Secret to a small waist | Tips from Frank Zane
” Stay Hungry Longer
by Frank Zane, Mr. Olympia 1977-79
My secret to a small waist-line is staying hungry longer. While other practices are necessary too, becoming more comfortable in the presence of hunger is the key aspect of my abdominal program. Only then can I practice diaphragm and abdominal control with stomach vacuums, which can’t be done on a full stomach.
At the first pangs of hunger, take a minute to vacuum : Bend forward at the waist with your hands on your knees and exhale the last vestiges of air from your lungs, tensing your abdominal muscles. Hold it… now instead of inhaling, suck your gut in by using your diaphragm – a powerful area of your body between the stomach and lungs. Imagine you can draw in your abs so far that they touch the spinal erector muscles of your lower back. The more you practice, the longer you can hold the full vacuum and the smaller your waistline gets.
One of the many valuable things I learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger between 1969 and 1979, when we trained together, was the urgency of practicing vacuuming the last month before competition. We always did it on an empty stomach when we were hungry. I started with stage 1 vacuuming (because it’s easier) for 20 seconds and then did the same thing with my hands behind my head for five sets of 30 seconds. This became my final pose in my posing routine – the stomach-vacuum pose. My waist got smaller and smaller because I got better at controlling the profile of my waistline..
Most people want a small, muscular waistline because the abs are the center of the body, where the eyes gravitate most readily. My way of getting this sought-after development is to stay hungry longer, vacuum and do abdominal work.
The nice thing about doing stomach vacuums is that they take only a few minutes. The rest of my body becomes more defined as all my muscles stand out in bold relief. Ab work is also important, but I found that too much ab work gave me a shore lower back. A simple, quick routine I practice is two sets of 30 reps of hanging knee raises and two sets of 30 crunches. Also, any activities that tense the abdominals – like playing a wind musical instrument or simply tensing your abs during your workout – will add to your ab development.
Vacuuming creates the opposite effect of eating a lot of food at one time, wich leaves you feeling bloated. Vacuuming at the first sensation of hunger helped me to stay hungry a little longer. I always dropped a few pounds in bodyweight the more I did this, but it seemed a fair price to pay for a small, muscular waistline. You might say that vacuuming helped me clean up my act of competition. ”
Tips for the bodybuilder entering his first contest?
Frank:Practice posing, be in as good a shape as possible. Be CONFIDENT in yourself.
Project a good IMAGE on the stage.Read some of my courses about POSING.