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Dorian Yates Workout Routine, Diet Plan and Training Philosophy

Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates is a former English professional bodybuilder who has a record of winning Mr. Olympia for six consecutive years from 1992 to 1997. Named along legends like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lee Haney, Yates, has under his belt 15 major contest wins. Yates’s competing career was cut short by injuries. Known by the nickname, ‘The Shadow,’ because of his uncanny ability to stay out of public gaze before a competition, Yates adopted the HIT or High-Intensity Training method that emphasizes on fewer reps and maximum effort.

Dorian Yates Workouts
Dorian Yates Workouts

Dorian Yates HIT Workout Routine

Dorian Yates was greatly influenced by Mike Mentzer’s HIT training method and started following it from his early days in bodybuilding. His training philosophy involves doing different exercises for each body part with maximum intensity for only one set to failure, excluding warm up sets.

Yates follows a working split of four days and advises that moderate cardio should be done 2-3 times a week for 20-25 minutes on non-training days. He stresses that cardio should not be done immediately after a workout because doing this reduces muscle gains.

Dorian Yates off Season
Dorian Yates off Season
Dorian Yates Workout
Dorian Yates Workout

Day 1: Shoulder, Triceps, and Abs

2 warm up sets of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Smith machine shoulder press
  • Dumbbell lateral raise

1 set of 10-12 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 8-10 rep

  • One arm cable lateral raise
  • Dumbbell shrugs

2 warm up sets of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Cable press down

1 set of 10-12 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 6-8 reps

  • Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension

1 working set of 20 reps

  • Roam chair sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Reverse Crunch
Dorian Yates Abs
Dorian Yates Abs

Day 2: Back

2 warm up sets of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Dumbbell Pullover
  • Hammer Pulldowns

1 set of 10-12 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Reverse-Grip Hammer Pulldowns
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row
  • Barbell Deadlift

1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Hyperextension
Dorian Yates Back Workout
Dorian Yates Back Workout

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Chest, Biceps, and Abs

2 warm up sets of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press
  • Machine Chest Press
  • Decline Bench Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes (45 degrees)
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes
  • Cable Crossover

2 warm up sets of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl
  • Standing EZ Bar Biceps Curl

1 set of 10-12 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 8-10 reps

  • Machine Preacher Curl
Dorian Yates Back
Dorian Yates Back
Dorian Yates Training
Dorian Yates Training

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Legs

2 sets of 12-14 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 10-12 reps

  • Leg extensions
  • Leg Press
  • Hack Squat
  • Seated Hamstring Curl

Take a 5-minute break

1 warm up set of 10-12 reps and 1 working set of 10-12 reps. For the calf press, perform 3 rest-pause sets to failure.

  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  • Calf Press

1 set of 10-12 reps for warm up and 1 working set of 6-8 reps

  • Seated Calf Raise
Dorian Yates Bodybuilder
Dorian Yates Bodybuilder

Day 7: Rest

Dorian Yates Workout Video

Dorian Yates Stats

  • Date of Birth: 19th April 1962
  • Wife: Gal Ferreira Yates
  • Best Win: Olympia (1992-97)
  • Height:78 m (5’ 10”)
  • Weight: 265-282 lbs in contests, 290-309 lbs in off season
  • Chest: 57”
  • Waist: 34”
  • Biceps: 22”
  • Thighs: 30”
  • Calves: 22”
Dorian Yates Bodybuilding
Dorian Yates Bodybuilding

Dorian Yates Diet Plan

He follows a meal plan that has a perfect balance of proteins and carbohydrates. Yates rules against pre-loading the body with carbs before a workout but emphasizes upon having a carb drink as a post-workout shake to maximize muscle recovery and growth. He believes that his diet has undergone a lot of improvement since the mass-bulking foods that he ate during his competition days, especially during 1987-88.

Dorian Yates Diet Chart

  • 7-8 AM – He starts the day with porridge prepared with a cup of Oatmeal, 10 egg whites, and 1 scoop of protein powder
  • 9-10 AM – A pre-workout protein shake before hitting the gym.
  • 1-2 PM – Yates’ lunch consists of two chicken breasts, green vegetables, and rice/potato.
  • 3-4 PM – Protein shake.
  • 5:30-6 PM – His dinner plate has a 12 oz filet of mignon, green vegetables, and potato/rice.
  • 8-9 PM – The last meal of the day is a small serving of porridge cooked with a half cup of oatmeal, and six egg whites.
Dorian Yates Calves
Dorian Yates Calves
Dorian Yates Triceps
Dorian Yates Triceps

Yates advises planning ahead so that one never has to miss a meal.

Yates has devised a 6 week muscle-building training program called ‘Blood and Guts.’ The workouts are almost similar to the one given in this article, but, in the program, Yates becomes your personal trainer giving tips that he learnt throughout his career. The program is available both as a book and as a DVD set.

Dorian Yates Chest
Dorian Yates Chest

10 responses to “Dorian Yates Workout Routine, Diet Plan and Training Philosophy”

  1. Amazing work out! !it’s plan to see why you were the best body builder of your times with your hard work

  2. So do you do supersets where the exercises are put directly another another one? Like on back day youve got 4 exercises put together? On chest day theres like 6?

    • Hi Connor,
      Yes, you got that right! You need to do the recommended number of warm-up sets and then follow them up with a working set.

    • hmm I don’t think they’re super set though. I can’t imagine super setting 6 different exercises like that?

  3. I started my powerlifting carrier with blood and gut trainning program….thank you dorian sir for such a great trainnung program

  4. So for example, on chest you have the following;

    Incline Barbell Bench Press
    Machine Chest Press
    Decline Bench Press
    Incline Dumbbell Flyes (45 degrees)
    Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes
    Cable Crossover

    Once I do the working set of the Incline Barbell Bench Press, how much rest time is there before I go on to the Machine Chest Press? Or do I do a working set of each exercise continuously without any rest between exercises?

    • Hi Shameer,
      Rest for 60 seconds after completing each warm-up set or working set comprising the exercises you mentioned.

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