legendary bodybuilder Dorian Yates has developed a reputation for himself with high intensity training methods throughout his career. He rejected the usual bodybuilding approach to training that used a set number of reps and sets. Instead, he focused on hitting near failure every time he trained. In a recent video posted to YouTube, Yates talked about his workout routine and revealed what he would change if he could go back in time.
Yates has long since moved on from his competition days but maintains a strong presence in the bodybuilding community. In his heyday, he faced legends such as eight-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney, Chris Cormier, Flex Wheeler and Shawn Ray. Despite the intense battles, Yates managed to come out on top and won the Mr. Olympia title six times in a row from 1992 to 1997.
He was renowned for keeping a low profile in the offseason. He would stay out of the spotlight and continue to work hard in the gym to make improvements in the scene. This habit earned him the nickname “The Shadow”, as he worked in silence and let the results do the talking.
Yates recently collaborated with fitness model Mike Thurston for a brutal leg workout. Thurston used Yates’ mentorship which guided him through his signature philosophy of “pushing to fail”. The pair started with warm-up sets before using full sets to failure.
Dorian Yates says he ‘never’ trained for more than an hour
In a recent video posted on the Muscle and Fitness YouTube channel, Yates opened up about never working out longer than an hour during his prime.
“I never trained for more than an hour. Every day for me was like, this day is a winner. This workout is a winner, that day I will hit every meal, sleep, everything. It’s not like I could miss it once in a while, no, it was non-negotiable.
Yates developed the motivation behind the shoot blood and guts, an old workout video where he often shared his workouts.
“The idea when I did the blood and guts workout video as it was back then, I never saw anything of people training in the gym that really inspired me I’ve heard of Tom Platz training and stuff like that but I’ve never seen it Usually they film guys right before a contest or they film practice but it’s with the right lighting and multiple shots to get the perfect shot. It was done from the perspective of the people making the movies, which is technical.
“So I said, ‘I want to do a real workout video. I want someone to film me working out. No lights, no talking to me, no embarrassment, I’m just going to do which I always do and we’re going to film that. That’s what came out and it was just a normal training week. I’ve always trained like that.
Yates has no career regrets, but would change his high-intensity training to avoid injury
When asked if he has any regrets about his past, Dorian Yates answered the following.
“At the end of the day, no because I’m where I am and I’m happy and everything that happened before brought me to this place, so it’s like, one of those movies, if you come back back and you changed the time it would change everything A little change would change everything I can tell you things I learned that maybe I could have done differently but I don’t like to watch back with regret and say, “I should have changed this, I should have changed that” because it all happened that way, but certainly I could have been a little easier on myself.
“I could have been a little easier with the people around me, a little more time, a little more flexible, enjoying the process a little more, but I was in a tunnel. When you’re in the tunnel, you just see the light at the end and you’re going to keep going. That was my mindset.”
If he could turn back time, Yates admitted he would cut back on his training near bodybuilding shows to avoid injury.
“With what I know now, I could have avoided my injuries. Because this type of heavy, high-intensity training is great for building muscle, but you’re not able to build muscle six to eight last weeks before a contest because you don’t have enough calories your body fat is going down and maybe slightly dehydrated, and you’re not sleeping as much I also suspect the anti-estrogen drugs we’ve been using, they tend to make tendon injuries more likely, I think, is my theory.
Yates has won the Sandow Trophy six times; he has a good idea of what the judges are looking for in a winner. Last month, he gave advice to promising prospects on how to optimize their posing routines.
Although he no longer competes as a professional, the 60-year-old recently shared his first bodybuilding cycle. He talked about his favorite steroid, which was Dianabol, and revealed that he is microdosing testosterone these days. Dorian Yates continues to be an influential figure in the bodybuilding community.
You can watch the full video below:
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