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Known as The Shadow, the first mass monster built with blood and guts, Dorain Yates is regarded as one of the all-time greats of bodybuilding.
Yates displayed a physique that blew away the competition in the 90s, winning six consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. Dorian’s sheer size and conditioning transformed the bodybuilding landscape.
How did Dorian Yates really achieve this industry-changing physique?
Let’s dive in.
Dorian Yates Bio and Stats
Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates was born on April 19th, 1962 in Solihull, Warwickshire, England.
Yate began his bodybuilding journey at Martin’s Gym in 1983 when he was 21.
The following years saw Dorian secure the title of Mr. Birmingham (1984) as a novice. He became the Heavyweight British Champion in 1986.
In 1990, Dorian turned pro, flying to New York to compete in the Night of Champions, where he would place second.
In 1991, Dorian would meet Mike Mentzer at Gold’s Gym. The duo would go on to form a legendary partnership.
Dorain would adopt Mike’s training principles and use him as a sounding board for different ideas about his workouts.
Still, this relationship would prove to be the driving force behind Yates’ success in becoming the first mass monster of bodybuilding.
He would win an incredible six Mr. Olympia titles, earning the second-most victories behind the great Arnold Schwarzenegger at the time.
During this time he was also dubbed “The Shadow” by Peter McGough for his ability to avoid the public eye. Yates would only appear when it mattered most during competitions and steal incredible victories.
- Age: 57 Years Old
- Height: 5’ 10” (178 cm)
- Weight: 256-282 lbs (290-309 lbs offseason)
- Birthday: 19th April, 1962
- Occupation: Bodybuilder, Business Man
- Retired/Active: Retired
- 6x Mr. Olympia (1992-1997)
- Heavyweight British Champion (1986)
- Mr. Birmingham Novice (1984)
Dorian Yates Workout Fundamentals
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Dorian Yates’ approach to training was far different from the greats before him. His sessions were about training at a high intensity in a short amount of time to maximize results.
Known as HIIT, Dorian first picked up this style of training from bodybuilding legend Mike Mentzer. He was training an average of 45 minutes per day, four days per week, and power walking 20-30 minutes for cardio on his off days.
Over the years, Yates would make subtle adjustments and changes that he noted to be beneficial for his body.
Also known as the Blood and Guts approach, Dorian would perform a lower volume, often training with a single working set to failure.
What this meant was that he was warming up with one to two sets, and then performing a single set to failure, with the upper end of his sets reaching between 15-30 reps with a heavy weight.
Dorian believed that you can train hard, or you can train long, but not both. He would opt for the short, high-intensity sessions, pushing his body to the limit with each exercise and the assistance of a spotter.
He would also focus on the quality of his contraction, carefully performing eccentric and concentric contractions to maximize his time under tension.
This makes those single sets feel like an eternity, increasing the stimulus, allowing him to become the first-ever mass monster.
Dorian Yates Workout Routine
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Dorian Yates Blood and Guts Workout Routine
Traps, Triceps, Abs
|Back, Rear Delts||Rest||Chest, Biceps, Abs||Quads Hamstrings Calves||Rest||Repeat|
Shoulders, Triceps & Abs
|Smith Machine Shoulder Press||2||15-30||45-60 secs|
|Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise||2||8-20||45-60 secs|
|Cable Single-Arm Lateral Raise||2||10-30||30-45 secs|
|Dumbbell Shrugs||1||10-20||30-45 secs|
|Tricep Pushdown||1||8-12||30-45 secs|
|EZ Bar Skull Crushers||1||8-20||30-45 secs|
|Cable Crunches||2||15-30||30-45 secs|
|Weighted Sit-Ups||2||15-30||30-45 secs|
Back & Rear Delts
|Nautilus Pullovers||2||15-30||30-45 secs|
|Hammer Strength Lat Pulldown||2||12-15||30-45 secs|
|Barbell Yates Row||2||8-20||30-45 secs|
|Hammer Strength Single-Arm Row||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Seated Cable Row||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Machine Rear Delt Fly||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Bent Over Rear Delt Flys||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
Chest, Biceps & Abs
|Incline Bench Press||2||8-12||45-60 secs|
|Hammer Strength Seated Bench Press||2||6-10||45-60 secs|
|Incline Dumbbell Fly||1||8-10||30-45 secs|
|Cable Crossover||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Incline Dumbbell Curl||2||8-10||30-45 secs|
|EZ Dumbbell Curl||2||6-10||30-45 secs|
|Nautilus Bicep Curl||2||6-10||30-45 secs|
|Cable Crunch||2||15-30||30-45 secs|
|Captain’s Chair Leg Raises||2||15-30||30-45 secs|
Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calves
|Leg Extensions||2||10-15||30-45 secs|
|Leg Press||2||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Hack Squats||2||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Lying Leg Curl||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift||1||8-10||30-45 secs|
|Single-Leg Curl||1||10-12||30-45 secs|
|Standing Calf Raise||1||8-10||30-45 secs|
|Seated Calf Raise||1||8-10||30-45 secs|
Dorian Yates Dieting and Food Preferences
In the offseason, Yates’ diet would balloon to a mammoth 6,000-7,000 calorie surplus to help him build muscle.
