Dorian Yates Reveals High Intensity Training Strategy

The bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates offers some sage advice for bodybuilding strategies.

Bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates recently touched on the high-intensity training strategies he utilized to build his Olympia-level physique. The six-time Mr. Olympia knows a thing or two about building a quality physique and his strategies will no doubt help others reach new heights of their own.

Building a championship-level physique can be simple and complicated all at once. While there are tons of exercises out there to get the job done, understanding how to utilize them is the difference between success and simply spinning your wheels. Having a specific goal in mind is the first step. From there building a specific strategy can be easier to tackle. In this case we’re talking about building high quality dense muscle. Dorian Yates is an expert in the subject and recently shared a bit of his knowledge.

In order to become a six-time Mr. Olympia, Dorian Yates had to train unlike any other bodybuilder at the time. In his heyday, the level of training intensity was what set him apart. “The Shadow,” as documented in the bio-pic “Dorian Yates The Original Mass Monster,” would eventually introduce a whole new level of physique to the world. In doing so he ushered in a new era of bodybuilding, the era of the mass monster. To this day we can see the fingerprints Yates has left on professional bodybuilding.

The Shadow Talks Training Strategies

In a recent YouTube video, Dorian Yates gave some tips on building high-quality muscle. According to the bodybuilding legend intensity is the name of the game. But training isn’t all about intensity. It’s also about striking a fine balance between intensity and volume.

“We know we need to send a stimulus but then we also need to recover from this stimulus before any kind of over-compensation or growth can take place so there needs to be sufficient stimulus but then we need to recover before we come back. Try and do the whole thing over again. The key to the stimulus is that stress, that overload, that’s intensity. It doesn’t require that message to be repeated over and over again. Once you go into failure you could do more sets and go do more sets to failure but I don’t believe that you’d be getting any benefit from it. I believe we get a negative because now it’s just making it harder for your body to recover. It’s the right amount like medicine, for recovery.

“People say all the top bodybuilders don’t do that because they actually over train but they’re able to recover from it because they’re taking high levels of hormones. I also took high levels of hormones but why not have the most productive training as well?”

When to Train With Intensity

Unlike many modern-day bodybuilders, Dorian Yates understands that working harder isn’t always the best route. Working smarter will always be the key to success.

So when should you train with incredible intensity? Well, Dorian Yates has a specific strategy he chooses to follow that has yielded some great results.

“If you’re currently training, whatever you’re doing, let’s say you’re training four or five times a week and you’re currently doing that, and you’ve had no progress for the last two months, no measurable progress, no increase in muscle mass, strength, let’s get this straight. It’s not mysterious, this process. People try to make it complex because they’re trying to sell products but it’s not complex. You won’t get bigger muscles unless you get stronger muscles and more power by certain type of training without building the muscle mass. So, if you haven’t progressed in two months, you won’t progress in the next two months because you’re doing the same thing. If that’s the case, what have you got to lose by cutting your volume down?

“Let’s try training two or three times a week, short workouts but when you go in there you put absolutely everything into it. You concentrate, focus, push those last sets to failure, control the negative, focus on everything you do for a maximum one hour, two or three times a week. You’ll probably find you’re going to start growing again.”


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The man’s knowledge can’t be denied. As said before Dorian Yates may just know a thing or two about this whole bodybuilding endeavor. Check out some of his training strategies to build a massive back and watch your gains explode. To check out more of his strategies from his recent video click here.

What do you think of Dorian Yates and his muscle-building strategies?

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News and Editorial Writer at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.


Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.