Frank Zane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frank Zane
— Bodybuilder —
Frank Zane.jpg
Personal info
Nickname The Chemist
Born (1942-06-28) June 28, 1942 (age 74)
Kingston, Pennsylvania, United States
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
  • 185 lb (84 kg) (contest)
  • 200 lb (91 kg) (off-season)
Professional career
Pro-debut 1961 Mr. Pennsylvania, 1961
Best win IFBB Mr. Olympia, 1977–1979
Predecessor Franco Columbu
Successor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Active Retired in 1983 [1]

Frank Zane (born June 28, 1942 in Kingston, Pennsylvania) is an American former professional bodybuilder and teacher.



Zane received a B.Sc (Bachelor of Science degree) in Education from Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania in 1964. For 13 years, he taught mathematics and chemistry while living in Florida and California. He also taught mathematics in Watchung Hills Regional High School, NJ, circa 1967 for two years. Taught Mathematics at Mark Twain Jr High in Venice California (1974). Later he earned a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts degree) in psychology from Cal State LA in 1977. Finally, he was awarded a Master's degree in Experimental Psychology from Cal State SB, California in 1990.

Bodybuilding career[edit]

Zane is a three-time Mr. Olympia (1977 to 1979). His reign represented a shift in emphasis from mass to aesthetics. Zane's proportionate physique featured the second thinnest waistline of all the Mr. Olympias (after Sergio Oliva), with his wide shoulders making for a distinctive V-taper. His abdominals were considered by some bodybuilders to be the best in bodybuilding history. He stood at 5'9" (1.75 m) and had a self-declared competition weight of less than 190 pounds when he won all three of his Mr Olympias (he weighed over 200 lbs when he competed in the 1960s). He famously trained with light weights which saw him to many victories but still left him without an Olympia victory. Joe Weider had urged him to train with heavier weights, after finally giving in he found the size necessary for success at the Olympia. After his three consecutive Mr Olympia titles came the 1980 Mr Olympia. Shortly before the competition he suffered a near fatal accident. He managed to retain his muscular definition but lost much of his mass. This saw the end to his reign as Arnold Schwarzengger placed at the top of the podium in his comeback with Frank Zane in third, this resulted in him and many other bodybuilders boycotting the 1981 Mr Olympia. Zane is one of only three people who have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger (with Chet Yorton and Sergio Oliva) in a bodybuilding contest (1968 Mr. Universe in Miami, FL) and one of the very few Mr. Olympia winners under 200 pounds. Overall, he competed for over 20 years (retiring after the 1983 Mr Olympia contest) and won Mr America, Mr Universe, Mr World and Mr Olympia during his illustrious career.

He has written many courses and books about bodybuilding. In 1994, Zane was inducted into the 1st annual Joe Weider Hall of Fame. He received the Arnold Schwarzenegger lifetime achievement award at the 2003 Arnold Classic for his dedication and longtime support of the sport. He was given the nickname "The Chemist" due to his Bachelor of Science degree and, as he puts it: "Back in the day I took a lot of supplements and tons of amino acids. Still do. But back then it was pretty unusual. That's how I got the nickname The Chemist."[this quote needs a citation] There was also a perception that his nickname was given because he was very scientific in reaching his peak on the exact day of competition, year after year.

In 1985, Frank and his wife Christine owned and operated Zane Haven in Palm Springs, CA where they conducted one-on-one sessions with clients who wished to possess a symmetrical physique. Today, the Zanes live in San Diego, CA and his learning center is now called Zane Experience.

In 2005, Frank Zane played the IFBB Announcer and worked as the consulting producer in the movie "See Arnold Run." As of 2006, Zane currently runs his own website, appears at seminars and book signings.

In 2011 Frank Zane appeared in the documentary Challenging Impossibility describing the weightlifting odyssey of spiritual teacher and peace advocate Sri Chinmoy. The film was an Official Selection of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Frank was in attendance.

Bodybuilding titles[edit]

  • 1961 Mr. Pennsylvania (17th place)
  • 1962 Mr. Keystone (Winner)
  • 1963 Mr. Keystone (2nd)
  • 1965 Mr. Sunshine State (Winner)
  • 1965 IFBB Mr. Universe (1st, Medium Height category)
  • 1966 IFBB Mr. America (1st, Medium)
  • 1967 IFBB Mr. America (1st, Medium)
  • 1967 IFBB Mr. Universe (3rd, Tall)
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. America (Winner)
  • 1968 IFBB Mr. Universe (Winner)
  • 1970 NABBA Mr. Universe (Winner)
  • 1971 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (1st, Short)
  • 1972 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (Winner)
  • 1972 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs, 4th)
  • 1974 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs, 2nd)
  • 1975 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs, 4th)
  • 1976 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200 lbs, 2nd)
  • 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)
  • 1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia (3rd, after suffering a near-fatal injury at his home, requiring lengthy hospitalization)
  • 1981 – did not compete (boycotted the Mr Olympia contest after the controversial 1980 contest)
  • 1982 IFBB Mr. Olympia (2nd)
  • 1983 IFBB Mr. Olympia (4th, after suffering another accident on his bicycle, requiring extensive shoulder surgery shortly after the contest)

Competitive stats[edit]

  • Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
  • Contest weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
  • Off-season weight: 200 lbs (91 kg)
  • Arms: 18" (45.7 cm)
  • Neck: 17.5" (44.5 cm)
  • Chest: 51" (129.5 cm)
  • Waist: 29" (73.7 cm)
  • Thighs: 26" (66 cm)
  • Calves: 17" (43.2 cm)
  • Wrist: 6.5" (16.5 cm)
  • Ankle: 8" (20.3 cm)

Books by Frank Zane[edit]

  • The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body (1979)
  • Super Bodies in 12 Weeks (1982)
  • Zane Nutrition (1986)
  • Fabulously Fit Forever (1992)
  • Fabulously Fit Forever Expanded (1996)
  • Frank Zane: Mind, Body, Spirit (1997)
  • Frank Zane Training Manual (2005)
  • The High Def Handbook (2008)
  • The Mind In Bodybuilding (2009)
  • Since 1998, Frank Zane has written a newsletter (published four times a year) entitled Frank Zane Newsletter, that provides the latest information in all aspects of bodybuilding and to also promote the aesthetic physique.


  1. ^ "Frank Zane". 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Mr. Olympia
Preceded by
Franco Columbu
Overall Champion
Succeeded by
Arnold Schwarzenegger
as Champion