fabulously Fit Forever
- 1997 - Frank Zane: Mind, Body, Spirit
- 2005 – Frank Zane Training Manual
- 2009 – The Mind in Bodybuilding
- 2016 – 91 Day Wonder Body
- 2017 – 91 Day Wonder Abs