Muscle Past Midlife

1977-2007Is it possible to gain muscle mass after age 40? The answer is yes – but you must go about it correctly with realistic expectations. Set goals for yourself that are attainable. You may ask, “How do I know what’s attainable?” That’s a good question because you don’t really know exactly what’s possible, so be reasonable. You may surprise yourself and if you do, good. Surprise is delightful and better than disappointment.

To start with, take photos, outdoors, weather permitting. You can use a decent digital camera and store your photos in a file on your computer. It’s important to get an idea of where you are starting so you have something to compare your later photos to. So don’t try to look good, just be natural. If you stomach wants to hang out, let it. Take shots in a bathing suit against a plain background and your body full frame. The sun should be 45 to 60 degrees with the horizon, i.e.; it should be early morning or late afternoon (depending on the time of year). You don’t want to take photos with the sun directly overhead because there will be too much shadow. 

I always suggest that clients take the initial set of photos and don’t get them developed until they take another set one month later. That way there’s something to compare, which is the whole point of taking the photos in the first place. People are rarely pleased with the first set, so take my advice, wait, train hard for a month, and then see what gains you’ve made. It’s important to duplicate the photographic conditions as closely as possible each photo session: same film, time of day, same poses (standing relaxed front, back, and side, and the 7 compulsory poses, or whatever poses you like, just do the same ones each time). 

Photos will enable you to see yourself as others see you. This is important. Study the photos and pick out your weak points. Give these areas priority in your workouts by training them first in your sessions or on a separate day. If you need to lose fat, and most people do, work on dropping 5 pounds a month until you get to your best weight. It’s not about how much weight you lose, but how you look, so let the photos be the judges. 

Dropping body fat is the first step before you can develop lean muscle mass that looks impressive. Gaining 5 pounds of muscle per YEAR is a reasonable goal. This is a lot of muscle. You’d look totally different. So forget about gaining a lot of weight in short periods of time. If you do it’s not going to be solid muscle.

It’s challenging to get this concept across especially to younger bodybuilders who want to get bigger yesterday. If you take photos on a regular basis you will be able to see how your body is growing over time and from this you can learn how to adjust your growth.

It’s always best to take your time. Photos can tell you what you need to pay attention to in order to develop a complete body. Bodybuilding is a lifetime activity and you should grow as you mature not only in physical ways but mentally and emotionally as well. This is how the bodybuilding spirit grows, as a dedication to lifelong bodybuilding. How much muscle you develop depends upon how you train, eat, and recuperate. It also depends upon your hormonal balance. 

Your natural hormones slow down as you age, and I think for most healthy men in their 40s the levels are still adequate to build muscle. But as you get older and into your 50s, 60s, and beyond, this likelihood diminishes. Levels of thyroid, testosterone, growth hormone, DHEA, melatonin become a fraction of what they were at a younger age. The big difference I notice in my workouts in my 70s compared to when I was younger is that it takes longer to recuperate. 

Shortening my workout by doing fewer sets with greater intensity, slower negatives and lighter weights has helped me to continue productive training in spite of the hormonal slow down. Also boosting my nutrient density with amino acids and the natural hormone boosting substances along with recuperation and energy conservation techniques and use of my meditation machine allow me to continue to grow.   

I recommend my 91 Day Wonder Body book as good template for your success.  

It gives you the day-by-day and step-by-step workouts, diet tips, and mental techniques to get you in the absolute best shape of your life. It also provides space for you to log your workout and record your progress each and every day. 

I also have a 91 Day Wonder Body Bundle that includes the 91 Day Wonder Body book and my Train with Zane Training DVD which shows you the exact form of all the exercise movements and stretches that I use in my own workouts and that I teach in my Zane Experience private training program. It’s the next best thing to being there.

