Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates

Did he ruin bodybuilding ?

Dorian Yates is a retired professional bodybuilder who won the Mr. Olympia title six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997. 

He is most famous for being the first Mr. Olympia to reach more than 250 lbs lean contest bodyweight with super low body fat. This happened in 1993 when Yates was at his best. Dorian was an outsider, first of all he came from Birmingham UK far away from Venice Beach, CA epicenter that was producing most of the top bodybuilders at that time. He remains the only athlete not based in America to have won Mr. Olympia. At his competitive peak, Dorian Yates weighed 265lbs and boasted 21-inch arms, a 58-inch chest, legs with a circumference of 30 inches and body fat of just three per cent. The average man has an acceptable body-fat percentage of 15-20 and 13-inch arms.

Lots of people blame Dorian and Milos Sarcev to have ruined bodybuilding by introducing the infamous insulin protocols into bodybuilding. Milos Sarcev a bodybuilder from Serbia. Lots of Sarcev’s family members were medical professionals and during the late 80s and early 90s Sarcev was experimenting with insulin for the purposes of gaining muscle mass. In the end he was able to come up with his own special protocols and most of the information that people have on insulin usage in bodybuilding is some version of Sarcev’s principles.

Especially Dorian is designated by many to be guilty of the change in bodybuilding and caused that raw size and sheer mass were rewarded beyond aesthetics. Just read this excerpt from a BB-forum:

“ Believe it or not Dorian Yates was the guy to change bodybuilding for the worse in my opinion anyway he was the first guy to bring in the whole MASS physique and the size/mass>aesthetics (symmetry, conditioning etc), before him were the best of the best known as the golden era of bodybuilding frank zane , arnold , frank colombu , sergio oliva etc when people guys actual looked at them and were like WOW! i would love to look like that guy! Now it's all about these MASS monsters which pregnant bellies and bodybuilding has gone downhill no one actually wants to look like the Top bodybuilders in Mr. Olympia anyway with them huge as pregnant bellies so yeah Dorian Yates should be known for ruining the great sport of bodybuilding it used to be a sport for the gods know it’s all about size(who looks like the biggest freak show).”

Interestingly it was Yates that former Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger signaled out for being too large and disproportionate to be a bodybuilding champion. Arnold accused Yates of sacrificing size for aesthetics, becoming freakish as a result. Arnold Schwarzenegger did criticize modern bodybuilding, and Dorian Yates in particular, but nothing has changed and even the show sponsored by Arnold himself (Arnold Classic) still supports the mass monsters of today. Arnold’s criticisms have influenced much of the narrative revolving around bodybuilding as many date the beginning of the Mass Monster period with Yates. But did Dorian change bodybuilding? Yes he did, in different ways even. But before Dorian the contesters where heavier than before., thus it is not like it all started with him.

You may or may not know that since Arnold the winners of the Mr. Olympia have slowly gained in mass. Arnold’s competition weight was 235lbs, Haney’s 248lbs, Yates’s 262lbs and Coleman’s an unbelievable 300lbs (with just 3% body fat). Post Coleman and into the present we have seen Jay Cutler at 274lbs, Dexter Jackson at 240lbs and Phil Heath at 250lbs. Whilst the current crop aren’t topping the 300lbs mark like Coleman and Cutler, they are still considerably larger and heavier that their equilivilent athletes in the 1970s and 1980s. Big Ramy weighed un unbelievable lean 321lbs on the 2015 Mr. Olympia. Physiques have changed from well-conditioned and aesthetic to sheer mass.

Dorian is the man who changed bodybuilding, Yates' no-nonsense, blue collar, hard-core muscle-building era also provided the bedrock of today's gym craze. Not only his different trainings approach, but also his diets, his contest preps and everything else. Maybe because he is from the UK and not from the US, who knows. He definitely didn't follow the crowd.

Dorian Yates: “I was always criticized through my whole career because I wasn't doing the whole smiling thing on stage. But I didn't feel like doing that, I felt like I was there for competition and it was tough and I wasn't there to smile.

So I kind of brought in a whole new era of bodybuilding. Before that the whole image of bodybuilding, which was projected from the Weider brothers, was a guy on the beach with a protein shake and his sunglasses on.

They actually tried to get me to do those things when I went to California. We did a few photoshoots and I said, 'I don't do that, that's just not real'.

