Dorian Yates Workout Routine (7-Day Split)

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

| Published on

| Last updated on

Fact Checked

Dorian Yates, a name synonymous with bodybuilding, is a legendary figure who transformed the realm of bodybuilding with his unique approach and indomitable spirit.

Born in England in 1962, Yates reigned as the winner of Mr. Olympia six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997, etching his name in the annals of bodybuilding history.

Known for his high-intensity training methodology, Dorian Yates’ workout routine revolutionized the conventional workout splits with its laser focus on fewer sets, intense effort, and longer recovery periods.

His workout routine, often referred to as the ‘Dorian Yates Blood and Guts’ program, is still celebrated and followed by many aspiring bodybuilders worldwide.

Overview of Dorian Yates Workout Split

Dorian Yates’ workout routine, also known as the Dorian Yates Blood and Guts program, is a four-day split that focuses each workout on specific muscle groups.

Testosterone Booster
TestoPrime | Natural Testosterone Booster
4.8

Unleash the full testosterone-producing potential in your body. Improve muscle growth and increase fat loss fast.

Learn more Read My Review

The split arranges the workouts across the week to provide ample recovery time for the muscle groups worked in each session.

  • Day 1: Dorian devotes the first day of the week to training his chest and biceps.
  • Day 2: On the second day, Yates would entirely focus on working out his legs.
  • Day 3: The third day is a designated rest day to let the body recuperate.
  • Day 4: Yates trained his shoulders and triceps intensely on the fourth day.
  • Day 5: The fifth day is dedicated to the back and rear deltoids, some of the most challenging muscle groups to train.
  • Day 6: Again, a rest day for his body to recover before the next cycle starts.
  • Day 7: The cycle repeats, starting again with chest and biceps.

The principle behind this split is to channel high intensity in each workout, focusing on fewer sets with maximum effort, followed by a substantial rest period.

This approach is a stark contrast to the conventional methodology, which often involves multiple sets with numerous repetitions.

The Dorian Yates workout split echoes his belief in quality over quantity, and this principle has been instrumental in shaping his illustrious bodybuilding career.

Day 1: Dorian Yates Chest and Biceps Workout

On the first day, Dorian Yates focused on two muscle groups – the chest and biceps. Here’s a detailed breakdown of his workout routine:

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press: Starting with the chest, Yates typically performed 1 set of the Incline Barbell Bench Press for 6-8 reps. This exercise was key to developing the upper part of his chest.
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: This was performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Flat Bench Dumbbell Press helped to add depth and fullness to his chest.
  • Cable Crossover: Yates concluded his chest workout with 1 set of Cable Crossover for 6-8 reps, which enhanced his chest’s width and separation.
  • Barbell Curl: Moving on to biceps, Yates usually started with 1 set of Barbell Curl for 6-8 reps, an exercise that provided an excellent stretch and contraction in his biceps.
  • Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl: This was performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl played a crucial role in defining the shape of his biceps.
  • Concentration Curl: Yates ended his first-day workout with 1 set of Concentration Curl for 6-8 reps, targeting the peak of his biceps for that distinctive mountain-like appearance.

As can be seen, Yates believed in the philosophy of fewer sets with maximum weight and effort, ensuring that every single rep counted.

His methodical approach to training his chest and biceps on the first day of his workout split set the tone for the rest of his week, demonstrating his relentless pursuit of bodybuilding excellence.

Day 2: Dorian Yates Legs Workout

On the second day of his regimen, Dorian Yates focused on the legs – one of the most demanding and critical muscle groups.

His leg workout routine comprised the following exercises:

  • Leg Extensions: Yates began his leg workout with 1 set of Leg Extensions for 6-8 reps. This exercise was instrumental in warming up his knees and preparing his quads for the workout ahead.
  • Leg Press: Following this, he would perform 1 set of the Leg Press for 6-8 reps. The Leg Press placed an emphasis on his quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, contributing to the overall development of his lower body.
  • Hack Squat: This exercise was done for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Hack Squat is a compound exercise that targeted his quads, hamstrings, and glutes, offering a complete leg workout.
  • Lying Leg Curls: Yates would then proceed to do 1 set of Lying Leg Curls for 6-8 reps. This exercise specifically targeted his hamstrings, helping to balance the development of his upper and lower legs.
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: Performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps, Stiff-Legged Deadlifts were a key part of Yates’ routine, targeting his hamstrings and lower back.
  • Standing Calf Raises: Yates ended his leg workout with 1 set of Standing Calf Raises for 6-8 reps, working out the calf muscles for a symmetrical lower body appearance.

