Frank Zane – Mr. Olympia 1977-1979

Frank Zane – Mr. Olympia 1977-1979.

Frank Zane (born June 28, 1942 in Kingston, Pennsylvania) is an American former professional bodybuilder and teacher.
Zane received a B.Sc (Bachelor of Science degree) in Education from Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania in 1964. For 13 years, he taught mathematics and chemistry while living in Florida and California. He also taught mathematics in Watchung Hills Regional High School, NJ, circa 1967 for two years. He also Later he earned a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts degree) in psychology from Cal State LA in 1977. Finally, he was awarded a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Cal State SB, California in 1990.
Zane 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.

In 1985, Frank and his wife Christine owned and operated Zane Haven in Palm Springs, CA where they conducted one-on-one sessions with clients who wished to possess a symmetrical physique. Today, the Zanes live in San Diego, CA and his learning center is now called Zane Experience.
In 2005, Frank Zane played the IFBB Announcer and worked as the consulting producer in the movie “See Arnold Run.” As of 2006, Zane currently runs his own website, appears at seminars and book signings. He still trains with weights at age 70.

In 2011 Frank Zane appeared in the documentary Challenging Impossibility (film) describing the weightlifting odyssey of spiritual teacher and peace advocate Sri Chinmoy. The film was an Official Selection of the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Frank was in attendance.

Bodybuilding Titles
1961 Mr. Pennsylvania (17th place)
1962 Mr. Keystone (Winner)
1963 Mr. Keystone (2nd)
1965 Mr. Sunshine State (Winner)
1965 IFBB Mr. Universe (1st, Medium Height category)
1966 IFBB Mr. America (1st, Medium)
1967 IFBB Mr. America (1st, Medium)
1967 IFBB Mr. Universe (3rd, Tall)
1968 IFBB Mr. America (Winner)
1968 IFBB Mr. Universe (Winner)
1970 NABBA Mr. Universe (Winner)
1971 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (1st, Short)
1972 NABBA Pro Mr. Universe (Winner)
1972 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs, 4th)
1974 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs, 2nd)
1975 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs, 4th)
1976 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs, 2nd)
1977 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs & Overall Winner)
1978 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs & Overall Winner)
1979 IFBB Mr. Olympia (Under 200lbs & Overall Winner)
1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia (3rd, after suffering a near-fatal injury at his home, requiring lengthy hospitalization)
1981 – did not compete (boycotted the Mr Olympia contest after the controversial 1980 contest)
1982 IFBB Mr. Olympia (2nd)
1983 IFBB Mr. Olympia (4th, after suffering another accident on his bicycle, requiring extensive shoulder surgery shortly after the contest)

Competitive stats
Height: 5’9″ (175 cm)
Contest weight: 200 lbs (84 kg)
Off-season weight: 220 lbs (91 kg)
Arms: 21″ (45.7 cm)
Neck: 17.5″ (44.5 cm)
Chest: 52″ (129.5 cm)
Waist: 29″ (73.7 cm)
Thighs: 26″ (66 cm)
Calves: 16.5″ (41.9 cm)
Wrist: 6.5″ (16.5 cm)
Ankle: 8″ (20.3 cm)

Zane10Books by Frank Zane
The Zane Way to a Beautiful Body (1979)
Super Bodies in 12 Weeks (1982)
Zane Nutrition (1986)
Fabulously Fit Forever (1992)
Fabulously Fit Forever Expanded (1996)
Frank Zane: Mind, Body, Spirit (1997)
Frank Zane Training Manual (2005)
The High Def Handbook (2008)
The Mind In Bodybuilding (2009)
Since 1998, Frank Zane has written a newsletter (published four times a year) entitled Frank Zane Newsletter, that provides the latest information in all aspects of bodybuilding and to also promote the aesthetic physique

Official website:




Photo by Karen Clark