Sunday, April 12, 2015

Frank Zane on Training 1967 and 1979 - Rick Wayne

Books by Rick Wayne

Frank Zane (1967)

I started on sequencing three weeks before the 1966 Mr. A., and have been on it since. My training partner at the time (Craig Whitehead) and I are pleased with it, because we can get in a great workout in a shorter period of time, and have more time for outside activities and our professional duties. 

The weights I use in all exercises are as heavy as possible, as I'm trying to gain some more muscular bodyweight. The only rest periods are between sequences, and I generally finish off with a little extra ab work and some rope skipping for a few minutes. Here is one version of a sequencing routine I'm currently using.

Calves, Chest, Abs, Biceps

Sequence #1
Calf Machine, 4 x 12
Incline Barbell Bench Press, 4 x 6
Half Situp, 4 x 20
Incline Dumbbell Curl, 4 x 6.

Sequence #2
Donkey Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Bench Press, 4 x 6
Leg Raise, 4 x 20
Lying Pulley Curl, 4 x 6.

Sequence #3
Hack Machine Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Incline DB Press, 4 x 6
Oblique Situp, 4 x 20
Scott DB Curl, 4 x 6.

Sequence #4
Leg Press Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Decline Flye, 4 x 6
Hyperextension, 4 x 15
Alt. DB Curl, 4 x 6.

Calves, Lats, Abs, Triceps

Sequence #1
Calf Machine, 4 x 12
Front Pulldown, 4 x 6
Half Situp, 4 x 20
Triceps Pressdown, 4 x 6-8.

Sequence #2
Donkey Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Low Pulley Row, 4 x 6
Leg Raise, 4 x 20
Lying DB Extension, 4 x 6.

Sequence #3
Hack Machine Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Triangle Chin, 4 x 8
Oblique Situp, 4 x 20
Long Pulley Extension, 4 x 6-8.

Sequence #4
Leg Press Calf Raise, 4 x 12
Chin Behind Neck, 4 x 8
Hyperextension, 4 x 15
Triceps Bench Dip, 4 x 10.

Delts, Forearms, Abs, Thighs

Sequence #1
Side Laterals, 4 x 6-8
Reverse Curl, 4 x 6-8
Half Situp, 4 x 20
One Leg Extension, 4 x 15 each leg.

Sequence #2
Press Behind Neck, 4 x 6-8
Wrist Curl, 4 x 12
Leg Raise, 4 x 20
Leg Curl, 4 x 10.

Sequence #3
Rear Laterals, 4 x 6-8
Wrist Roller, 4 sets
Oblique Situp, 4 x 20
Leg Press, 4 x 10-15.

Sequence #4
Dumbbell Press, 4 x 6-8
Reverse Wrist Curl, 4 x 12
Hyperextension, 4 x 10
Hack Squat, 4 x 8.

Notice in this routine that I'm using the muscle priority principle by working my calves first in my routines, and working them four times weekly. Note also abdominals on all six training days, while the main bodyparts I work really hard twice a week. I work bodyparts that are generally antagonistic together: pecs and biceps; thighs and delts; triceps and lats. I feel this enables me to handle more weight in each movement as I go through the sequences.  

Rick Wayne (1979)

It is not all that difficult seeing Frank Zane as the Muhammad Ali of bodybuilding. Oh, I know Frank is just about the quietest person you'd care to meet; a listener, if you will, rather than your Ali-type ear-bender. But let the facts speak for themselves.

Remember how everyone laughed when Ali, then Cassius Clay, told the world he was "gonna whup that ugly Bear . . ."? Remember how they said he was scared plumb out of his small mind when he threw his little tantrum shortly before he and Sonny Liston got into the business of the weigh-in ritual? Hey, even the Boxing Commission's doctor was afraid for Clay. But then we all know what happened a few hours later, don't we? Liston ended up on his rear end, stuck tight to his stool; refused to come out for the seventh round.

And a whole new type of boxing champion had arrived.

Now do you see the point? Somehow Frank Zane seems to inspire all kinds of fight metaphors. Can you conceive of his as the David of bodybuilding's David and Goliath encounters? I mean, who'd have thought little 185 pound Frank Zane would have Robby Robinson sucking salt (tears)? Who'd have imagined our hero stopping Ken Waller dead in his Mr. Olympia tracks? Bill Grant had promised to blow him away.

But that's exactly what Frank Zane did to everyone on the 1977 Mr. Olympia battleground. 
Blew them away. No wonder the Robby fans and the Waller satellites and the Bill Grant quartet blew their stacks afterwards. They never expected to be hit that way. Sonny Liston might have warned them of the folly of underestimating the enemy.

[Here is a great two part article on the 1977 Mr. Olympia contest, written by Natural Mr. Olympia John Hansen, filled with photos and wonderfully written. 

Frank Zane had to try four or five times before tasting victory in the Mr. Olympia contest. He would say afterwards that he always knew he could do it, no matter that very few other bodybuilding pundits would have bet money on a Zane Mr. Olympia knockout. I mean, even though everybody acknowledged the man had just about the most beautiful body in the world, the consensus was that Frank's was the kind of body girls swooned over on the beach. Not your regular monster-type Mr. Olympia scourge.

