How This Frank Zane Workout Can Boost Gains & Save Time

Frank Zane
Photo via @therealfrankzane Instagram

These workouts from Frank Zane are great as a three-day training cycle to still see awesome growth.

Frank Zane is a retired professional bodybuilder and three-time Mr. Olympia champion. As a member of the IFBB Hall of Fame, his physique is one that history remembers given his methodical approach to symmetry and proportion.

When it comes to working hard, looking to the pros and those who have gone before us is a great way to boost all our gains. They’ve done it before and are living proof of what can happen when you grind in the gym. So many websites and influencers claim to know exactly how to get a massive and shredded physique but at the end of the day, why not look to Olympia legends for that sought after advice.

Frank Zane is a legend in the bodybuilding world, and although he has since retired, his workouts still hold clout as ones to boost your growth and give you an aesthetic you want most.

Full Name: Frank Zane (IFBB Pro Bodybuilder)

Weight Height Date Of Birth
185 lbs. 5’9’’ 06/28/1942
Division Era Nationality
Under 200 lbs. 1960, 1970, 1980 American

Frank Zane sought an approach that saw him lifting heavier and he programmed what is seen as a three-way split used by bodybuilders and amateurs alike. For its ability to boost gains and save time, this style is one to try especially given our busy schedules. Let’s check out this awesome workout from Frank Zane and see if we can get the right proportions like Zane did himself.

About Frank Zane

Frank Zane is a former American pro bodybuilder known for his extreme focus on symmetry and proportion. Given his strict attention to detail with supplementation and a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilkes University, he was given the nickname “The Chemist”. His pro debut in 1961 at Mr. Pennsylvania would spark a long career that would put his physique in the history books as one to not take lightly. Competitors feared Zane and his shredded physique for they knew what a fierce opponent they were up against.

This proved to be true, for Zane would go on to win the Mr. Olympia contest three years in a row spanning from 1977 to 1979. After that, with a string of injuries and minor setbacks, he would see the podium a few more times but never quite managed to squeeze out another Olympia win. He retired in 1983 and became an author, as well as appearing in a few films. His induction into the IFBB Hall of Fame cemented his legacy in the history books as one of the top bodybuilders of all time.

Frank Zane
photo via @therealfrankzane Instagram

Frank Zane Training Routine

Frank Zane’s training routine saw a three-way split when it came to exercise and how he structured his workouts. Working with heavier weight, he would use one powerlifting movement in each workout that was modified to his personal preference. By dividing these workouts up into three sections, it allowed him to capitalize on efficiency while not sacrificing any work to each respective muscle group. This would ensure that he could continue regularly training without dealing with unwanted soreness or fatigue.

Workout #1: Back, Biceps & Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts 6 10-12
T-Bar Rows 3 10
Front Pull Downs 3 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8
One Arm Dumbbell Concentration Curls 3 8-10
Alternating Dumbbell Curls 3 8-10
45-Degree Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 8
Barbell Reverse Curls 3 10
Seated Barbell Wrist Curls 3 10


Workout #2: Legs & Calves

Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 6 10-12
Lying Leg Curls 3 10-12
Leg Extensions 3 10
Standing Calf Raise 3 12
Donkey Calf Raise 3 12
Seated Calf Raise 3 8


Workout #3: Chest, Triceps & Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 6 10-12
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 10
Decline Dumbbell Flys 3 10
Dumbbell Pullover 3 12
Close Grip Bench Press 3 10
One Arm Overhead Extensions 3 8
V-Grip Press Down 3 8
Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8
Side Cable Raise 3 8


Ab Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Raise 4 25
Crunches 4 25
Seated Twists 1 100
Hanging Knee Ups 4 25
Cable Crunches 4 25
Round 2: Seated Twists 1 100


Featured Supplement

While Frank Zane was given the nickname “The Chemist” for his precision with supplementation, he knew how important it was to find the right supplements to boost growth, as well as work towards an efficient recovery. Since we all know the benefit of great supplements and what they can do for our gains, we wanted to share with you a solid protein supplement that is vital in boosting growth and working towards a quality recovery. While finding a good supplement can be challenging, we hope to make your life a bit easier by providing you with an awesome product.

Transparent Labs 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate

Whey Protein Isolate

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Wrap Up

Frank Zane has already cemented his place in the bodybuilding history books with three Olympia wins and a reputation for having a carefully sculpted and proportioned physique. Now its our turn to take the reigns and seek to mirror what Zane did during his illustrious career. This workout is one to try for it will really work to boost all of those gains and give you what you want most out of your workouts. This great three-way split workout is one to give you the best benefit out of an awesome workout that you need.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Frank Zane Instagram

Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.