Dorian Yates Training Routine Breakdown

Written by the Boostcamp staff
May 22,2024|9 min| 580

Follow the workout routine of “The Shadow”

Bodybuilding has seen some great physiques grace the stage, such as Mike Mentzer and Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, one prominent figure in bodybuilding history is Dorian Yates, a 6x Mr. Olympia champion that was nicknamed “The Shadow”, and credited with being one of the original “mass monsters”. Yates brought an entire new look to bodybuilding, sporting large amounts of muscle mass, but excellent conditioning to really show off his shreds. Many people today try to replicate the workouts of Yates, and that is exactly what we are here to discuss; the Dorian Yates workout routine

Let’s take a look at this intensive training routine, and you can decide if it is something that you are up to adding to your arsenal of lifts.

Who is Dorian Yates?

Born on April 19, 1962, Dorian Yates is an English retired professional bodybuilder, but his life was not always that glorious. Yates’ father died of a heart attack when he was 13 years old, then when Yates was 18, he and his friends were arrested while crossing Birmingham to get to a party. Each one of them received a 6 month sentence at Whatton Youth Detention Centre, where Yates would take up weight training, and he fell in love with it.

Yates stuck with training, and to fast forward things, he went on to win the Mr. Olympia title six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997 and has the fifth-highest number of Mr. Olympia wins in history, falling behind “The King" Ronnie Coleman (8), Lee Haney (8), the “Austrian Oak” Arnold Schwarzenegger (7), and “The Gift” Phil Heath (7). Though Dorian may not have the most Olympia wins, he is widely considered to be one of the top pro bodybuilders in history. Yates was well known for his high intensity training, top-level conditioning, and his sizable back.

Dorian Yates earned himself the nickname “The Shadow”, as he would show up to a competition, dominate the stage, and then no one would see him for months at a time because he went back to England to train. He brought a whole different level of mass to the stage, but did not slip up on conditioning, and came in absolutely shredded at each show (though his bulking phase was pretty extreme. However, Dorian Yates' training routine was inspired by none other than Mike Mentzer, and followed that high intensity mentality, so let’s take a look.

Dorian Yates Training Routine

Dorian Yates popularized High Intensity Training, also known as HIT, inspired by the late Mike Mentzer. The high intensity training method is a unique training style where you give it your 110% effort on only 1 working set per exercise. This is different from most training programs where you do multiple sets per exercise, especially bodybuilding training programs where they preach higher volume with moderate intensity, in order to stimulate muscle growth. 

Dorian Yates workout program is 6 days per week, with the following splits:

  • Day 1: Shoulders, Triceps and Abs

  • Day 2: Back and Rear Delts

  • Day 3: Rest Day

  • Day 4: Chest, Biceps and Abs

  • Day 5: Rest Day

  • Day 6: Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Calves

  • Day 7: Rest Day

Who is This Program For?

This program is designed for bodybuilders of different skill levels, from novice to intermediate and advanced. Now, while you do have the opportunity to gain some strength on this workout program, it is worth noting that you are not training for a strength sport like powerlifting, so don’t go into this expecting to hit some crazy one rep maxes on those compound lifts. 

When it comes to how long to run the Dorian Yates training program, you are able to do this for about 12 weeks before restarting it or finding a new workout program. 

Exercises Included in the Dorian Yates Training Program

The Dorian Yates Training Program includes a wide mix of exercises from compound exercises like the bench press, to accessory movements like the tricep pushdowns to fine tune the muscles. 

As far as rep ranges, you typically will be doing 2 warm up sets between 10 and 15 reps, and then one set until muscular failure which should be about 6-8 reps.

More Workout Programs

Now, if you are not a fan of the Dorian Yates training program which can be found right on the Boostcamp App, you can check out plenty of other workout routines on Boostcamp! You can choose from over 50 free pre-written workout programs, with several variations of popular splits like the upper lower and push pull legs splits, as well as programs designed for strength athletes like powerlifters and even Olympic lifters or strongmen. 

However, you do not have to choose a pre-written program if that is not something you want, as you are able to create your own workout program that caters specifically to your goals. You can track your workouts and make sure that you are heading in the right direction, like your own personal trainer.

Dorian Yates Workout Program Wrap Up

When it comes to intense bodybuilding training programs, the Dorian Yates workout routine is definitely one that can push you to the limit. With the high intensity training method, you are going all out on your last set, leaving nothing in the tank, forcing the muscle to grow. 

That being said, will you be giving the Dorian Yates workout routine a try? Or will you be choosing from another Boostcamp program? Let us know, and be sure to follow Boostcamp on Instagram and subscribe on YouTube!