Dorian Yates Leads Fitness Star Mike Thurston Through Intense Bodybuilding Leg Workout

Mike Thurston

Dorian Yates pushed Mike Thurston to failure with his latest leg routine.

Dorian Yates became known for his massive back during his time on stage. His overall passion and motivation in the gym built a championship physique. Yates continues to work in the gym and lead some intense workouts. Fitness star Mike Thurston joined Yates for an insane leg workout.

Yates won the Olympia title six consecutive times from 1992-1997. He is now 60 years old and maintains a shredded physique in retirement. Thurston has built a huge following on social media eclipsing millions of followers. This is not the first time that the two have gotten together, hitting a chest and bicep workout previously.

Below, checkout the full details of the workout between Dorian Yates and Mike Thurston.

Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates and Mike Thurston Leg Workout

Deep Wall Squat

The warmup portion of the workout was a deep wall squat. This was to stretch out the muscles before taking on some heavy weight. To get the most out of the warmup, you should keep your legs close together.

“You can feel the bottom of the glutes stretching. You’re just going to sit there for two minute. Well, I tend to do the static stretching more after the workout these days. When the whole body loosens up, then I’ll do some mobility movements with you.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dorian Yates (@thedorianyates)

Lying Bent Over Knee Oblique Twist/Leg Raise Twist

The next exercise was done by swinging hips side to side. Dorian Yates led Mike Thurston through this part of the workout and demonstrated it himself.

“It’s working around your lower back and your glutes, it’s warming that up. Now we’ll start with the first one now.”

Leg Extension Machine

Following two exercises that could be categorized as warmups or stretches, Yates and Thurston hit the major parts of the workout. It began with the leg extension machine. Yates suggested that you remain standing following sets on this machine.

“If you sit still, you delay the recovery because you’re just sitting there and letting all the waste sit in your legs. If you move around a little bit and breathe.”

Dorian Yates explained that he does 10 minutes of cardio per week. Also, during leg day, Yates focuses on performing strong reps rather than a high number. This is why he focuses on reps before hitting failure.

Lying Leg Press Machine

The lying leg press machine is up next. This is an exercise that hits hamstrings, quads, and glutes. There are certain instances where legs can be hit all at once and this is one of those workouts.

“You’re going to get more out of this as far as quad work. You’re going to feel this a lot more. We’re not going to need to warm up too much, one or two sets to warm up, and then all-in.”

Yates is an advocate of warming up before workouts but he believes there is such thing as “excessive warmups.”

Hack Squat Machine

The hack squat machine is one of the best to activate the quads. To get the best out of this machine, it is beneficial to work slowly on the way down before exploding up.

“Find your foot position, it’s going to be dependent on your leg length generally. We’re going close yeah. Toes are bent out like that. We’re going to go down deep here.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mike Thurston (@mikethurston)

Prone Leg Curl

The penultimate workout was prone leg curls. This is another workout to hit hamstrings. Dorian Yates explained to Mike Thurston that he does not have to go to failure in every exercise.

“The lesson to be learned there is: you don’t necessarily need to go to absolute failure beyond failure with every single body part.”

Barbell Stiff Leg Deadlift

To end the day, the duo hit barbell stiff leg deadlifts. The workout lasted close to an hour and both were exhausted at the end. Dorian Yates continues to be an influential name in bodybuilding and shared his wisdom with Mike Thurston during this workout. Now, others can take it on and see how taxing it can be.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.