If you are in the San Diego CA area or planning a visit soon you can jumpstart your 91 Day Wonder Body Training program by ordering the book and then scheduling a private training session with me at my private training studio in the San Diego Area. Check it out right here and book your session today

Frank Zane Leading 91 Day Wonder Body Seminar in San Diego Area

Three-time Mr. Olympia Offering Full Day Program for Men and Women Looking to Get into Peak Physical Condition

San Diego, CA – October 19, 2016 – Frank Zane, 3-time Mr. Olympia, body building champion and fitness icon, today announced that registration is now open for his new training and bodybuilding seminar, “91 Wonder Body Seminar” to be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at Hoist Fitness Systems, 11900 Community Road, Poway, Calif. The seminar, which is open to the general public, is geared toward men and women who are looking to lose weight and get fit as well as bodybuilders, physique competitors, athletes and personal trainers.

In this 91 Day Wonder Body Seminar, based on his latest book of the same name, Zane will demonstrate proper weight training techniques and discuss elements of his new, 3-month fitness program for men and women. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from Zane himself, a legend who has more than six decades of experience in building, shaping and sculpting the human body. Topics include Weight Training and Proper Form, the Importance of Stretching, Aerobic Conditioning, Nutrition, High Tech Meditation and Posing.

“I encourage anyone who wants to get into shape – or get into better shape – to attend this seminar,” stated the champion body builder. “My experience has taught me that 91 days is the length of time needed to make a major change in how you look and feel. Whether you are someone who is looking for a better fitness program, an athlete training for sport, or a competitor preparing for physique competition, this 3-month program will get you to where you want to be.” Jesse Fernandez, Mr. America over 50 will also be making an appearance at this event to do a demonstration on posing.

Registration for the seminar is limited to 50 people and is open to the public. Cost to attend is $247 for single registration or $197 per ticket (Total $394) for dual registration (two attendees). For more information or to register for the seminar, visit or call 570-362-1059.

About the Book
91 Day Wonder Body is a practical guide that maps out a complete path to fitness for both males and females alike. The book provides a workout and nutrition plan that incorporates daily weight training, stretching, aerobic conditioning, and food choices as well as motivational tips and instruction in meditation. In addition, the book doubles as a workout log to track progress, with space to record weight workouts (poundage, sets and reps) right in the book.

91 Day Wonder Body is a compilation of 18 workout programs, based on routines from Zane’s most popular books Let’s Grow, High Def Body and Symmetry, that have been modified to work together cohesively and provide a comprehensive fitness program that incorporates variety in order to keep both the mind and body engaged. The program is designed for everyday enthusiasts who are looking to get into the best shape of their lives, and can also be used as the first half of a six-month training program for body builders and physique competitors.

91 Day Wonder Body is available for purchase on

About Frank Zane
Frank Zane is a legendary body builder and 3-time Mr. Olympia. He is also a former Mr. America, Mr. World and a 3-time Mr. Universe. An educator by trade, Zane’s passion for fitness dates back nearly 60 years to when he was a teenager growing up in the coal-mining region of Pennsylvania. He believes in the mind-body connection and emphasizes the connection between mental and physical health in his training programs.

Zane is the author of more than 11 books on fitness, nutrition and body building, and currently offers a variety of personal training programs under The Zane Experience. He also operates a thriving ecommerce online store which features his Super Nutrition Kit (includes a 30-Day supply of Egg White Perfection Protein, Amino Acids, and Vita-minz), fitness equipment (including his patented Leg Blaster) and subscriptions to his own quarterly magazine, Frank Zane’s Building the Body.


For more information contact Julie Space, 570-362-1059

Want to Train Like Zane?

Here are two workouts that Frank Zane did to prep for the Mr. Olympia… Use these to help you get in top shape for your next competition!