Hear him on the subject: "I have always known my critics were wrong when they figured I didn't have what it took to be Mr. Olympia. The way they saw it, Sergio Oliva had set the standard. There there was Arnold. You had to be a cross between Schwarzenegger and Oliva, say something like Franco, if you were serious about taking the Mr. Olympia title. But I knew better."

Sure he did. Indeed, what Zane has always . . . well, maybe not always, for he did make his mistakes along the way. What Zane has known for a long time is this: "You have to take what you have, none it to as near perfection as possible and then put it up there before the judges."

Which is what he did finally. He'd lost trying to look like Arnold, trying to sport 20 inch arms at a bodyweight of 200 pounds. He'd lost trying to make the Mr. Olympia on part-time training. But his losses had set Frank's head on straight, finally.

Defeat in 1976 was hard to take. He was sure he'd done enough to switch off Franco Columbu's lights. His loss a year earlier, in South Africa, had spurred him to have one last go at the title and now he was better than he had ever been in a  career spanning nearly 20 years. He was, in the language of bodybuilding, ripped to shreds. Which is to say his muscular definition couldn't have been sharper. His posing was, as always, superb. And the fans were there en masse to keep his ego buoyant. Everything had seemed so right . . .

. . . Until the MC announced the results: Franco Columbu, Mr. Olympia 1976. Zane's world crashed into a billion tiny pieces at his feet. Exactly what did he have to do to win the title? Were the others right after all? Was it true that he simply did not have what it took to be Mr. Olympia? Simply would never have it? Was it a fact that you had to have simian characteristics before Mr. Olympia judges took you seriously?

The fact is, the decision had been close. so close that for months afterwards Franco was still dazed by it all. He had skimmed past Zane by the skin of a point. Too close for comfort, Franco had figured on putting Zane in his place with at least a five point clear margin between them.

But coming so close to being Mr. Olympia, while it might have satisfied a thousand other lesser aspirants, did little for Frank Zane. Say it straight, for a while he decided that was it for him. He'd had enough of the Mr. Olympia war that only gorillas could win. He thought about his career and decided there was nothing more to be gained from participating in another Big O event. His mail order courses were doing fine, his calendar showed he was just about fully booked for the year 1977 and there were the seminars that he had already contracted to do for George Snyder. A book was in the offing too. And then there was the project that he planned to work on with his wife, a series of courses with the women in mind for a change.

Yes, to the slightly biter Frank Zane it seemed there was nothing more to be gained from winning the Mr. Olympia title.

But then came January, 1977 and little second thoughts began to tingle his mind. Why not, he heard the little voice in his head ask, why not one more time? At first he refused to consider the thought seriously. But then his ego began to offer its own possibilities. Franco had stepped down; he had announced his retirement from competition after taking bodybuilding's biggest accolade. It was a beautiful way to go.

Now Zane began to see his own retirement as as cop-out. A man should not retire in defeat, he told himself, and his ego agreed. Oh, how his ego agreed! How nice it would be to go in there again and destroy all those predictions. Yes, there was a nice thought. Winning against Robby Robinson would be like winning against the very best.

By the end of January Frank was well into his Olympia frame of mind. More than that, he had decided exactly how he would prepare for his final attempt at grabbing the title from the grasping hands of Robby Robinson. He had mapped out the training program via which he fully expected to land on rostrum number one on Olympia Day.

He took a year off from teaching, after deciding he could not prepare properly for the contest on a part time basis. He had taken full account of himself and decided which little flaws required special attention. In his mind's eye he saw himself as he intended to be on the day of the competition. Yes, he would be ripped, as defined as he was in 1976, but he would be at his heaviest contest-ready weight ever at just under 190 pounds.

Frank had also taken to meditating before every workout. Why?

"Well," he says, "at a commercial gym there are always little things that distract you during a workout. I remember I was well into a workout the year before, my mind was really screwed into what I was doing and I was completely oblivious to the other nonsense activities going on around me. But then John Balik had come in to see me about something about other and although I knew I should have ignored him until the end of my workout and John would have understood, I stopped to talk to him. Our conversation lasted only a few seconds but I just couldn't get back into my training afterwards. A whole workout had done down the drain because of that little interruption. It's nuts allowing anything to penetrate your concentration during a workout. So now I meditate before each training session. I do so either at home or in the dressing room before each workout.

Four booklet set by John Balik (1979).
Not shown: You Can't Flex Fat.

As Zane sees it, many bodybuilders believe they are concentrating well during a workout when they are not. He says: "It's not good enough merely to keep your mind on each set you do. I try to visualize each rep doing exactly what I want. I don't take mental pauses between sets. My mind is deep into my training even though I might be resting my body between sets. I am always preparing myself mentally for what's coming next and so I cannot allow irrelevant thoughts to steal into my head. Long after my workout is over my mind is still in contact with the training session."

