Get Abs Like Frank Zane

Frank Zane was a bodybuilding legend in the 1970s and won the Olympia three times between 1977 and 1979. Zane’s physique was something special. He had that rare combination of enormous muscles and delicate symmetry, something that is sadly lacking from today’s top end bodybuilders.

Get Abs Like Frank Zane

Ask most men whether they want the physique, and aesthetic of Kai Greene or Frank Zane and the majority will say Zane. The man was something special, and one of only three people to have ever beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger during his heyday.

So what did Zane do to perfect his physique?

Devastating Abdominal Exercises

Zane was asked recently which exercises he preferred to develop his abdominal muscles. His answer was simple. He used a combination of crunches and Roman-chair situps for his lower abs and upper legs. He also incorporated leg raises and seated twists for his obliques.

Zane believed that if he had great abs, it would make the rest of his physique look even better. He and his friends used to go to the gym in the 1960s in the morning and do 500 Roman-chair situps and then return in the afternoon and do 500 leg raises. To get the best abs in the world at the time required a monumental effort.

Do Powerlifting Exercises

Many bodybuilders buy steroids to build muscle, but Zane also said that doing powerlifting exercises was important. He admits that he wasn’t really into Olympic lifts in the early days, but he soon realized that they challenged his muscles in new and interesting ways. During his early career, he sometimes trained with a Pennsylvania crowd who were all heavily into powerlifting. Thanks to training with powerlifters, Zane learned how to squat and deadlift properly.

Get Abs Like Frank Zane

When he moved to California, the heart of the bodybuilding scene in the 1970s, he realized that a lot of the people there were unable to do the big movements with the proper form, putting themselves at risk of injury and not training their muscles effectively. Zane said that as a result of his early training, he was able to deadlift 425 pounds, squat 400 and bench 285 all at a bodyweight of just 175 pounds.

Train With Lighter Weights

Even though Zane won the Olympia, that victory didn’t come without costs. One of the costs was the damage that training with heavy weights did to his body. Zane says that if he could go back in time, back to the 60s and 70s, he’d train with lighter weights. If he had his time again, he wouldn’t train with sets of less than 10 reps, and he’d really focus on the negative part of the movement.

Zane Prefers The Three-Day Split

Zane used to train on a three-day split, training for three days and then resting on the fourth before repeating the process all over again. Before a competition, he usually upped his training to two sessions a day: one in the morning to focus on large muscles, and other in the afternoon to hit abs and calves. He worked on abs every day, sometimes doing upwards of 1,000 reps.

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The Master Of Aesthetics – Frank Zane
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