This would be reduced to around 4,000 calories as he was leaning down towards his comp weight. Dorian’s goal was to lose two to three pounds per week over a 12-week period.
During this time, Dorian describes how he would crave foods that he would not normally eat, his mind wandering to a variety of unhealthy foods.
Post-competition, Dorian would look forward to a good steak, fries, and ice cream to break his diet and relax before heading into another year of rigorous training.
|Meal 1||1x Oatmeal, 10 Egg Whites, 1x Scoop Protein|
|Meal 2||Protein Shake|
|Meal 3||2x Chicken Breast, Vegetables, Rice or Potato|
|Meal 4||Protein Shake|
|Meal 5||12 oz Filet Mignon, Vegetables, Rice or Potato|
|Meal 6||½ Cup Oatmeal, 6 Egg Whites|
Dorian Yates Diet Plan
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While this is effective for building muscle, eating these meals day in and day out for months on end will likely have you clamoring for flavor. Worse, you’ll end up dropping the diet altogether.
To remedy this, we have put together a Dorian Yates-inspired diet plan. You can add variety to your eating to help you stick to it long-term and maximize results.
We have used many of the foods Dorian eats with additional high-calorie protein shakes to help you hit your hefty daily intake goals.
- Oatmeal (Banana, Blueberries, Honey)
- 10 Egg White Omelet (Avocado, Cheese, Spinach)
- 1x Scoop Protein Shake
- Protein Shake (2x Scoop Protein, Banana, Mixed Berries, ½ Cup Oatmeal, Peanut Butter, Water)
- 12 oz Smoked Paprika and Cumin Baked Chicken Breast
- Green Salad (Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Corn, Green Peppers, Red Onion)
- Air Fried Sweet Potato Fries
- 1x Protein Shake
- Protein Yogurt
- 12 oz Filet Mignon (Garlic, Rosemary, Black Pepper)
- 1 Cup Mixed Vegetables
- 2 Cups Jasmine Rice
- 6 Egg White Omelet
- Protein Shake (1 Scoop Protein, ½ Cup Oatmeal, Banana, Yogurt, Mixed Berries)
If you are considering trying the Dorian Yates workout and diet plan, you have to track your calorie and macronutrient intake.
To calculate your daily calorie and macronutrient intake, use our advanced calorie and macronutrient calculator.
Just punch in your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level. You’ll receive your precise calorie and macronutrient breakdown to help you fuel your body for maximum results.
Dorian Yates Supplement Preferences
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Dorian Yates’ understanding of his nutrition was vital to getting his body in peak condition.
Below is a list of Dorian Yates’ supplement preferences. While he would not have taken these during his career, these are the products he claims give you amazing results.
|DY Shadowhey Isolate||Builds lean muscle and improves recovery|
|DY Blood & Guts PreWorkout||Increase energy and improves performance|
|DY The Creatine||Improves performance and training adaptations|
Without a doubt, there will never be another bodybuilder quite like Dorian Yates.
His era-defining physique and alternative training style transformed the bodybuilding world into what it is today.
So, are you thinking of performing a Dorian Yates workout? Does his high-intensity training routine suit your training style?
Let us know in the comments.
How many hours did Dorian Yates workout?
Dorian Yates would train 45 minutes per day, four days per week. On his off days he would perform 20-30 minutes of cardio, which he believed to be essential to his training routine.
How many sets and reps did Dorian Yates do?
Dorian Yates would perform one to two sets of each exercise, with an initial warm-up set and one working set to failure. His rep ranges would vary with some sets ranging between 8-10 with others going as high as 30 or failure.
What was Dorian Yates workout?
What was Dorian Yates workout split?
Is a 4 day bro split good?
Yes, the 4-day bro split is highly effective for building lean muscle. However, this largely depends on your personal preferences and training goals.
How big was Dorian Yates biceps?
At his peak, Dorian Yates’ bicep measured in at a massive 20”.
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