I took a whole new approach. When I did the photoshoots I wanted to do real workouts and I wanted to use real weights. Before they had never done that, they wanted to get the correct lighting and I said it is not about that, it is about the energy of the photo.”

As of Autumn '92, it's known that Dorian began to work with Mike Mentzer. It was then that he began to employ the one-set-beyond-failure approach as opposed to the previous two straight sets approach, and switched to the 4 day split that he espouses today. Dorian made a huge transformation between the '92 and '93 Olympias.

Dorian himself has stated many times that he was held back in previous years up to and including the 1992 Olympia, by the fact that he had overdieted for contests - he noticed in pictures that he was contest ready 5-6 weeks out but continued dieting, and as a result lost up to 10lbs of muscle in the process because the weight l oss couldn't really come from anywhere else given how lean he was already. He realized this between the '92 and '93 Mr. Olympias and decided to make his dieting phase shorter for the '93 Mr. Olympia and therefore came in 16lbs heavier compared to the previous year.

It's also clear to those in the know that Dorian likely started to experiment with other drugs during this period. Growth hormone was likely introduced, and other drugs such as insulin, peptides and other powerful steroids he'd not yet used were also likely introduced also.

You can pretty much guarantee, that if Dorian stuck with the same workout approach that had worked all that time, then he still would have made that transformation. If he'd stuck with the approach and also a similar drug regimen to the previous years, he'd not have made the transformation. Likewise, if he'd overdieted again, stuck to a similar drug regimen to the previous years and switched to the one-set approach, he wouldn't have made the transformation. The change in dieting strategy and likely introduction of different drugs were responsible, and it's impossible to say how much of an impact the switch of training style really had when there was already at least one other huge overriding factor involved - and since he pretty much peaked in '93 in terms of size, it's again impossible in general to gauge just how effective the one-set approach really would have been. However, it's not my intention to discredit the one-set approach. - It's a very productive method, I just want to cover all bases about the routines and training styles responsible for Dorian's success.

You can find Dorian everywhere in the media, he sells his supplements, books and DVD’s, he tried to organize contests, releases content on YouTube and stupid enough “ reveals“ his steroid cycles.

In the year 2011 Dorian Yates released three steroid cycles in Muscular Development Magazine (October issue): his first, his 1993 post Olympia (cutting) cycle and his 1993 (bulking) cycle. His Olympia cycles were considered quite moderate too low for a pro bodybuilder and most on the bodybuilding discussion forums have accused him of lying.

In a follow-up article (Nov. 11) you could feel how angry and disappointed he was that so few believed him.

Whenever Dorian speaks of steroids, growth hormone scorn and disbelief will be his fate, no one will ever believe him, he actually would be better off just not getting into the steroid conversation at all, even with everyone is asking about it.

Fans are far more educated about the subject than a few decades ago. They no longer believe the lie about training, massive amounts of food, supplements etc. Just like they no longer believe in superior genetics or super responders on steroids and peptides. I guess they saw too many “super responders” die at young age.

A comment from a discussion forum:

So what did Dorian REALLY take? If you follow the man as I have for many many years, one thing that really stands out is his "leave no stone unturned" mentality. He searched for optimal training, optimal recovery, optimal diet etc. One would surmise, obviously, that he would seek out optimal drug usage as well. It is very clear linear logical thinking here. He would have sought out the best stacks and drug synergy and then maxed out the dosages. Combine the MOST AAS/GH he could take with the MOST intense training and a PERFECT diet (calculated to within 100 calories daily, his diet was very very well planned) and you have Dorian Yates the bodybuilder.”

No more drugs - No more size

From a forum: “I saw Dorian Yates in Australia in 2011. Tiny. Yet still trying to convince customers that his 'amazing, cutting edge' supplements had anything to do with his Olympia condition. Bottom line, no drugs, but surrounded by tubs, not even remotely like Olympia shape. Same goes for every one of the pro bodybuilders, no drugs, not even remotely like their Olympia shape, despite gibbering that it’s just for the finishing touches' dribble”.


From the net:

Why would Dorian lie about his usage? Well his "legacy" is sold on his insane work ethic. If we knew he mega-doses that tarnishes his reputation as building his body from purely hard work.”

Dorian wants us to think he got to where he was by busting his ass with bad genetics. If one does believe he took tiny amounts of AAS then obviously his growth must be attributed to just awe inspiring workouts. Anyone who has watched blood and guts knows his training wasn't all that crazy...He was a hard worker true I will give him that but for sure drugs were also a huge part for him.”