The second day of Yates’ workout routine underscores his exceptional commitment to strength and symmetry, which is evident in the rigorous exercises he chose to sculpt his legs. In the demanding world of bodybuilding, Yates’ approach to leg day is a testament to his determination and his unwavering belief in quality over quantity.

Day 3: Rest and Recuperation

On the third day, Dorian Yates took a well-deserved break.

This day was entirely dedicated to rest and recovery.

Contrary to popular belief, this is not an inactive day but a crucial part of the Dorian Yates Blood and Guts program where the body rebuilds and strengthens in response to the intense training sessions.

Rest days are essential for muscle growth and injury prevention.

During these periods, the body repairs the microscopic damage caused to the muscle fibers during workouts, leading to increased size and strength.

Powerful Fat Burner
Fat Burner Diet Drops: Ultra Fat Loss Supercharger
4.9

Are you serious about FINALLY losing that stubborn belly fat? Then this is for you. Powerful fat burner that helps you supercharge your metabolism for fast results.

Get 25% OFF How It Works

Furthermore, these breaks allow the body to replenish energy stores and reduce the risk of overtraining, which could lead to injuries and hinder progress.

For Dorian, rest was as important as training. He understood that the growth doesn’t happen in the gym while lifting weights, but at home during recovery, emphasizing the importance of nutrition and rest in his regime.

Broscience Verdict
D-Bal | Legal Dianabol Alternative
4.8

Legal muscle-building supplement that's designed to mimic the effects of dianabol without all side effects.

Find Best Price

This day of rest prepared him for the next round of intense training, allowing him to perform at his best and continue his journey towards bodybuilding excellence.

Day 4: Dorian Yates Shoulders and Triceps Workout

On the fourth day, Dorian Yates targeted the shoulders and triceps.

His routine was designed to sculpt these muscle groups with precision, developing their size and definition with the following exercises:

  • Smith Machine Overhead Press: Yates began his shoulder workout with 1 set of the Smith Machine Overhead Press for 6-8 reps. This exercise was crucial in building the size and strength of his deltoids.
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise: This was performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Dumbbell Lateral Raise focused on the sides of his shoulders, increasing the width and roundness of his deltoids.
  • Bent Over Lateral Raise: Yates completed his shoulder workout with 1 set of Bent Over Lateral Raise for 6-8 reps, an exercise that worked on the rear deltoids, adding to the overall shoulder development.

Moving to triceps, his routine comprised:

  • Close-Grip Bench Press: Yates started his triceps workout with 1 set of Close-Grip Bench Press for 6-8 reps. This compound exercise was instrumental in building the mass of his triceps.
  • Lying Triceps Extension: This was performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Lying Triceps Extension helped to shape and define his triceps.
  • Triceps Pushdown: Yates ended his fourth-day workout with 1 set of Triceps Pushdown for 6-8 reps, which perfected the horseshoe shape of his triceps.

Day 4 of Yates’ workout routine was a testament to his comprehensive and balanced approach to bodybuilding.

By targeting both the shoulders and triceps in the same session, he ensured an effective workout that emphasized proportionality and symmetry, hallmarks of his legendary physique.

Day 5: Dorian Yates Back Workout

The fifth day of Dorian Yates workout routine was dedicated to the back—one of his most impressive and powerful assets.

