“Mindset of a General Leading a Military Campaign”: How Bodybuilding Behemoth Dorian Yates ‘Planned’ and ‘Prepared’ to Win 6 Mr. Olympias

The bodybuilding icon Dorian Yates followed a highly intense training regime during his prime to build a Mr. Olympia-winning physique. After winning his first Sandow trophy in 1992, the English bodybuilder outperformed himself every year in the mid-1990s, securing six Mr. Olympia titles. At 61, the Shadow often shares his winning formula through his social media.

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Yates recently opened up about the attitude which made him one of the iconic bodybuilding legends in the history of the sport. In his latest Instagram post, the 6x Mr. Olympia champion revealed the strategy he followed before every bodybuilding competition.

Dorian Yates spills beans on his trophy-claiming mindset


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The athletes who focus on the journey rather than the trophy ultimately become the champions of any sport. Yates also had such a champion mentality and focused immensely on his training routine. The Shadow never hired a coach and trained by himself while learning and unlearning the ways to maximize muscle building. 

Before each contest, and increasingly so as the contests became bigger until it was the Mr Olympia, I always adopted the mindset of a General leading a military campaign,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. Yates mentioned that he never left any stone unturned while building his Mr. Olympia physique. The Shadow always ‘planned’ on doing extra to be ‘prepared’ in case of any unforeseen situation.

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This meant planning, preparing, and acquiring everything I would need in advance (where possible) leaving nothing to chance,” he revealed his winning tactics. “I would even ensure that I had up to 30% extra of everything I needed just in case of accidents, schedule changes, or just things getting lost,” he added. Apart from planning for the training, Yates had a habit of journaling everything he did at the gym, which helped him to rectify his mistakes.


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The Shadow is his own Guru

Dorian Yates took inspiration from bodybuilding legend Mike Mentzer to follow the HIT method. The high-intensity training with few repetitions followed by ample recovery helped Yates shine on the Mr. Olympia stage from 1992 to 1997. But he also followed his idol, Bruce Lee’s technique of writing down training rituals in the diary to amplify the bodybuilding results. 


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I got every single workout that I ever did from 1983 to 1997 written down. I wrote down every single workout and their notes underneath,” Yates once revealed. Dorian Yates is a man of discipline, and his dedication to the sport rewarded the arena with one of the gems of the sport. Now in his sixties, Yates continues to impart bodybuilding principles to his followers. Are you inspired by the English bodybuilder’s efforts? Let us know in the comments below.

Watch This Story: Mass Monster Dorian Yates, Who Trained His Muscles to Absolute Failure Urges Bodybuilders Against Lifting Heavy Weights

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