Dorian Yates talks about the lessons he’s learned from lifting super heavy weights during training.


During the filming of Ronnie Coleman: The King, we asked a lot of pro bodybuilders about the trend of lifting super heavy weights during training. Ronnie was notoriously known for his powerlifter style and hardcore heavy training. Ultimately, this was likely what contributed to his injuries and needed surgeries later in life. In our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview, Dorian Yates explains why lifting super heavy weights is a risk that bodybuilders should not take… and provides very little benefit.

When a casual fan thinks of bodybuilding, they see mass monster physiques. This often creates the implication that bodybuilders train hardcore and heavy in order to achieve their massive size. The reality is that this is not needed. While bodybuilders certainly train more intensely than the average individual, massive powerlifting is hardly required to become a mass monster.

Ronnie Coleman is a bodybuilder who is known for his insane hardcore lifts. It’s also likely a contributor to his injuries later in life. During the filming of Ronnie Coleman: The King, we spoke to many pro bodybuilders about lifting heavy. One such bodybuilder was Dorian Yates. His full answer was unable to fit into the final film. That’s why we are unearthing it from our GI Vault in an extended interview segment.

Dorian Yates looks at someone like Ronnie Coleman and sees someone who took unnecessary risks. He respects Ronnie as an athlete but feels that he could have achieved the same results without his hardcore powerlifting training style.

“And I saw the stuff that Ronnie was doing and I thought, ‘That’s crazy.’ Because there’s a lot of risk there doing those powerlifting type weights and no benefit apart from – ‘Wow. That looks impressive on camera.'”

– Dorian Yates on set of Ronnie Coleman: the King

Dorian Yates didn’t always think this way though. Much like his peers, he trained hard and heavy during his prime years. This ultimately led to some injuries that he could have avoided. After facing those injuries, he looked back and learned that there were ways he could have been just as successful with his physique without risking injury.

Dorian Yates explains that now when he gives training advice to young bodybuilders, he advises them to increase reps and lower the volume. This is particularly true during the weeks leading up to contest prep. When an athlete is cutting weight and depleting their energy reserves, heavy lifting becomes even riskier.

You can watch Dorian Yates’ full comments in our latest GI Exclusive Vault interview segment above. You can also watch Ronnie Coleman: The King on digital today. Click here or the banner below to stream or download.

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Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.