The Legend

Dorian Yates won 6 Mr. Olympia’s in a row. He set new standards in size as the first Mr, OLYMPIA at 250 lbs to have a body condition with super low body fat and very high muscle density. He was the biggest of the professional bodybuilders when he competed and any competitor stood beside him, he made all other bodybuilders look small. His nickname is the ‘Shadow’.


Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates was born April 19, 1962 in Hurley, Staffordshire, near Birmingham, England. Dorian was raised in Hurley, in rural Staffordshire. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city. During these times, Dorian got himself into trouble, and was sentenced to six months at Whatton Youth Detention Centre.


It was here that Dorian earned an instant reputation as the strongest and fittest of Whatton’s 300 inmates. This gave him new respect for himself. Whatton was the wakeup call Dorian needed. If he did not do something now with his life, he would end up in and out of prison for years to come. After that experience, Dorian resolved that he would not be back. A passion for bodybuilding became his saving grace.


Dorian started training in 1983. The man dubbed “The Shadow” (by FLEX Editor-in-Chief Peter McGough) shone a new light of awareness onto training methods with his brief but very high-intensity workouts. After some muscle victories in England – 1985 Novice Championships and 1988 British Championships – Yates visited New York for the 1990 Night of Champions and, in his pro debut, he took second to Mohamed Benaziza. The very next year, he returned to win the contest.


In 1991, Yates was the runner-up at the Mr. Olympia to Lee Haney, who duly won his eighth record-setting Sandow and then retired. From 1992 through 1997, Yates dominated the sport’s highest title. In 1994, he overcame a torn biceps to win the crown. In 1997, his most valiant victory came when he tore a triceps three weeks prior to the contest, but still battled on to triumph. Due to the injury, Yates was forced to retire, with a pro record of 15 wins and two second-place finishes.


Dorian Yates may well be the bodybuilder that most aspiring trainees can best identify with because of his blue-collar roots, dogged determination, and quiet confidence. His book, co-written by Peter McGough, is titled ‘A Warrior’s Story’ – a perfect appellation for his competitive days for the Brit with no quit. Today, Yates resides in sunny Marbella, Spain, where he is the founder and owner of Dorian Yates Sports Nutrition, and he is still seen regularly at many of the stateside contests.


Dorian has two children Lewis and Tahnee from his first wife Debbie. After Dorian’s divorce he met Glauce (Gal) Ferreira from Brazil at the 2008 Arnold Classic and they were married in 2009. Gal is a fitness expert and champion in her own right. She won the 2007 IFBB World Bodyfitness Championship, and many other titles.

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