Dorian Yates’ Workout Routine & Diet Plan – His Arm, Leg, Chest, Mass & Cardio Training Style

Dorian Yates Workout Training

It’s hard to believe that Dorian Yates grew up without any passion for sports.

Unfortunately, he got into crime.

By 16, he had joined a skinhead gang.

By the time he was 19, he ended up in a youth detention center.

Even though he wasn’t into sports, he gained quite a reputation for his athletic physique. As an inmate, he did powerlifting as entertainment.

When muscles developed, he realized he could be successful in fitness.

When he was released at the age of 21, he started going to the gym.

In 1983, he started his life in fitness, rising to the highest ranks of bodybuilding. At 24, he won his first major competition and took home a trophy.

He was then determined to make a name for himself. By the time he was 26, he was a professional bodybuilder.

Dorian Yates’ Workout & Training Program – All You Need to Know

Current Stats

  • Weight: 121 kg./266 pounds
  • Birthday: 19 April 1962
  • Birthplace: Solihull, Warwickshire, England
Competition Wins (first place):
  • 1984 – Mr. Birmingham novice
  • 1985 – Novice West Coast (England)
  • 1986 – EFBB British Championships (London)
  • 1988 – EFBB British Championships (Pro Card)
  • 1991 – IFBB Night of the Champions, New York
  • 1991 – IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham
  • 1992 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Helsinki, Finland
  • 1992 – IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham
  • 1993 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1994 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1994 – IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid
  • 1994 – IFBB German Grand Prix, Duisburg
  • 1994 – IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham
  • 1995 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 1996 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Chicago, Illinois
  • 1996 – IFBB Spanish Grand Prix, Madrid
  • 1996 – IFBB German Grand Prix, Darmstadt
  • 1996 – IFBB English Grand Prix, Nottingham
  • 1997 – IFBB Mr. Olympia, Long Beach, California
  • 1994 – Dorian form a sportswear company with Ray & Mike Mentzer
  • 2006 – Created a nutrition company
  • 2016 – Opened gym franchises with branches in UK and USA

Workout Principles of Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates

He had a high-intensity training program which he called the “Blood and Guts Training.

It was ‘kinda extreme, but then he got the extreme results.

He has 8 workout principles that will give you a Mr. Olympia body:

1) Perform one all-out set to failure for each exercise

Dorian got superb results when he performed one all-out working set per exercise.

Research has shown that training to failure helps you to achieve max use of the fast-twitch muscle fibers.

2) Overloading the eccentric phase of your reps

Dorian believed in the science of eccentric training.

Here talks about the importance of emphasis on the negative reps in weight training.

3) Performing multiple exercises for each body part

Dorian trained each muscle group using a large variety of exercises. Just his back routine alone consisted of six different exercises!

He proved to the world that you can train to failure or with high intensity and still make use of multiple exercises per body part.

4) Record all workouts in a logbook

He did this so he could look at his previous workouts. His goal was to beat the logbook every single time he trained.

5) If you want big legs, stop doing squats

Dorian came to the conclusion that squats wouldn’t build his legs with his body structure.

For big legs, he realized he needed to focus on intensive muscle exercises like leg extensions, hack squats, and leg presses.

6) Pre-exhaust the back with nautilus pull-overs

Dorian says that if you want to develop your upper back, use the Nautilus pullover machine. See him explain it here.

7) Train both heads of the biceps

He knew that if he wanted to improve his lagging biceps he needed to use three different exercises: incline dumbbell curls, standing EZ-bar-curls, and machine preacher curls.

8) Train each body part more than just once a week

A lot of bodybuilders train each of their muscle groups once a week. Dorian believes this is a mistake.

He discovered through trial and error that his best results were to train each muscle group once every 6 days.

He used a training split that he invented.

Dorian Yates Training Methods

1) Doing the right stuff

Dorian Yates has figured out a lot of smart things and applied them in his bodybuilding training methods.

A lot of bodybuilders use the “monkey-see” and “monkey-do” training program – kind of doing what everyone else does without thinking too much about it.

But Dorian was just the opposite. He first broke stuff down, figuring out exactly what was responsible for building muscle mass, and what was the useless stuff.


