81 YO Bodybuilding Legend Avoided ‘Upper Abs’ Workout Throughout His Career for a Very Good Reason: “You Might Never Be Able to Do”

In the world of bodybuilding, it is essential to keep one’s physique and body weight in check. An exercise that might work for one bodybuilder might not be so effective for another. This is where proper trial and error, along with experimental practices, come in. Frank Zane is one such veteran bodybuilder, who always trusted his curated methods of training. 

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Not only did he win 3 Mr. Olympia titles and even won against Arnold in Mr. Universe, but he curated his method of bodybuilding. The God of Symmetry gave his golden wisdom in his blog number 29, titled ‘Growing Symmetry & Proportion’. 

Frank Zane talks about getting the perfect abs


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Zane was speaking about growth and symmetry in his blog, he gave an example of his physique in the gap of 15 years. One picture was taken in 1964 when he was weighing 185 pounds and the next picture was taken 15 years later in 1979, when he weighed 195 pounds. During these 15 years, ‘The Chemist’ concentrated on training for muscle as well as definition.

These training makes thighs and lower back bigger, which eventually also enlarges the torso area. However, he did not develop much muscle in his chest and arm area. According to the legendary bodybuilder, bulking up this way did not prove to be productive for him. He lost one year due to this experiment. 

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He switched to abs development and that helped him to get defined abs along with upper quads. This was brought about by his changed training methods. He said, “I did do heavy leg extensions working up to 10 reps with 275 on my trusty Nautilus machine.”

Zane further explained that, “I did no weighted work for upper abs (except for 2 arm cable crunches), nothing like Roman chair sit-up or incline sit-up holding a weight. This builds the upper row of abs which attaches to the ribcage.” He avoided upper arm exercises for a very good reason. He said, “Build upper abs and your waist may protrude. You might never be able to do the stomach vacuum!” So, according to the signature vacuum pose, upper abs exercises needed to be avoided. Zane also advised about having a symmetrical body versus bulking up in his Instagram posts.

Frank Zane prefers symmetry

The 81-year-old is always connected to his fans through social media. He shares the wisdom that he gained throughout the years with the younger generation so that they do not make any wrong decisions while going for bodybuilding.


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Zane previously spoke about the significance of the outer look or aesthetic of the body, and muscles rather than just bulking up from within. He always reveals how he has a different approach to bodybuilding than his counterparts.. The Chemist said, “I’m not focused on body weight, I’m more focused on what I looked like.”

He also pointed out that the judges do not look at the body weight of the contender, but rather how they look from the outside and how symmetrical the muscles are. This is the reason that he also preferred taking photos at regular intervals to see the progress of symmetry when it came to his structure. Frank Zane is a bodybuilder who never went by the book, and formed his own rules by trial and error, which ultimately gave him the success he has today.


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What do you think about his method of bodybuilding? Do you agree with it? Tell us your ideas in the comments below

Author: ZeroToHero

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