Training with Frank Zane, Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks!

That old dog would be me, the teacher would be the great Frank Zane. This past month I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Frank Zane in his home gym facility in San Diego California. To me this was much more than a training session with one of the greatest the sport of body building has ever known. It was my chance to meet the individual who for the past thirty years has shaped my thoughts and molded my opinions as it refers to body building and fitness in general.

Michael Ferencsik and Frank Zane Some thirty years ago I entered a health food store for the very first time. I can remember the overwhelming aroma of vitamin B that permeated the small shop. The purpose I had for stopping in at the age of thirteen was to purchase a muscle mag for the first time. I can still see the picture of Frank Zane looking down at me like it was yesterday. Compared to the other body builders featured in the magazine such as Arnold, Mike Mentzer and Franco in my mind Zane epitomized what body building was all about. He resembled the classical Greek sculpture. He was perfect in size and proportion and best of all was pleasing to the eyes of the general public. Right then and there I made it my personal goal to create that look for myself.

Well here I am over thirty years later writing an article about spending a afternoon with the one individual that has inspired and motivated me every step of the way. The day started with a beautiful drive down to San Diego California now home to Frank and Christine Zane. I was taking advantage of the consultation service Frank Zane has become famous for over the years now known as the Zane experience. He had offered to critique my physique and most importantly work on my posing routine and stage presence.

I have to say after being involved in fitness and body building for over thirty years I was extremely curious to see if he could teach me anything new. I have to say this old dog has been humbled. After taking pictures of me performing my mandatory poses he came back with some award winning changes to my routine.  I say award winning because I tried out his suggestions the next day at the INBA Iron Gladiator. This was my first competition of the year and I’m pleased to say that I took first in the Masters and won the overall Masters as well. I truly believe
his advise changed my stage presence from looking like a sometimes confident amateur to a extremely confident professional. His critique of my physique was honest and straight forward. He first praised me for being in great condition and then said I need to place a little more meat on my back. He then proceeded to show me some very effective twists to some of the same exercises that I have been doing for years. I have to admit I wish I was performing these exercises in this manner years ago. The first workout that I did when I returned home my back was sore for two days. What a great feeling!!

I experienced Zane first hand and now know why he is considered to be the most educated body builder of our time. More than that, I got to know the person behind all that knowledge. He is an incredibly entertaining and captivating individual. I could have sat there for hours listening to his stories about the Golden Age of body building which he was so much a part of. If you are serious about improving your physique or becoming more proficient on stage the Zane experience would be an invaluable investment. It’s a day that this old iron warrior will remember for the rest of his life. THANKS FRANK!

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Comments on Training with Frank Zane, Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks! »

July 3, 2007

M Szeto

Thanks for your advice on the quad exercises.I am now blasting my quadriceps once a week.Is once a week exercise enough?I read in some articles that you don’t need to get sore to build up muscle and too much exercise will prevent muscle growth.
Another dilemma I face is that I also run marathons once in a while.Marathon runners are usually quite thin.But I also like to build up the muscles just like you guys do.
what should I do?For my marathon running ,I don’t have too much ambition.I usually finish in about 4 and a half hours and I just like to enjoy the fun of running and to finish comfortably.I would like to hear what you think?For fat percentage measurement,what do you usually do?I find the calipers used in the gym are difficult to use.How about the electronic ones?Are they accurate?

July 5, 2007

Michael Ferencsik

First I have to agree long distance running is a great high but it kills your muscle mass. I saw a statistic the other day stating that most elite marathon runners are around 14% body fat. Thats really high for someone who spends that much energy on a daily basis.All that long distance running litterally eats away at your muscle tissue. Training your body parts once a week is fine it gives you the rest you need but make sure you are hitting them with very high intensity.As far as the electrical impedance device used to measure body fat it is actually the least accurate.There are far to many variables that could effect the reading. Stay with calipers or the Bod Pod if you can find one.

July 29, 2010

Johnny G

Nice you met your idol - All those guys from the 50’s to the mid 80’s were classic act guys - but please point out also that Zane never won a contest without the help of steroids too. Even though I train natural I still like the guys of the 70’s the best if they were on steroids or not

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