He believed that high-intensity training with multiple exercises and forced reps per body part was the best way to train. This would achieve maximum muscle mass.

3) Smart Tricks

He also used a few tricks – like the pre-exhaust method, controlled negatives, and novel exercises.

These speeded up the muscle-building process.

He said, “I’ve relied on a number of Weider Training Principles since the very beginning of my bodybuilding career.”

They are aimed at achieving new levels of muscle growth and strength.

Dorian Yates Workout Routine

Dorian’s workout plan looked something like this:

Monday – Abs, Triceps, and Shoulders

  • 1 set of triceps pushdowns – 15 reps to warm up
  • 1 set of triceps pushdowns – 12 reps
  • 1 set of triceps pushdowns – 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of lying EZ- Curl extensions – 8-20 reps
  • 3 sets of smith machine presses – 15-30 reps
  • 2 sets of seated laterals – 8-20 reps
  • 2 sets of one arm cable lateral – 10-30 reps
  • 2 sets of dumbbell shrugs – 10-20 reps

Tuesday – Back

  • 3 sets of hammer strength pulldowns – 15-30 reps
  • 2 sets of barbell rows – 8-20 reps
  • 1 set of hammer strength one-arm row – 10 reps
  • 1 set of cable rows with an overhand grip – 10 reps
  • 1 Set of ‘Hammer-strength rear delt-machine’ – 10 reps
  • 1 set of bent over dumbbell raises – 10 reps
  • 1 set of hyperextensions – 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets of deadlifts – 8-12 reps


  • Day of rest

Thursday – Chest, Abs, and Biceps

  • 2 sets of incline dumbbell curls – 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of EZ barbell curls – 6-10 reps
  • 2 sets of nautilus curls – 6-10 reps
  • 3 sets of incline barbell press – 8-12 reps
  • 2 sets of hammer strength seated bench presses – 6-10 reps
  • 2 sets of incline dumbbell flyes – 8-10 reps
  • 1 set of cable crossovers – 10-12 reps


  • Day of rest

Saturday – Quads and Calves

  • 3 sets of leg extensions – 10-15 reps
  • 3 sets of leg presses – 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets of heck squats – 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets of lying leg curls – 10-12 reps
  • 1 set of stiff-legged deadlifts – 8-10 reps
  • 1 set of single-leg curls – 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of standing calf raise – 10-12 reps
  • 1 set of seated calf raises – 8-10 reps


  • Day of rest

Dorian Yates Diet

Dorian tried to eat at least 6 meals a day. This would keep his body fueled. He would keep his metabolism high.

He would ensure he got in lean proteins, complex carbs, and green veggies.

He would eat every 2-3 hours.

His meals were like this:

  • Meal 1 – Porridge with 10 egg whites. One scoop of protein supplement
  • Meal 2 – Whey Protein
  • Meal 3 – Drinks a Protein drink post-workout
  • Meal 4 – 2 Chicken Breasts, rice or potatoes, and green veggies
  • Meal 5 – Whey Protein
  • Meal 6 – A 12 oz. piece of steak, rice or potatoes, and green veggies
  • Meal 7 – Porridge with 6 egg whites. One scoop of protein supplement

Dorian Yates Supplements and Recommendations

Dorian would always use some type of dietary supplementation to enhance his potential and reach his goals.

He even has his own supplement company.

  1. A quality protein supplement: Simply put, using a quality protein supplement is a great way to get in the needed, daily protein requirements.
  2. Creatine: Increases strength to put in more during workouts.
  3. Pre-workout: To get more out of your training session –more energy, more pump, and increased focus
  4. Glutamine: An amino acid to build the immune system, supporting intestinal health and improve muscle recovery.
  5. BCAAs: Crucial for muscle recovery and growth – highly useful if you aren’t getting sufficient protein in your diet.

Recommendations of Dorian Yates

  • He recommends his products when you want to build your body as he has.
  • He recommends you make changes if you aren’t happy with your life. He did. He realized he was walking down the wrong path, and then started his fitness journey.
  • He recommends hard work as it gets you results. He worked tirelessly to get the dream body that he wanted – that’s why he won Mr. Olympia 6 times.

“The mind is key to everything, whatever you do physically is determined by your mindset” – Dorian Yates