Get more of Frank’s workout routines, training programs and posing tips in his Ultimate BodyBuilder Bundle! It is a MUST HAVE for all male and female bodybuilders and physique competitors – it includes 3 of his bestselling books and a FREE training DVD

The Importance of Amino Acids and Protein in Building Muscle

Recently I sat down with my Science Editor Lou Roehn to discuss the benefits of my Super Nutrition Kit and why I feel that the combination EGG WHITE PERFECTION PROTEIN POWDER, SUPER SPORTS AMINO ACID COMPLEX and VITA-MINZ PLUS is the healthiest choice for building muscle.  Below is that interview and I hope you find the insight I provide useful to you in your bodybuilding journey.



The Importance of Amino Acids and Protein in Building Muscle


Lou Roehn:  Hi this is Louis Roehn, Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Science Editor for Frank Zane’s Building the Body Quarterly Magazine, I’m here today with Frank to talk about his new Super Nutrition Kit which he created based on the ingredients he used to build his legendary physique.

Frank, can you tell us about why your 30 Day Super Nutrition Kit is super unique and vital to advanced athletes and body builders?


Frank Zane:  I came up with this idea for the 30 Day Kit from the products that I’ve been using for quite some time now. It includes the ingredients that you need to increase your nutrient density, that means, how dense or how much good stuff is in the calories that you’re eating. The whole idea is, especially as you get older, is to eat fewer calories with more nutrition in them.

One of the best ways to do that is by taking nutritional supplements, I recommend my SUPER SPORTS AMINO ACID COMPLEX which is a “broad spectrum” formula. Our product has 16 different Amino Acids in it, the essentials and the conditionally essential Amino Acids that perform vital functions in your body.  The other is a product called VITAMINZ PLUS that has all the vitamins and minerals and enzymes you need to process protein, help in digestion, assimilation of all the food you’re eating plus gives you needed nutrients like B complex, vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium…all the necessary minerals.


And then there is my special EGG WHITE PERFECTION PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT, which is made from pure egg white from a small farm in Kansas with a lot of free form glutamine added to it.  You may ask… Why extra glutamine? Well, it’s a very important Amino Acid Glutamine, this is the Amino Acid that your body pulls out of muscle tissue when you’re starving, people who are on diet or hungry a bit more than normal generally tend to lose muscle mass depending on what else they eat and how hard they exercise.

So, when you take Glutamine, the Glutamine is pulled out of the chain of Amino Acids in your body and is sent to your liver where it’s turned into carbohydrate. If you take Glutamine in free form, you minimize that effect, so it’s really good for someone who is on diet and wanting to get the most out of the calories they eat and not get anything extra that they don’t need.

Adding this to your diet, one protein drink a day, 3 or 4 Amino Acid capsules with one vitamin supplement between meals or right before meals can give you a tremendous nutritional boost.  This is the basic package, convenient, easy to take and won’t bankrupt you. You can get good nutrition for a reasonable price this way.

Lou Roehn:   Wow, very comprehensive and very scientific, my next question is how would you ever maximize muscle with a lower caloric diet for a competitive career and how did you manipulate your protein carbs and fats, the micronutrients?

Frank Zane:  Well the program that I’ve always followed with success is to restrict carbohydrate content and also fat somewhat too, and what it involved is getting 1 gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight per day.

So, let’s say a person weighed 200 pounds, that means 200 grams of protein every single day, but as far as the carbohydrates is concerned, take in half that amount of carbohydrates for 3 days in a row, then your fat intake is kept at around 20% of total calories and you just keep going like that.  So it is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for 3 days in a row with 1/2 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day and then on the 4th day you increase the carbohydrate intake to 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight along with 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.  When you do this and keep repeating the cycle you build your blood glucose and your stored glycogen in your muscle and your liver so you can get maximum results for your workouts.

Keeping your carbs low like that for 3 days in a row actually gets you into Ketosis, that’s what happens when your body starts burning stored body fat for energy and that’s really what you want if you have extra fat on your waist or stored on your body, so you do that just long enough to get your body into ketosis by the third day and then you pull out to stay on the edge of ketosis not remaining on ketosis like diets like the Atkins do.