His back workout routine included the following exercises:

  • Pulldowns: Yates would start his back workout with 1 set of Pulldowns for 6-8 reps. This exercise was crucial for targeting his lats and building the width of his back.
  • Barbell Rows: Following this, he would perform 1 set of Barbell Rows for 6-8 reps. Barbell Rows were key in developing his overall back thickness and detail.
  • Deadlifts: This powerhouse exercise was done for 1 set of 6-8 reps. Deadlifts worked on his entire back, glutes, and hamstrings, contributing to his overall mass and density.
  • Seated Cable Rows: Yates would then do 1 set of Seated Cable Rows for 6-8 reps. This exercise was particularly effective for detailing and defining his mid-back.
  • Hyperextensions: Performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps, Hyperextensions were an integral part of Yates’ routine, specifically targeting his lower back.

The fifth day of Yates’ workout routine demonstrates his relentless pursuit of developing a dense, muscular, and defined back.

His selection of exercises, each targeting different areas of his back, resulted in a complete and comprehensive back development, illustrating his commitment to total body symmetry and balance.

Day 5 was another testament to Yates’ work ethic and his belief in the principle of quality over quantity.

Day 6: Dorian Yates Chest and Biceps Workout

On the sixth day of his week-long workout routine, Dorian Yates turned his focus to the chest and biceps.

His approach was, as always, about precision, balance, and muscular symmetry.

His chest and biceps workout included the following exercises:

  • Incline Smith Machine Press: Yates kicked off his chest workout with 1 set of Incline Smith Machine Press for 6-8 reps. This exercise was integral in developing the upper portion of his chest.
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Press: This was performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps. The Flat Bench Dumbbell Press targeted the middle and lower part of his chest, contributing to overall chest development.
  • Cable Crossovers: Yates executed 1 set of Cable Crossovers for 6-8 reps. This exercise was crucial for defining and carving out his chest muscles.

Moving on to biceps, his routine included:

  • Barbell Curls: Yates began his biceps workout with 1 set of Barbell Curls for 6-8 reps. This exercise played a pivotal role in building the overall mass of his biceps.
  • Incline Dumbbell Curls: Performed for 1 set of 6-8 reps, Incline Dumbbell Curls targeted the long head of his biceps, contributing to the bicep peak.
  • Hammer Curls: Yates concluded his sixth-day workout with 1 set of Hammer Curls for 6-8 reps, which developed the brachialis and lent a thicker appearance to his arms.

The sixth day of Yates’ workout routine highlights his meticulous and balanced approach to chest and biceps development.

The selection of these exercises, each targeting distinct areas of his chest and biceps, resulted in a comprehensive workout, contributing to his legendary physique characterized by symmetry, balance and muscular detail.

Day 7: Rest and Recovery

On the seventh day of his week-long workout split, Dorian Yates would rest and allow his body to recover.

Recovery played an integral part in Yates’ workout routine, as it is during this time that the body repairs and builds muscles.

Yates understood the importance of rest in his routine, knowing that without adequate recovery, he would risk overtraining, which could lead to injury or regression in his progress.

Even on his rest day, Yates focused on promoting muscle recovery and growth.

This included a high-protein diet to repair muscle tissue, stretching to promote flexibility and alleviate muscle tension, and adequate hydration to replenish lost fluids.

Above all, sufficient sleep was critical, as it is during deep sleep that growth hormones are released, contributing to muscle growth and recovery.

Yates’ approach to his rest day illustrates his comprehensive understanding of bodybuilding, acknowledging that muscle growth and development happen not just in the gym, but also through proper recovery and nutrition.

His routine is a testament to his dedication and commitment to achieving his bodybuilding goals, a balanced blend of intense training and mindful recovery.

Dorian Yates’ Diet

When it comes to diet, Dorian Yates adopted a no-nonsense, disciplined approach, much like his workout routine.

Understanding the importance of nutrition in muscle growth and recovery, Yates maintained a high-protein, moderate-carb, and low-fat diet.

His meals typically included a variety of lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and egg whites, accompanied by complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oats.

A typical day’s diet might look like this:

  • Breakfast: Egg whites with oats
  • Mid-morning snack: Protein shake with a banana
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken with sweet potatoes and green vegetables
  • Afternoon snack: Tuna with brown rice
  • Dinner: Fish with a side of green vegetables and brown rice
  • Evening snack: Casein protein shake

Apart from his balanced meals, Yates also relied heavily on supplements to meet his nutritional needs.

