dorian yates workout routine

The Dorian Yates’ Workout Routine

Dorian Yates, the six time Mr. Olympia is known by his incredible development as well as his high intensity workouts. One of his trademarks during his career as a pro bodybuilder was his size. He stepped onstage with a weight of over 250 pounds – it was something no other bodybuilder has done before. Or like Dorian says – bodybuilding is about creating the best physique one can create.

Dorian Yates workout routine was heavily influenced the methods and theories of Arthur Jones and Mike Mentzer – it is low in both volume and frequency – a complete opposite from what other bodybuilders were doing at that time. But his shape testifies that brief and intense training can produce amazing results.

Dorian Yates’ training frequency

Muscle growth happens only during rest, after the muscle has been stimulated trough intense stress (a weightlifting workout).  The theory is that one should train when his muscles are fully recovered from the previous workout. This recovery time depends on many factors like genetics, rest, nutrition, the usage of anabolic drugs etc. Dorian’s recommendation is that a person should train the same muscle group every six to seven days.

What exercises should you use?

Compound big movements like squats, deadlifts, chins, bench presses and rows are the ones that stimulate muscle growth. The human body is not created to work in isolation. However, this doesn’t mean that isolation exercises have no place in the workout routine.

Volume VS Intensity

Many bodybuilders believe that increasing volume is the fastest way to increase muscle mass. If this was true, there would be no need to lift heavy or to lift to failure to build muscle. You could do 50 or 100 sets with very light weight and still build muscle. Unfortunately this is nit the case – muscles need intensity and stress followed by adequate recovery to grow.

Dorian Yates workout routine during his competition days:

Dorian Yates used a four day split:

Day 1 – Shoulders & Triceps & Abs
Day 2 – Back and rear Delts
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Chest , Biceps and Abs
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – Quads, Hams and Calves
Day 7 – Off

Smith machine presses   1x 12,
1x 12,  1x 8-10
Seated laterals   1x 10,  1x 6-8
One-arm cable laterals   1x 8-10

Dumbbell shrugs   1x 12

Triceps pushdowns   1x 12,  1x 10,  1x 6-8
Lying EZ- bar extensions   1x 12
One-arm pushdowns   1x 8-10

Forward crunches   3x 20-25
Reverse crunches   3x 12-15

Hammer Strength pulldowns   1x 12,  1x 10,  1x 6-8  alternated each workout with
Nautilus pullovers   1x 12,  1x 10,  1x 6-8
Barbell rows   1x 10,  1x 6-8
Hammer Strength rows   1x 8-10
Cable rows   1x 6-8

Rear-delt Hammer Strength   1x 6-8
Bent-over dumbbell raise   1x 6-8
hyperextensions   1x 6-8
Deadlifts   1x 8, 1x 6

Incline barbell press   1x 12,  1x 10,  1x 6-8
Hammer Strength seated   1x 10,  1x 6-8
Incline dumbbell flyes   1x 10,  1x 6-8

Incline dumbbell curls   1x 10,  1x 6-8
EZ bar curls   1x 10,  1x 6-8
Nautilus curls   1x 6-8


Forward crunches   3x 20-25
Reverse crunches   3x 12-15

Leg extensions   1x 15,  1x 12,  1x 10-12
Leg press   1x 12,  1x 12, 1x 10-12
Hack squats   1x 12,  1x 8-10

Lying leg curls   1x 8-10, 1x 8-10
Single leg curls  1x 8-10

Standing calf raise   1x 10-12,  1x 10-12,
Seated calf raise   1x 10-12

As you can see, Dorian Yates’ workout is not complex, nor marked by great volume. But the lack of complexity was never an issue for Dorian, as he used to train with extraordinary intensity.

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  1. Rick shaw
    • F&P Admin

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