Dorian Yates

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Dorian Yates
Yates in June 2016
Personal info
NicknameThe Shadow
Born (1962-04-19) 19 April 1962 (age 62)
Solihull, Warwickshire, England
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[1]
Weight260 lb (118 kg) (contest)
290 lb (132 kg) (off-season)[1]
Professional career
  • Night Of Champions
  • 1990
Best win
  • Mr. Olympia
  • 1992–1997
PredecessorLee Haney
SuccessorRonnie Coleman

Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates (born 19 April 1962) is an English retired professional bodybuilder. He won the Mr. Olympia title six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997 and has the fifth-highest number of Mr. Olympia wins in history, ranking behind Ronnie Coleman (8), Lee Haney (8), Arnold Schwarzenegger (7), and Phil Heath (7). He is widely considered to be one of the top pro bodybuilders in history, and was well known for his high intensity training, top-level conditioning, and his wide, thick back.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates was born on 19 April 1962, in Solihull, then in Warwickshire, England. He grew up on a farm in Hurley, rural Warwickshire. Yates's father died of a heart attack when he was 13. He, his mother and his sister then moved to Walmley in Sutton Coldfield. As a professional bodybuilder, Yates lived in the Ladywood and Castle Vale areas of Birmingham.

When Yates was 18, he and his friends were arrested while crossing Birmingham to get to a party. Each of them received 6 months at Whatton Youth Detention Centre, where Yates would take up weight training.[citation needed]


Yates started working out in 1983 at Martin's Gym, the original bodybuilding gym located in Temple Row, Birmingham. During this time he won the 1984 Mr. Birmingham as a novice and in 1986 became the British Champion at Heavyweight for the first time.

His professional record consists of 15 major contest wins and two second-place finishes; from 1992 to his retirement in 1997 he won every single contest he entered. His career ended in large part due to chronic acute injuries, including torn biceps and triceps, the latter just three weeks prior to his final contest, the 1997 Mr. Olympia, which he won in spite of the injury; his win generated controversy among fellow athletes, critics, and amateurs, who thought the runner-up Nasser El Sonbaty deserved to win.[citation needed] He is one of only four men to retire as Mr. Olympia and the last to do so.[5]

Yates was a proponent of Arthur Jones and Mike Mentzer's high-intensity training (HIT) style of bodybuilding, which poses that maximum muscle stimulation can be reached through short and intense workout sessions instead of long and slow ones.[6][7] He said, “If you feel you can attempt a second set, then you couldn’t have been pulling out all the stops during the first set.”[8] Examples of his biggest lifts include 435-pound underhand barbell rows for 6-8 reps, 425-incline presses for 6-10 reps, and 595-pound barbell shrugs for 10-12 reps.[9] He earned the nickname "The Shadow" coined by Peter McGough for his tendency to unexpectedly appear at major bodybuilding contests and steal the win, having neither confirmed nor denied whether he would compete beforehand, and for spending most of his time between contests avoiding the public eye.

Yates is considered to be the first of the "mass monsters" in bodybuilding. He combined his enormous muscle mass along with peak conditioning, quoted as being "granite hardness". He believes that his injuries are due to his habit of maintaining an extreme level of training intensity all year long, even when approaching contests, while being on a severely restricted "cutting" diet which weakens the body overall.[10] Regarding the use of PEDs, he referenced the documentary Super Size Me and stated that eating three McDonald's meals a day is more harmful for the metabolism than his 12 years of regular steroid use.[11]

Post-competition career[edit]

Inside Temple Gym at Birmingham

In 1987, Yates purchased Temple Gym, located on Temple Street in Birmingham.[12] In 2006, he franchised four additional Temple Gym locations, three of which are in the UK. As of 2020, only the original Birmingham gym is still in operation. The Birmingham gym has now relocated from Temple Street to the city's jewellery quarter.[13]

Yates formed the California-based company Heavy Duty Inc. in 1994 with Mike Mentzer and Ray Mentzer.[14] The company marketed athletic apparel and bodybuilding-related books.

