Frank Zane’s Tips for Massive Muscle Growth

FrankZane-TipsformuscleEverybody wants to grow. Adolescents and teenagers would like to grow muscle and so do mature adults. They’d like to but don’t know how. I do from almost 60 years of continuous training and experimentation.

My goal in training was to develop all parts of the body equally. In order to do this, one must first become aware of the work that needs to be done by studying photos. The next stage was planning the training. I was doing a split routine when I was 18, working legs one day and upper body the next. Being 18 and full of drive and energy I trained 6 days a week alternating workout doing upper body one day and legs the next.

At first I did three to four sets of 10 reps on everything. Then one day, this big guy who trained at the gym told me to work up in weight on every set and let the reps decrease according to my strength. So, it became 12, 10, 8, 6 reps and I did big muscle group exercises: bench press, rowing, squats, some deadlifts, press behind neck, curls, all with barbells. My strength grew and so did my bodyweight. I went from 170 to low 180s by 1964 .

By the end of 1965 I’d bulked up to over 200 pounds from a lot of heavy squats. My thighs grew so much that I became ‘bottom heavy’ since the other muscle groups didn’t grow nearly as much. I’d wasted a whole year bulking up and the results were not satisfactory… so I trimmed down to 194 and moved to Florida where my training took on a whole new direction once I found a great gym to do my training. I also found a good training partner and we worked out 6 days a week from 5 to 7 pm.

During the three years I trained in Florida, I was able to win Mr. America and Mr. Universe weighing in the low 180s even beating Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then, I realized that in order to reach my potential I needed to be in a more fitness oriented area. So, I moved to Southern California in the summer of 1969. I was able to train at the original Golds Gym in Venice with Arnold during 1969, 1970, and 1972 and won Mr. World and two more Mr. Universe titles weighing in the 180s. In 1972, I bulked up to over 200 pounds by training heavy and won Professional Mr. Universe in London weighing about 198.

I was encouraged by ‘bodybuilding experts’ to get bigger so I went all out in 1982 and trained very heavy in an attempt to win a 4th Olympia weighing over 200 pounds. I did win, but in reflection, I think my chances would have been better if I weighed 5 pounds less.

My bodyweight gradually went up and then came slightly down to look my best for competitions. It all depended on how I looked in the photos I took on a regular basis. And looking back this is one of the best things I accomplished in my bodybuilding career, I took thousands and thousands of photos which provide a record of my progress. In bodybuilding it’s all about how good you look not about how much you weigh or measure. I suggest you start collecting photos of yourself if you want to maximize your potential.

The Let’s Grow Workout is a two way split routine. It should be done three times a week, or two times a week at a minimum. It’s not how often your do it. It’s how well you do it, how good your workouts are. Get a pump on every set. And feel a little soreness the next day in the areas worked. You’ll know your making gains when this happens. Here’s the workout:

Day One — front of body, abs
Day Two—back of body, abs

It’s important to develop a trim waistline with good abs as you grow that’s why abs should be done every workout.

So what is front of body routine? It’s Chest, Front delts, biceps/forearms, abs, quadriceps. Back of body? Back, rear & side delts, triceps, hamstrings, calves, abs.

Why this kind of split? Because the amount of work each time is equal, the two workouts are approximately the same length. Even though you are working upper body each time you always get a day of rest in between. You might even do a train a day and rest two days cycle. That would be even better for growth because more rest between workouts means more recuperation time for your muscles to grow and get stronger. Especially if you train heavy you need more time to recuperate. If you don’t get it you won’t grow in size or strength.

Let’s Grow is based on the EARN model where E is exercise, A is attitude, R is rest, N is nutrition. Growth is a product of exercise, attitude, relaxation rest recuperation, and nutrition. For maximum growth you must a perfect score in each category. This bodybuilding equation is a mathematical way to track your growth.

So what’s the workout routine? I suggest doing the Let’s Grow routine twice a week at first, something like Tuesday Saturday, Wednesday Sunday, Thursday Monday. Where you train a day, rest three days, train a day rest two days. This would be a great maintenance program done this way and a good program to do if you don’t have much time to devote to your training. Instead of telling yourself you don’t have time to train and skipping workouts, do this program instead twice a week on a regular basis. Get a good pump and you’ll be moving a the right direction.

Check out Frank’s latest book “Let’s Grow” on his website:

About the Author

CoverLetsGrowZane is a three-time Mr. Olympia (1977 to 1979). His reign represented a shift of 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. He stood at 5’9″ and had a competition weight of 187-195 pounds when he won Mr Olympia (He weighed over 200 lbs when he competed in the 1960s). Zane is one of only three people who have beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger 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 throughout 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 long-time 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.” 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.

Check out Frank’s latest book “Let’s Grow” on his website: