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Frank Zane Workout Routine

Before jumping into Frank Zane workout routine, it is important to provide a brief overview of who Frank Zane is, his impact on the fitness industry, and why people still want to work out like him and look like him. 

Who is Frank Zane, and what is his impact on the fitness industry?

Frank Zane was an amazing bodybuilder who competed in the 1970s and 1980s. He is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, and many people think his body is the perfect example of aesthetics in bodybuilding.

Zane was very dedicated and disciplined in his training, nutrition, and posing, and people respected him for his attention to detail. He won many big bodybuilding competitions, and from 1977 to 1979, he even won Mr. Olympia 3 times in a row.

Let’s take a look at his Frank Zane workout routine, and later I’ll share my experience with you to see if you can still follow Frank Zane’s workout in 2023.

frank zane posing

Overview of Frank Zane Workout Routine

Frank Zane followed a 3-day workout split where he focused on pulling muscles on Day One, legs on Day Two, and pushing muscles on Day Three. Frank Zane’s workout split is similar to the modern push-pull-legs workout split, but with a greater focus on progressive overload and muscle, pumping to achieve a well-defined and proportionate physique. 

Frank Zane’s workout routine emphasizes abs training, as he trains them almost every day.

Frank Zane Workout Routine

Day 1: Back, Biceps, Forearms


Exercises NameSetsReps
Wide-Grip Deadlifts0312-15
Rack Pulls0310
T-Bar Rows0310
Front Pulldown0310
Dumbbell Row038-10


Exercises NameSetsReps
Concentration Curls038-10
Alternate Dumbbell Curls038-10
Incline Dumbbell Curls 0310-12


Exercises NameSetsReps
Barbell Reverse Curls Superset with
Barbell wrist curls
0212 reps of reverse curls
20 reps of wrist curls

Day 2: Legs

Exercises NameSetsReps
Back Squats0612-15
Leg Press0312-15
Lying Leg Curl0310-12
Leg Extension0310-12
Standing Calf Raise0315-20
Donkey Calf Raise0420-25

Day 3: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders


Exercises NameSetsReps
Barbell Bench Press0610-12
Incline Dumbbell Press048-10
Decline Dumbbell Fly038-10
Cross Bench Dumbbell Pullover0312


Close Grip Bench Press0310-12
One-arm Overhead Extension0310-12
V-Grip Pushdown0310-12


Exercises NameSetsReps
Bent Over Lateral Raise0315
Side Cable Raise0312

Day 4: Rest

On the fourth day, Frank Zane would take a rest day. Starting on the fifth day, he repeats the same three-day workout split.

Frank Zane’s Abs Workout Routine

Frank Zane gained a lot of popularity due to his unique vacuum pose, which is considered to be unmatched by anyone else. He has excellent control over his core, and it’s obvious that he worked consistently to achieve such mastery.

We have created a separate guide on how to learn the Frank Zane vacuum pose. You can check it out and gain some valuable insights.

As I mentioned earlier in the overview of Frank Zane’s workout routine, he used to train his abs daily. Here is Frank Zane’s abs workout routine that he follows every day on his working days.

Exercises NameSetsReps
Leg Raises0425
Side Twist01100
Hanging Les Raises0425

Frank Zane Workout Tips

  • Train with high intensity and focus on the mind-muscle connection.
  • Use a variety of exercises and equipment to target different muscle groups.
  • Use proper form and technique to avoid injury and maximize muscle stimulation.
  • Train each muscle group at least twice a week with sufficient rest and recovery time in between workouts.
  • Maintain a clean and balanced diet to fuel your workouts and support muscle growth and recovery.
  • Keep a training journal to track your progress and make adjustments to your workouts.
  • Visualize your ideal physique and use it as motivation to push yourself during workouts.
  • Focus on quality over quantity and prioritize proper form and muscle contraction over lifting heavy weights.
  • Continually challenge yourself by gradually increasing weights, reps, or sets over time.
  • Stay consistent with your training and avoid skipping workouts or making excuses.

Can you Still Follow Frank Zane Workout Routine in 2023?

I must say that Frank Zane was an incredible bodybuilder from the golden era. Over time, the fitness industry has advanced significantly, introducing many machines and alternative exercises. However, it is crucial to understand that the basics are the foundation of one’s fitness and cannot be replaced.

Based on my extensive 4+ years of experience in the fitness industry and having trained hundreds of clients, I can confidently say that Frank Zane’s workout routine is still relevant and effective, so you can follow it even in 2023.

As an experienced fitness professional, I would advise against following Frank Zane’s workout routine. While it is undoubtedly effective, it is an extremely intense workout routine that may be too much for the average gym-goer.

I would recommend including some of Frank Zane’s exercises in your workout routine. This can be highly beneficial, as what works for Zane may not necessarily work for you.

It’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different and requires a unique approach to achieve optimal results. By including exercises that have been tried and tested by experienced bodybuilders like Zane, you can enhance your workout routine and achieve your fitness goals more effectively.


In conclusion, Frank Zane was an incredible bodybuilder who had a significant impact on the fitness industry. His three-day workout split, which focused on pulling muscles on Day One, legs on Day Two, and pushing muscles on Day Three, is still relevant and effective even in 2023.

While his intense workout routine may not be suitable for everyone, including some of his exercises into your workout routine can be highly beneficial. By prioritizing proper form and technique, gradually increasing weights, reps, or sets, and staying consistent with your training, you can enhance your workout routine and achieve your fitness goals.

I'm a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist with more than four years of experience working with various clients. In addition, I publish articles on fitness and nutrition based on thorough research and personal experience for The Sigma Fitness.

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