I suspect, as has been said by someone else, that pro's have a genetic advantage in handling side effects. Sure they respond better than most and also are put together in such a way as to support muscle tissue very easily but still, drugs are drugs. 200mgs of deca is still only 200mgs of deca, it's not like one guy will put on 1lb of lean body mass BUT DORIAN YATES WILL BUILT 75LBS FROM IT. I mean get fucking real.”

More like an average responder gains 1lb while genetic elite gains 2.5lbs, that sounds about right.”

So a genetically average person will gain 30lbs of muscle with gear and GH usage while a pro can gain roughly 85lbs and if you look, Dorian Ronnie etc all gained roughly that amount over their careers. Ronnie a bit more than most but overall pro's typically add similar amounts of bodyweights over their careers. This is why you see guys typically competing within an average range of bodyweight. You don't have an army of dudes competing above 240lbs, there are only a few (given a height below 6ft of course). Most competitive pros are between 5ft9 and 5ft11 and compete between 220-260 with a rare few hitting 280 (Nasser and Ronnie are the only ones to do so successfully, even Dorian was only in the 260's at his peak).”

Dorian himself believes he had a positive effect on bodybuilding and if you read the series interviews he made for the “daily Express” you’ll soon find out he wrote his own history.

Dorian: “If people see me lifting weights with veins fucking popping out of my neck and fuck they can see that is really genuine and they will be inspired by it and people will more interested in it.

So I started doing that, lifting heavy weights and doing the pictures in black and white and not wearing sunglasses, I mean, why the fuck am I going to wear sunglasses in a gym, I come from fuckin’ Birmingham.

It was a whole new image; hardcore, blue collar, working class, in the dungeon, in the gym and this inspired a whole new generation of people.”

AN EXPLOSIVE no-holds-barred interview with six-time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates was published in the Daily Express in 2015

 Nowhere in these interviews the name of Paul Borreson is mentioned. Paul claims he introduced Dorian to controversial techniques (spot injections) and products like DNP.

Many UK guys claim even harsher stuff:

- Take a look at that claimed cycle of Dorian's; [sarcasm]lets assume its correct[/sarcasm] can you then tell us why Dorian was injecting short ester compounds weekly rather than the daily shots that would have been needed?

Once you have done that, can you ask your girlfriend Dorian the following:

- Why did Dorian regularly consult with Paul Borresen from the early 90's onwards?

- Why did Dorian regularly consult with Paul Borresen for advice regarding cycles featuring drug protocols on the order of grams per week; cycles - the advice and consumption of which - Dorian repeatedly pursued, as those around at the time (including myself) can attest.

- Why did Dorian employ protocols involving all manner of novel compounds such as Insulin, DNP and systemically infused IGF-1. Indeed, it was Paul Borresen that introduced Dozy Dorian to Insulin, IGF and DNP, fact!

Maybe Dozy was simply sharing opiate addiction tips with Paul? Who fucking knows these days!

Note to Dorian: deny the veracity of the above, I fucking dare ya! After Kerry kicked you down the fucking road, you really don't want to go there, as you well know; talk about a rock and a hard place, eh Dozy? You know who has the proof on the matter, and it isn't you, nor your son Lewis Yates. Nice to see the apple falling not too far from the tree though!”

Does Dorian deserve all these bashing and flaming? He was a great champion and I truly believe he could do good to the community, but he better stay away from the steroid discussion. Or be honest and tell the truth about his steroid usage. It’s clear that he has all kinds of (financial) interests in bodybuilding from supplements to magazines, and as we all know those like to have Dorian say that training-diet and supplements made him big, with just a little basic roids.

After the Dorian era the trend of Mass Monsterzz goes on. Mamdouh Elssbiay aka Big Ramy weighed in at the 2015 Mr Olympia a gigantic 321lbs! Scarier still, he brought with that package great conditioning. The effect this has on the pro ranks of bodybuilding is significant. With the top echelon of athletes already competing between 240 and 270lbs Big Ramy is changing the goal posts again. What does this mean? Instead of a return to smaller more aesthetic physiques that some quarters, including Arnold, are crying out for, there could well be a rush to get bigger again. The time for statuesque physiques could well and truly be forgotten to the golden era, and the reign of mass monsters enter an even more massive future.