Generation Iron Dorian Yates Steroids

Yates is, and has always been, the most open bodybuilder about steroids.

It’s no secret that the world of bodybuilding tries to actively avoid the topic of steroid use. We’ve touched on the issue before – with the exception of natural divisions, almost all bodybuilders use steroids. Bodybuilders hardly talk about it, the organizations hardly talk about it, they just plain ignore it. It’s refreshing then, when Dorian Yates is so open about steroids in bodybuilding and more specifically – the fact that he used steroids for most of his career.

Yates recently went into detail in an article with Muscular Development where he talks candidly about personal steroid use. This isn’t the first time that he has worked with MD about his past, thoughts, and attitudes about steroids. The fact is that Yates has always been very open and outgoing when it comes to talking about steroids. He was even recently featured on London Real, where he talks at length over a 90 minute interview about his experiences with steroid use. He doesn’t hold back at all. Take a look at this for example:

“Every drug has negatives but I can only speak from personal experience. I took steroids on and off from when I was competing in Amateur competitions in the British championship level up into the professional level from ’85 until ’97 when I retired. That’s 12 years of consistent use. Of course, athletes don’t use the recommended dose, they use way more than the regular dose. I can say in all that time I did get some side-effects like water retention, some acne, yes your aggression levels are higher but it depends what you do with that aggression. I took it out in the gym, I utilized it for my training.”

– Yates talking on London Real

It’s a blast of fresh air to just hear someone actually talking about it. He isn’t a radical defending steroids or sending an outcry against it. He’s just being honest and stating the facts as he knows them – through personal experience. There’s a moment in the London Real interview where Dorian Yates makes a comparison to western culture’s obsession with fast food and the documentary Super Size Me. The point he makes is a pretty valid one: there are plenty of legal things, like fast food, that are far more harmful to a person’s health. Over the counter drugs and greasy fast food are common contributions to premature deaths across the board – so why is everyone so very serious about steroids?


Well, for one, there is the idea of fairness in competitions. If a person wants to lead a healthy lifestyle, they wouldn’t be able to compete at the same level as IFBB pros as it stands now. There is also much debate as to what facts are true and which ones are over-exaggerated when it comes to the damage steroids cause to the human body – so perhaps it is incorrect to label fast food and over the counter drugs in the same category. But we’re not making a statement for or against steroid use – and neither is Dorian Yates.

To borrow another quote from the London Real, Yates puts it ever-so-simply right here:

“Personally, my advice would be, unless you’re competing, I wouldn’t really consider it.”

– Yates talking on London Real

The problem, as Yates sees it, is that in today’s society everyone is taking steroids. People who think it can be a magic cure to big muscles and don’t put in any of the work. Back when Yates was competing, it was only the serious bodybuilding competitors who even considered using steroids as a way to maximize muscle. It wasn’t a popular drug. It was a drug used by the most serious of athletes. It’s not a shortcut – it’s an enhancement.

And that has always been part of the problem. If no one is talking about steroids, then no one is going to get a good understanding about it. The over abuse of drugs is something that has existed and will probably always exist – but with bodybuilding bigger than it has ever been and pro bodybuilders being glorified by an even bigger base of fans; there needs to be an open voice to help usher in the responsible use of steroids in bodybuilding.

It’s here to stay and if more iconic greats were open about steroid use, like Dorian Yates, maybe we would be on a better path to a more responsible and serious understanding on steroids and its place in the fitness and the bodybuilding world. Perhaps Yates’ conversational article in Muscular Development magazine can be a good start.


A big shout out goes to the London Real for their wonderfully in depth interview with Dorian Yates. You can catch the whole video right here. What do you think about Dorian Yates and his open voice about steroids? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on our official Facebook and Twitter pages. Stay pumped.

GI Team
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