There are some bodybuilding commentaries that say bodybuilding changed after the three time Mr. Olympia winner Frank Zane was beaten by a bodybuilder with less than perfect proportions but more muscle. There are still a few die-hard Steve Reeves, Frank Zane or Bob Paris fans that believe bodybuilding is about symmetry, balance and proportion and not how big a muscle can get.
Frank Zane was born on the 18th June 1942 in Kingston, Pennsylvania where he was a natural student that after receiving his B.Sc (Bachelor of Science degree) from Wilkes University in 1964 he taught mathematics and chemistry. He was always extremely disciplined and despite the rigors of competing successfully for the Mr. Olympia title also managed to earn a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in psychology from Cal State in the same year.
Frank was a complex person who continued to study and went on to get his Master's degree in Experimental psychology at Cal State. His three consecutive Mr. Olympia wins from 1977 to 1979 had a huge impact on bodybuilding as it moved from mass to aesthetics.
Standing 5'9" tall and weighing between 187-195 pounds he had the second smallest waistline of any Mr. Olympia winner but his broad shoulders and perfect proportions made the decision easy for the judges. It was no mistake as Frank also won Mr. America, Mr. Universe and Mr. World.
Frank Zane Workout Routine
Below is an example of what Frank would train for 6 to 8 weeks before changing. The lowering in reps is always together with an increase in the weight lifted, even if it is only by a few pounds. Frank would often do half the workout in the morning and then come back to the gym after lectures and complete the workout.
75 Incline D/B Press 3 X 12, 11, 10
30 Incline Barbell Press 4 X 10, 9, 8, 6
D/B Flyes 3 X 12, 11, 10
D/B Pullover 3 X 10
Close-Grip Bench-press 3 X 10, 10, 8
One-Arm D/B Extensions 3 X 10, 9, 8
Push-downs 3 X 10
Kickbacks 3 X 10 Shoulders
Military Smith Machine Press 3 X 10
D/B Rear Lateral Raises 3 X 10
Side Lateral Raises 3 X 10
One-Arm Front D/B Raise 3 X 10
One-Arm D/B Lateral Raises 3 X 10
Side Cable Lateral Raises 3 X 10 Abs/Lower Back
Hanging Knee-ups 4 X 20
Roman-Chair Sit-ups 5 X 30
Leg Raises 5 X 30
Crunches 5 X 30
One-Arm Cable Crunches 3 X 25 per side
Hyperextension 1 X 20 Legs
Leg Extensions 3 X 16, 14, 12
Squats 3 X 15
Hack Squats 3 X 10
Leg Curls 3x12 Calves 3 X 18, 14, 12
Leg-Press Calf Raises 4 X 15
Seated Calf Raises 3 X 15