In 1998, Yates partnered with Kerry Kayes to form the bodybuilding supplement company CNP Professional, which marketed a Dorian Yates Approved product line in the U.S.[15] He left the company in 2006 to form his own company, Dorian Yates Ultimate Formulas, which offers a line of protein and weight-gain supplements. He started a second company in 2010, EU Peptides, which sells peptide hormones and other pro-hormone supplements. He left EU Peptides in 2012. In 2011, Yates founded a third company, DY Nutrition, which specializes in pre-workout formulas and has released several training DVDs.[16]

DY Nutrition is a line of supplements that consists of whey protein supplements, pre-workout, and post-workout supplements owned and endorsed by Yates.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Yates now lives in Spain. He is married to Brazilian fitness model Glauce "Gal" Ferreira,[18] who won the IFBB South American Bodyfitness event and was also the 2007 IFBB World Bodyfitness Champion.[19] They had met at the 2008 Arnold Classic,[20] and live in Marbella. Yates's son from his ex-wife Deb has also taken up bodybuilding and works closely with his father.[21]

Yates has described yoga and meditation as a life altering experience. He does yoga on a daily basis.

Yates believes the death toll of the holocaust is overexaggerated and stated in an interview that "two forensic studies" prove that no gas was ever used in Auschwitz.[22]

He has endorsed the use of some psychedelic entheogens for religious and spiritual purposes, including ayahuasca.[23] Yates is also open about his use of cannabis which began before his bodybuilding career; he has been an advocate for cannabis use and legalisation since the late 2000s due to its relaxing properties, temporary increases in respiratory capacity, and claimed anti-cancer properties - among other things.[24]


  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
  • Competition Weight: 265 pounds (120 kg)[2]
  • Chest size: 140 cm (55 in)
  • Thigh Size: 77 cm (30 in)
  • Waist Size: 86 cm (34 in)
  • Calf Size: 55 cm (22 in)
  • Upper Arm Size: 53 cm (21 in)

Bodybuilding titles[edit]

  • 1984 Mr Birmingham Novice, 1st
  • 1985 World Games, 7th Heavyweights
  • 1986 British Championships, 1st Heavyweight
  • 1988 British Championships, 1st Heavyweight and overall
  • 1990 Night of Champions, 2nd
  • 1991 Night of Champions, 1st
  • 1991 Mr. Olympia, 2nd
  • 1991 English Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1992 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 1992 English Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1993 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 1994 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 1994 Mr. Worldwide, 1st
  • 1994 Spanish Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1994 German Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1994 English Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1995 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 1996 Mr. Olympia, 1st
  • 1996 Spanish Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1996 German Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1996 English Grand Prix, 1st
  • 1997 Mr. Olympia, 1st



  1. ^ a b "Dorian Yates Biography – Fitness Volt". 28 August 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Dorian Yates bio". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  3. ^ "FLEX Who was the Greatest Bodybuilder of All Time?". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  4. ^ "IFBB Pro Greatest Bodybuilder of the Past 65 Years". Archived from the original on 14 March 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  5. ^ Team, The Barbell (5 November 2023). "The Mr. Olympia Record Book". The Barbell. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  6. ^ Dorian Yates Speaks, 11 May 2001, retrieved 2 July 2013
  7. ^ High-Intensity Training the Mike Mentzer Way
  8. ^ Merritt, Greg (16 November 2023). "HIT Training: Ultimate Guide to High-Intensity Workouts". The Barbell. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  9. ^ Merritt, Greg (9 July 2021). "How Strong Was Dorian Yates?". The Barbell. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  10. ^ Carter, Dorian Yates Addresses The Rumours 1 / 2, archived from the original on 12 December 2021, retrieved 29 January 2019
  11. ^ London Real, Dorian Yates - Effects of Steroids & Health | London Real, retrieved 29 January 2019
  12. ^ IFBB Hall of Fame Dorian Yates, archived from the original on 27 December 2010, retrieved 2 July 2013
  13. ^ A Brief History of Temple Gym Birmingham and Dorian Yates Temple Gym. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  14. ^ Little, John (2005). Wisdom of Mike Mentzer. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0071452931.
  15. ^ About CNP, archived from the original on 1 September 2013, retrieved 2 July 2013
  16. ^ DY Nutrition, retrieved 2 July 2013
  17. ^ An Interview With Six-Time Mr. Olympia Winner, Dorian Yates
  18. ^ "Gal Ferreira Yates - Whey Maromba". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  19. ^ Dorian Yates' Knockout Wife Glauce Ferreira
  20. ^ 6 Time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates Getting Married
  21. ^ Yates & Davis 10 Years Later - Next Generation Blood & Guts Training At Temple Gym!
  23. ^ Dorian Yates - Into The Shadow, retrieved 2 July 2013
  24. ^ "Joe Rogan Experience #989 - Dorian Yates". JRE Podcast. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  25. ^ "Yates, Dorian".

External links[edit]

Preceded by Mr. Olympia
Succeeded by