Strength & Health, Page 24, January 1967


By Frank Zane
as told to Tommy Suggs

Every time Frank Zane is in York for a visit, his physical improvement since his last visit is always apparent. It appears that this 24-year-old high school teacher from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has found the secret combination of diet and exercise. But before we discuss his ideas on training and diet, let's trace his progress from when he started training at the age of 17 until the present time.

Frank admits that in high school he was not particularly athletically inclined, but rather concentrated on his studies. However, his time spent studying had its reward when he finished first in his graduating class. It was during his senior year in high school that he did his first weight training. The first few years of training consisted of the usual three-day-a-week workouts and stressed the basic barbell exercises. During this time Frank gained about 30 pounds of bodyweight, but as is usually the case, reached a sticking point in his training. Frank was "stuck" in his progress, or as he describes it, "I had reached my first plateau."

A combination of factors enabled Frank to break through this first big sticking point. The first factor was a man named Bob Sorge. Bob managed the Figure Tone Health Studio in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Frank started training every evening after closing hours with Bob, following a split routine. And for the first time in his training, he became more conscious of the need for a good diet. His bodyweight started to move up and it wasn't long before he weighed a solid 190. This is about the time that Frank won the Strength & Health "Man of the Month" trophy (October 1964 S&H). But as is usually the case, another plateau was reached and Frank found himself stuck at 190.

A move to new surroundings, another increase in the intensity of his workouts, and an improved diet again proved to be the key to getting through another sticking point. This second "breakthrough" occurred at the end of the summer in 1965 when he moved to Norfolk, Virginia, to take a teaching position. This time his bodyweight moved up to 215 and since that time he has trained mainly for muscularity and shape rather than for bulk. As a result of his training for more muscularity, he has cut his weight back slightly and usually trains at a bodyweight of 205 to 210.

Frank is a graduate of Wilkes College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he majored in secondary education. Currently he is in his third year of teaching and for the past two years has done his training in the weight clubs that he has organized at each of the high schools he has taught in.

We mentioned above that an improved diet and more intense training was responsible for Frank's ability to break through his two major sticking points. Frank believes that the proper diet can make the difference between success or failure of a weight training program. In fact, Frank believes so strongly in a proper diet that he confided, "It doesn't matter too much how you train--just as long as you train hard--but rather how you eat." Frank tries to consume around 400 grams of fat and protein and about 150 grams of carbohydrates per day. He consumes up to three pounds of meat per day plus sizeable amounts of cheese, eggs, and other high protein foods. He believes that it is better to eat five or six small meals a day rather than one or two large ones. At present he is eating three regular meals per day plus consuming high protein drinks two or three times per day in between meals.

Frank follows a split routine system of training and tries to train every body part three times per week. Basically, he includes three exercises per body part and usually does five sets per exercise. Of course Frank wouldn't recommend that the beginner follow such an intensive program without the proper foundation provided by years of training. It must be remembered that Frank has seven years of hard training to his credit. At present he works his legs, arms, and abdominals on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday he works his chest, back, deltoids, and abdominals. His current routine is as follows:

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

Calf raises in three positions (toes in, toes out, and toes straight) 15 sets of 15 repetitions
Parallel Squat--5 sets of 6-10 repetitions
Leg Extensions-5 sets of 15 repetitions
Leg Curl-5 sets of 10 repetitions
Press Down On Lat Machine--5 sets of 8-10 repetitions
French Press With E-Z Curl Bar --5 sets of 8-10 repetitions
Pulley Extension--5 sets of 8-10 repetitions
Incline Curl--5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
E-Z Curls On Curling Bench -- 5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Leg Raises With Iron Boots-3 sets of 50 repetitions
Incline Sit-ups-3 sets of 50 repetitions

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Bench Press--5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Incline Dumbell Press-5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Flys-5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Bent Over Row-5 sets of 10 repetitions
Wide Grip Chin-5 sets of 10 repetitions
Close Grip Chin-5 sets of 10 repetitions
Press Behind Neck-5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Side Laterial Raise-5 sets of 6-8 repetitions
Dumbell Press--5 sets of 6-8 repetitions

When training for a contest, Frank increases the repetitions to 10 or 12 for the upper body and about 25 for the legs. In addition he trains faster, reducing the usual time of three minutes rest between sets to 1½ minutes. This increase in speed and repetitions requires that the usual poundages and sets be reduced slightly. Frank tries to take off 5 to 10 pounds before a contest. To help accomplish this, Frank increases his abdominal work considerably and usually tries to do at least 20 minutes of constant abdominal training per day.

Frank is 5'9" tall and when in top condition quotes the following measurements: arms, 18"; neck, 17½"; chest, 50"; waist, 32"; thighs, 26"; and calves, 16½". These measurements are even more impressive when you consider the fact that Frank is "small boned," having a wrist measurement of only 6½" and ankle measurement of 8".

At present Frank is teaching school in Tampa, Florida. He is training at Harry Smith's Health Club in Tampa and if history repeats itself, the next time Frank is up York way, he will be looking better than ever.




- This series of photos show the symmetrical, muscular physique that Frank Zane has built through hard training and a good diet.

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