Whey protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), glutamine, and vitamins were part and parcel of his daily diet.

These supplements helped him fuel his intense workouts, speed up recovery, and ultimately, build and maintain his muscular physique.

Yates’ diet strategy underscores his understanding that nutrition is as crucial as training in bodybuilding.

His commitment to his diet played a significant role in earning him the title of one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

Notable Accomplishments of Dorian Yates

Dorian Yates, dubbed “The Shadow,” is renowned in the bodybuilding world for his unique approach and unwavering dedication to his craft.

He holds an impressive record of victories, further cementing his legendary status in the sport.

  1. Yates won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title six consecutive times from 1992 to 1997. This feat places him in the company of bodybuilding greats likeLee Haney, Phil Heath, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman, who are among the few to have won this title multiple times.
  2. He was also the winner of the Night of Champions competition in 1990, which propelled him into the international bodybuilding scene.
  3. In 1991, Yates won the English Grand Prix, a testament to his dominance in the sport.
  4. Offstage, Yates is known for revolutionizing bodybuilding with his high-intensity training (HIT) philosophy, a workout regimen that emphasizes quality over quantity. His approach has since influenced many aspiring bodybuilders worldwide.

These achievements underscore Yates’ commitment, discipline, and dedication to bodybuilding. His influence extends beyond the stage, leaving a lasting impact on the sport and the way it’s approached today.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Dorian Yates’ workout routine and diet plan, combined with his unwavering discipline and commitment, made him one of the most iconic figures in the world of bodybuilding.

His high-intensity training regime, punctuated with rest and recovery, and supplemented by a meticulously planned diet, proves that bodybuilding success lies in a balanced approach. Yates’ accomplishments are a testament to his innovative strategies and dedication.

His influence continues to inspire many, attesting to his legendary status in the bodybuilding community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What was the philosophy behind Dorian Yates’ workout routine?

A1: Dorian Yates was a proponent of the high-intensity training (HIT) methodology. This approach emphasizes quality over quantity, with each workout being short, intense, and focused on stimulating maximum muscle growth.

Q2: How many times a week did Dorian Yates work out?

A2: Yates followed a six-day workout split, dedicating each day to a specific muscle group or groups, with the seventh day devoted to rest and recovery.

Q3: What was the dietary approach of Dorian Yates?

A3: Yates maintained a high-protein, moderate-carb, and low-fat diet. He understood the importance of nutrition in muscle growth and recovery, hence his meals typically included lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and low-fat content. He also relied on supplements like whey protein, BCAAs, and vitamins to meet his nutritional needs.

Q4: How many times did Dorian Yates win the Mr. Olympia title?

A4: Dorian Yates won the Mr. Olympia title six times consecutively from 1992 to 1997.

Q5: What was the significance of rest and recovery in Dorian Yates’ routine?

A5: Yates understood that muscle growth and development occur not just in the gym, but also through proper recovery and nutrition. Therefore, he dedicated an entire day to rest and recovery, including activities like stretching, adequate hydration, and a high-protein diet to promote muscle recovery and growth.

My recommended supplements

Testo Booster
Natural Testosterone Booster For Men
4.9

By cutting out the middle-men we were able to produce super high-quality booster packed with all the right ingredients to stimulate natural testosterone production.

Buy Now How It Works
Powerful Fat Burner
Fat Burner Diet Drops: Ultra Fat Loss Supercharger
4.9

Are you serious about FINALLY losing that stubborn belly fat? Then this is for you. Powerful fat burner that helps you supercharge your metabolism for fast results.

Get 25% OFF How It Works
Testosterone Booster
TestoPrime | Natural Testosterone Booster
4.8

Unleash the full testosterone-producing potential in your body. Improve muscle growth and increase fat loss fast.

Learn more Read My Review
Best For Bulking
Best Bulking Stack For Muscle Growth
4.9

Try this for rapid size, strength, and muscle-building results.

Learn more Read My Review

Leave a Comment

27 Shares
Share27
Tweet
Pin