There were a certain amount of crossover poses between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane, standard poses like the front lats spread and double biceps pose, but there were certain poses that were staples of Zane’s posing routine that Schwarzenegger mostly stayed away from and vice versa. Arnold mostly stayed clear of the graceful, fingers extending into the air poses that Zane did. I don’t recall seeing Arnold on a Mr Olympia stage doing a hands behind head, stomach vacuum pose, a la Zane, although here is an artist’s representation. Not too shabby a look. Do you think this would have worked for Arnold? He did do both hands behind the head abs poses at the 1980 Mr Olympia. He also did this early arms overhead vacuum attempt.
Here is Schwarzenegger in the late 1970s spoofing a Frank Zane arms overhead pose. Notice that Arnold included details like sucking in his cheeks to simulate Zane’s gaunt contest conditioned face as well as shifting his posture to mimic Zane’s body positioning. Here is a younger Schwarzenegger doing something similar although maybe going for the Sergio Oliva look. When I earlier said Arnold mostly stayed away from graceful, fingers extended poses, the key word was mostly. Here is a toned down offseason Schwarzenegger doing just that, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York during a fundraising exhibit for the movie Pumping Iron, and right next to Zane, no less, who is doing his version of the most muscular pose, which we’ll get to in a moment. Still more Zane-ish finger extensions, similar, if not inspired by Zane. Speaking of arm overhead poses, Arnold did excel at the javelin pose and sometimes did the double javelin, neither of which Zane seems to have done much of, although he has waved to the audience.
And what of Zane doing the actual most muscular pose, one of Arnold’s best poses but was actually popularized for the general public by Lou Ferrigno through the Incredible Hulk television show whenever David Banner hulked out. There are many different versions of the most muscular pose. Sergio Oliva had a more supinated, palms up style. There is the strict most muscular. The arms lowered version. The arms really lowered version. These arms lowered, kind of side, versions. The showcasing biceps version and the wrist on hips version. Again. And Again. Then there’s the arms lowered, wrist rotated outward shot, what I refer to as the Larry Jackson most muscular. An obscure reference but an AAU Mr. California winner with whom I associate the pose. Franco Columbu did it on occasion as well.
Zane did his most muscular in a different manner, most of the time with his hands on his upper thighs, flexing the arms and squeezing the pecs. Here’s a rare shot of Arnold doing a hands on hips, not thighs, version which is actually more reminiscent of Roy Duval. But wait, there’s also this 1974 Mr Olympia shot of Schwarzenegger doing a Zane-ish hand on upper thighs most muscular. Keep in mind, other images, from the 74 Mr Olympia where Arnold is as blown up as he’s ever been, yet this Zane-ish pose makes him look not quite as massive as in other shots at the same contest.
So, what about Zane and the strict most muscular pose and not the arms down version, not the half version, and not the cable crossover version in the gym. Well, here is that shot. While not competing size-wise with Arnold’s, Sergio Oliva’s, or Lou Ferrigno’s version, Zane is displaying ample neck, traps, and shoulders, decent arms and chest size, and extremely deep abs, not to mention the usual Zane aesthetics. Call it the classic most muscular pose, the crab pose, or the Hulk pose or, now, the Zane pose.