The Zane Way

Olympia legend Frank Zane talks about his strongest bodypart: his brain.

Courtesy of Weider Health & Fitness

Aesthetic perfection in his day, Zane’s body of work still reigns as the ideal physique for many of today’s iron athletes. 

So if you’re not getting a good pump, what’s usually the culprit? Exercise form?

Form is always a culprit, but what you eat before your workout is also important. If you’re on a low-carb diet in the final stages before a competition, for example, it’s hard to get a pump. You need some carbs before your workout to get a pump. So I always looked at that. I looked at everything. I was pretty well-adjusted. When I got to the gym, it always worked. 

What were those training sessions like? 

When I would be in the gym, I never wanted to talk to anyone during a workout, especially if I was training for something, because that’s a distraction. In my training, my purpose was always to go to the gym when there was hardly anybody there. Or if there were people there, they’re very serious people. Like Gold’s Gym in the late ’60s, early ’70s. If you go to the gym at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, the people there are serious about their workouts and are there for a purpose. There’s no talking, no noise. Come 9 a.m., all the loudmouths come in. I’d be leaving then. So that was my goal: Get there when there’s no distractions, and take advantage of that. If someone comes in when you’re training and starts asking you questions, your workout’s already gone. Just because you rest between sets or between exercises doesn’t mean you should break your focus. What I always did in my training was stretch between sets. After every set, I would stretch for 15 seconds, and then go into the next set.


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