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Watch > Episode > Dorian Yates - Evolution Of The Shadow

Dorian Yates - Evolution Of The Shadow


In bodybuilding, few names command as much respect and awe as Dorian Yates, the six-time Mr. Olympia champion. Nicknamed the “Shadow” for his enigmatic presence on stage and his ability to dominate in near darkness, Yates revolutionised the sport with his groundbreaking training philosophy, unparalleled work ethic, and a physique that redefined the standards of bodybuilding excellence. One of London Real’s most popular guests, in this up-close-and-personal interview, Brian Rose and Dorian sit down to discuss his training philosophy, bodybuilding innovations, and the indomitable mindset that propelled Yates to the pinnacle of bodybuilding excellence.

Born on April 19, 1962, in Walmley, England, Dorian Yates discovered bodybuilding at the age of 13. Inspired by the muscular physiques he saw in bodybuilding magazines, Yates began his journey into the world of weightlifting and body sculpting. Little did the young Yates know that he would go on to become one of the most dominant forces in the history of the sport.

Yates’ early years were marked by a disciplined approach to training and a commitment to pushing his body to its limits. In 1983, he earned his professional status after winning the Mr. England title, marking the beginning of a career that would leave an indelible mark on the world of bodybuilding.

Dorian Yates’ reign as Mr. Olympia began in 1992, and what followed was an era of unprecedented dominance. From 1992 to 1997, Yates secured six consecutive Mr. Olympia titles, an achievement that underscored his physical prowess, meticulous training methods, and commitment to pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible in bodybuilding.

Yates’ physique was characterised by a combination of mass, symmetry, and conditioning that set him apart from his competitors. His back development, in particular, became legendary, earning him the nickname the “Shadow” for the way he seemed to emerge from the shadows on stage with a physique that cast a daunting presence over the competition.

Dorian Yates’ training philosophy, known as High-Intensity Training (HIT), became a hallmark of his success. HIT emphasised brief, intense workouts with a focus on progressive overload, allowing for optimal muscle stimulation and growth. The approach defied conventional training wisdom, but under Yates’ guidance, it proved to be a revolutionary method that delivered unparalleled results.

His training principles, outlined in the “Blood and Guts” video series, became a source of inspiration for aspiring bodybuilders worldwide. Yates’ emphasis on quality over quantity and the importance of recovery were instrumental in changing the landscape of professional bodybuilding.

As with many athletes at the pinnacle of their sport, Dorian Yates faced his share of challenges. Persistent injuries, particularly to his triceps, ultimately led to Yates retiring from professional bodybuilding in 1997 after his sixth consecutive Mr. Olympia win. Despite the premature end to his competitive career, Yates’ impact on the sport endured.

Dorian Yates’ legacy extends far beyond his competitive years. His influence on the bodybuilding community is immeasurable, with many contemporary bodybuilders acknowledging his impact on their own training approaches. Yates’ commitment to pushing the limits of human potential in bodybuilding, combined with his business ventures and philanthropy, has solidified his status as a living legend in the fitness world.

Dorian Yates, the “Shadow,” remains a towering figure in the history of bodybuilding. His journey from a young enthusiast in England to a six-time Mr. Olympia champion is a testament to his unwavering dedication, pioneering training methods, and an indomitable spirit that continues to inspire generations of bodybuilders.

As the shadow cast his influence over the world of bodybuilding, Dorian Yates has redefined what it meant to be a champion, leaving an enduring legacy that transcends the confines of the stage and reverberates through the realms of training, discipline, and the pursuit of excellence.


00:00 | Trailer
02:39 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
04:52 Brian’s introduction
05:43 They didn’t realize then what they were getting into
07:25 The Shadow had been following him around
09:11 People are referring back to bodybuilders of 1990s for inspiration
12:49 Very difficult to be The Shadow now
15:02 With more training information and more technology we seem to have lost heart and work ethic
18:57 Your physical output is only going to be as good as your motivation
28:49 The psychology of going into a competition not one hundred percent fit
35:51 Did injury keep Dorian from competing for Mr
Olympia for the seventh time
40:37 The blood and guts training videos
45:19 Getting ready for training in the zone
52:15 Trauma is stored inside ourselves, sometimes released in Yoga or Ayahuasca ceremonies
54:44 The effect of Dorian’s childhood traumas on his becoming a bodybuilder
1:01:26 Life Is a Movement, Dorian’s growing awareness of his spirituality
1:09:27 Our earthly body is just a vehicle, we have something else inside us which is the power
1:13:57 Dorian’s experience of psychedelics and how he is taking this further
1:30:13 The intention of going to Costa Rica for ayahuasca ceremonies
1:32:25 Society’s conflicting views around alcohol and psychedelics
1:36:53 Drug use and testing in sport
1:42:32 Dorian’s view of testosterone replacement as one gets older
1:47:42 His opinions on cannabis
1:56:14 What Dorian is thinking about the anger in the world today
2:00:37 What ego is to Dorian
2:03:12 What Dorian may be doing in twelve years
2:04:16 What scares Dorian
2:05:05 What he thinks will happen to us when we die
2:09:20 The last six years of evolution of London Real and Dorian Yates2:13:56 Just do something positive
2:15:34 Brian’s summing up.


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