When you do that you feel weak and you get all the adverse effects of low carbohydrate diet, there can be constipation, bad breath, fatigue, forgetting stuff, bad mood so you don’t want to have that, you don’t have to suffer to get in shape and this is the best way to do it, over time and specially if you’re competing, in bodybuilding competition you really should follow a low carb diet specially right before the show and there’s a specific way to do that.

Lou Roehn:  Frank I have a sub set question, on a 4 day cycle with the carbs what were some of your favorite carbs on that 4th day to kind of load up?

Frank Zane:  Well it’s basically low glycemic index carbs, which means… the glycemic index is a measurement scale that goes from real low, about 0 to 100 and the higher the number is the faster your body turns that carbohydrate into sugar in your bloodstream so you want things that have a moderate to low carbohydrate glycemic index.

Two of these, one is flaked oatmeal and baked potatoes, not baked potatoes so much they have a higher glycemic index but there’s even a way to use those when you mix them with food that’s lower in glycemic index protein, that’s the whole process, when I reached that 4th day I would always have my carbs early in the day so I could burn them for energy during the day and not so much at night.

I never believed this so much when I was training, but I got to experiment more with it later on.  Also since most fruit has a low glycemic index, most is in the 40 range, some even lower, so that’s a good way to bring your carbs up of course in the right amounts, but one that isn’t so good though is fruit juice because there’s no pulp there, is basically sugar in the liquid and it goes right into the system. You don’t want to have anything that raises your blood sugar too quickly because that means excessive insulin secretion and maybe fat storage.  That’s how I do it and has always worked very well.

Lou Roehn:  Ok, Frank the last question, I understand you also offer a Super Nutrition Kit plus which adds the extra ingredients of L-Glutamine, Arginine and Tryptophan, can you tell us the benefits of these added ingredients.

Frank Zane:  You know, in my book High Def Body I always refer to these amino acids as the 3 Aminos, they’re the 3 important ones if you want to boost your diet in some ways, if you want to steer your metabolism in a specific direction you would take the super nutrition kit and add either one or more of these 3 amino acids.

L-Glutamine increases alertness, when you take it, it crosses the blood brain barrier as glutamine and then it turns into glutamate and becomes an excited neurotransmitter in your brain which basically gives you a boost and you feel more alert.

Not only that, but it boosts your immune system and its good for things like suiting your digestive track, and it’s a great amino acid for fueling brain and body, it’s really a good Amino Acid and it’s also sweet tasting and we’re taking it in a powder and that’s why we have it in a protein, has a sweet taste and it doesn’t interfere with the good taste of our protein, that’s one of the things that we discovered and one of the things that we use on a regular basis.

Lou Roehn:   And Frank one final question, sounds like a very advanced, great program, comprehensive, where would somebody buy your Super Nutrition Kit?

Frank Zane:  It’s all available at  You can check it out here  You just have to log on there and order and it will arrive in the mail a few days later.  The price listed includes applicable tax and shipping.


It’s not sold in stores, so take advantage of the 30 Day Kit here, it’s a really fantastic product and we’ve had many people do this and show great progress in relatively short periods of time.

In addition to the Super Nutrition Kit I also recommend my Arginine product which is helpful in keeping the inner lining of blood vessels healthy and flexible, enhancing growth hormone release, and aiding blood pressure.  And Tryptophan which I’ve used for many years to relax and improve mood and calmness.  I strongly suggest all of these things, I think is a wonderful product, I’ve been using it, I’ve tested it out, my whole objective in doing this is enable people in doing what I’m doing, this is what I do and what I’ve been doing for many years so, here it is, take advantage.

Lou Roehn:   Thank you very much Frank for your time and for your products.

Frank Zane:  Ok, you’re quite welcome Lou, take care.

RARE VIDEO of Frank Zane Training Client in his San Diego Studio



RARE VIDEO of Frank Zane, 3x Mr. Olympia, training Physique Competitor, Sadik Hadzovic in his San Diego training studio: Read more