Reflecting on his retirement, Dorian Yates considers his injury a blessing in disguise.


What could have happened if Dorian Yates didn’t retire after his sixth win? That’s a question that pops up in many fans eyes when looking back to bodybuilding’s past. The truth of the matter is that Dorian couldn’t continue to compete. His tricep tear was very serious and caused Dorian to earn his final Olympia victory by the skin of his teeth. He knew then that he would rather go out on top than continue towards a downward path. In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Dorian Yates explains how he now considers the injury a blessing in disguise as it forced him to focus more on long term health.

If Dorian Yates never tore his tricep muscle – he would have continued his laser focus on pro bodybuilding. While Dorian did have some feeling that he might want to soon retire (he described his final few years as feeling more like a job than a passion), it was likely that his dedication to the sport would have kept him going strong.

Many fans most likely wish this could have been the case. He was a six time Olympia champion. If he hadn’t gotten injured perhaps he could have continued dominating for a few more years. Instead, Dorian won his final Mr. Olympia by an extremely close margin. It was over. Dorian Yates’ prime years of bodybuilding were behind him. He decided to end it on top rather than slowly peter out.

But while fans might be disappointed by his retirement, Dorian Yates sees it as a blessing in disguise. In this newly released footage from the cutting room floor of Generation Iron 3, Dorian believes it was better for his overall health to stop bodybuilding. He would have never stopped for those reasons in his prime – he wasn’t worrying about his long term health. All he cared about was being the best.

The injury forced him into retirement. This then altered his entire lifestyle. Today, Dorian Yates maintains a smaller physique, focuses on meditation, and maintains a healthy lifestyle focused on longevity.

Dorian Yates claims to be thankful for the injury. It forced him to do something better for his future health. He might not have seen it that way at the time. But looking back, Dorian fears what could have been if he didn’t stop. Would he have massive injuries and problems similar to Ronnie Coleman? Would he have died young like a handful of mass monsters in recent years?

It’s truly impossible to say for sure. Ultimately, fate intervened and forced Dorian Yates’ hand. Perhaps it was all for the better. He still stands as one of the most legendary bodybuilders in the history of the sport. Would a few more Olympia wins change that? Probably not. In the end, he received a change in lifestyle, a possible longer and healthier future, and is still seen as a legend. He got to have his cake and eat it too. All it took was an extreme tricep tear.

You can watch Dorian Yates’ full comments in our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview segment above. You can also see Dorian and many other legends in Generation Iron 3. Available now on digital. Click here or the banner below to own your digital copy today.

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