Here is how Zane practices his meditation: "The plan is to empty your head of all thoughts for as long as you wish. You sit down and try to get your mind to go blank. They you take a deep breath and think one; you breathe out, breathe in again and think two, and so on till you get to ten. Try to get up to 30 without a foreign thought coming into your head. When you can count to that figure without your mind straying to some other subject you'll have mastered the art of concentration. You'll do your reps without the possibility of interruption by outside influences. And you can take it from me, the ability to keep your mind on your training will make your workouts one hundred percent more effective."

But Zane's Mr. Olympia training phase was not all meditation. Not by any means.

The phase comprised, depending on bodypart, 12 to 15 sets, three exercises each. That is to say, he might work his arms with cheat barbell curls, concentration dumbbell curls, and alternate dumbbell curls, four sets per exercise.

He trained each bodypart twice a week, one workout a day. In the first phase of his prep, Zane trained at a fairly leisurely pace, employing as much weight as possible in all exercises. He did no more than 10 reps per exercise, except in the case of calves and thigh extensions when he did sets of 25. His squats, that is to say, hacks, sissy, and parallel squats were all done in the non-lock style. He believes this style places much more stress on the muscles involved. His leg presses were also done in that fashion.

This phase lasted about three months. The purpose here was to increase bodyweight and measurements. It should be pointed out here that while other bodyparts were trained twice a week in phase one, Zane worked his calves four times per week.

On Mondays and Thursdays he did his delts, chest, triceps and abdominals. It should be noted here that the only muscles trained here are what Frank refers to as the extending and pressing muscles of the body.

Says Zane: "The traditional method among most bodybuilders is to train chest and back in the same workout. You find them doing chest and back one day, delts and arms the next, and thighs and calves on the third day. Well, when I trained that way my shoulders became very sore and stayed that way. If you have any kind of shoulder injury it seems this popular combination does not work too well. I find that when I do all the pressing work on one day my shoulders recover better."

His pulling muscles are trained on Tuesdays and Fridays. "I start with calf work, actually. Then I follow up with my back, biceps and forearms.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, two easy days, I did calves, thighs and abs."

It is Frank's contention that you can't be at your complete best more than once a year.

"It was somewhat different when I was starting out," he allows. "In the beginning I think it might be wise to reach several peaks a year so as to gain experience in doing it. But after you have reached a certain standard you should be careful about attempting to hit top condition too often. Peaking out takes a hell of a lot out of you and I personally believe it is too much to put the body through more than once annually."

His phase one workout usually lasted just under two hours. He tended to do more sets for the larger muscle areas, like the back, for instance.

"Phase one is my foundation phase," Zane Said. "Here I don't do supersets, I take my time trying to handle heavy poundages, making every rep of every set count. It's the sort of routine you could stay on for quite a long time and still make gains before getting down to the actual peaking."

Frank refers to phase two of his preparations as "my separation phase."

He explained the difference between separation and definition. "In the first instance the word is used when referring to separations between muscle groups. Say, between your triceps and biceps. Now, with definition we are talking about the striations in the biceps; the striations in the triceps. So, in fact separation is the condition you get before you reach clear-cut definition. To explain further, if you have clear demarcation between triceps, biceps, and deltoids then you can say your separation is good. But unless you can also see the fibers in the various muscle groups then you can't say you are defined or ripped."

So phase two is designed to bring out muscle separations. "This can be achieved by intensifying your workouts. What I do is train each bodypart three times a week. You will recall I trained them just twice a week in the previous phase. Now I'll be doing around 15 sets per bodypart, as in phase one, but you should note that there is added stress with the one extra day in phase two. To elucidate, in phase one I might be doing 15 sets for my chest. In phase two I do not increase the number of sets for my chest; instead, I do a third day. One day more of chest work. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I work delts, chest, triceps and abs. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings I work back, biceps, forearms and abs. In the late afternoon I return to work my legs."

Zane figures he gained much muscularity following phase two, without losing any appreciative muscle size. He continued to train reasonably heavy in order to maintain the muscle mass that he acquired from following phase one.

Phase three lasted four weeks. Here the accent was on gaining definition. "The idea here is to try to use the same weights as before but the twice daily training (double split). This can be quite exhausting and ou should not feel too badly if you have to drop a pound here and there.

"Here I go into supersets and forced reps. I also add cable movements and other peak contraction exercises to my routine. I practice posing before, during and after workouts while I am still pumped up.

"On Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings I trained chest, triceps and abs. I case I forget, I want to say here that each workout ended with abdominals. I did 200 reps in the morning and evening. None of that thousand reps stuff. Your diet will take care of the rest. In the afternoons I did delts and abs.

"You will notice in the workout that I have taken my phase two workout and split it into two sessions. I am therefore doing more for delts, more for triceps and so on. My sets rise to 20 or 30 per bodypart. On my smaller areas, like biceps, triceps and forearms, I do just about 15. For my delts I used about 6 movements and up to 25 sets. I work calves every day in this phase.

"On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings I worked my back, biceps, forearms and abs. In the afternoon, thighs, calves and abs."


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