Dorian Yates’ Workout and Diet Plan

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Dorian Yates

If you want to pack on muscles like Dorian Yates, you must train and eat like Dorian Yates.

It has been years since this phenomenal man won the Mr. Olympia title for the 6th time in a row, and yet Dorian Yates diet and workout plan stays as useful now as ever.

Admittedly, you may not adhere to the intense dedication and routine that comes with the title, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot at least get the massive thick back that he’s famous for.

Besides his broad and muscular back, Dorian Yates also boasts some enviable hard as rocks muscles, and like any bodybuilder’s desire, a well-sculpted thick physique.

Of course, with age comes the slow but sure muscle atrophy. Still, should you wish to achieve anything close to Yate’s former levels of indomitable strength, you’ll need to navigate your diet and training with military precision.

Give it your best shot and see where that takes you!

What Was Dorian Yates Diet?

Dorian Yates’s meal plan includes equal proportions of protein to build and support his muscles as well as carbohydrates for that much-needed energy.

Although at the peak of his career Yates admits that he focused mainly on mass-bulking foods and supplements, he has since struck a perfect balance of fast and slow acting proteins to maximize muscle support and growth.

He has assimilated all the information he could lay his hands on regarding bodybuilding diet and formulated a personal diet plan that has bore him results over the years.

But before we can get into the nitty-gritty of it, here are some diet dos and don’ts from the man himself:

  • Take your protein throughout the day, at two-hour intervals, and that includes your pre-workout meal.
  • Ninety minutes prior to your training, take a meal replacement powder that’s packed with proteins, amino acids, and minerals, as well as a small number of carbohydrates.
  • For those who prefer to eat prior to their training session, Dorian Yates’s advice is to eat a balanced meal of protein such as chicken breast, a small portion of starchy carbs such as rice and potatoes, vitamins, and complex minerals such as green vegetables and fruit.
  • Immediately after training, Dorian explains that it’s the best time to restore your glycogen levels and to force your amino acids back into your muscles, and that’s achieved by taking a simple carb drink. He further says that to spur recovery, the drink should ideally be 75% simple sugars and 25% quickly digestible proteins.
  • Dorian warns against taking simple sugars immediately before a workout hoping to get energized for the session. This, he says, will cause your blood sugar levels to dip midway (simple sugars break down quickly) and leave you fatigued, and without endurance. The drink should ideally be taken post-workout to boost and support recovery as opposed to fueling your workout.
  • An hour after his workout session, Dorian Yates eats a full, balanced meal, consisting of either chicken, fish, or beef for protein, potatoes or rice for carbohydrates, and leafy green vegetables for vitamins and minerals.
  • Dorian yates has always been categorical against skipping meals and binge eating when you have the chance. Likewise, he warns against skipping carbs, saying that your body will turn to proteins for fuel, and your bodybuilding efforts will go down the drain. Sufficient and healthy carbs provide your body with clean, reliable energy and allow your muscles to gain that thickness, strength, and definition that you desire.

All in all, Mr. Yates urges bodybuilders to plan a well-balanced meal plan consisting of six to seven small portions a day to ensure maximum absorption of essential muscle-building nutrients. Taking one or two meals, no matter how packed, may not guarantee efficient absorption, he says.

Yates has since retired from active competition, so in a way, this is Dorian Yates’s offseason diet, but it is still an efficient meal plan for active competitors as well.

Now that we have those crucial tips out of the way let’s now look into Dorian Yates’s daily meal plan below. It aims to maximize protein intake and boost muscle gain in lean body mass.

Dorian Yates Breakfast: 

7-8 AM
Porridge made with one cup of oatmeal (complex carbohydrates), ten egg whites (protein), and a scoop of protein powder.

9-10 AM
Meal replacement drink/protein shake packed with proteins, amino acids, and traces of carbs

11 AM

12 PM
Post-workout simple sugar drink containing 75% sugar and 25% quick-to-digest protein

1 PM (Lunch)
Two chicken breasts, potatoes or rice, and leafy green vegetables

3:30 PM
Protein shake/meal-replacement drink

5:30 PM (Dinner)
12 oz filet mignon, potatoes or rice, and leafy green vegetable

8-9 PM
A small portion of porridge, cooked with half a cup of oatmeal, six egg whites, and a half scoop of protein powder

Note: Dorian advises taking your egg whites with a couple of yolks occasionally to get some essential amino acids you wouldn’t find in egg whites alone.

What Supplements Dorian Yates Takes

Dorian Yates takes protein supplements. His advice on supplements is to go for one that features a combination of proteins, e.g., whey protein, egg whites, and micellar casein, as opposed to taking a single source.

This, he says, ensures maximum absorption because different proteins have different time-release effects. Whey protein is absorbed relatively quickly, for instance, there’s bound to be a lot of underutilization.

That being said, Dorian Yates uses these protein supplements to support his gains:

1. Glutamine

Glutamine is a critical amino acid that’s naturally found in foods, the human body, and of course, as a food supplement. It is a building block for protein and supports organs while boosting immunity.

2. BCAAs

BCAAs are essential nutrients meaning they can’t be produced in your body naturally and have to be obtained from foods and supplements. They prevent and decrease muscle loss, fatigue, aches, as well as build your muscles.

3. Protein Powders

These powders contain concentrated protein levels, which are essential for bodybuilders and health-conscious people. Most typically consist of 80% protein and 20% carbs and fats. Some powders are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Others are quick to absorb, and others lack lactose, so pick depending on your needs.

When it comes to diet, try as much as possible to strike a perfect balance of complex carbs and simple sugars, slow-to-absorb proteins, and quick-to-absorb proteins and don’t forget to double up on green leafy veggies.

This diet will support your bodybuilding needs and keep you feeling healthy and vibrant.

What was Dorian Yates Workout?

Dorian lifting weights

First and foremost, Dorian Yates workout principles and approach is by following the High-Intensity Training (HIT) method. Influenced by Mike Mentzer, Mr. yates has stuck to this training approach from his early training days.

The HIT training method is high intensity but short training. Before we get into it, note that Dorian Yates training method ensures to give each muscle of your body maximum muscle stimulation through short and high-intensity sessions, as opposed to slow and long work out sessions.

Below is the daily Dorian Yates Workout routine for all body parts:

Monday: Abs, Shoulders, and Triceps

In this workout session, Yates does a warmup routine and nine sets of exercises. Each exercise targeting different muscles of the shoulders, Triceps and Abs, on a single workout set each.

Dorian Yates shoulders, Triceps and Abs workout

  • 1 set of triceps pushdown of 15 reps for warming up
  • 1 set of triceps pushdown of 12 reps
  • 1 set of triceps pushdown of 10-15 reps
  • 1 set of lying EZ-bar extensions of 15-20 reps
  • 2 sets of smith machine shoulder press of 15-20 reps
  • 2 sets of seated laterals of 10-15 reps
  • 2 sets of dumbbell shrugs of 15-20 reps
  • 1 set of Roam Chair sit-ups of 20 reps
  • 1 set of crunches, 1 set of reverse crunches both 20 reps each.

Tuesday: Dorian Yates Back Workout

That’s right, Yates dedicates a whole day to his back. No wonder it’s so outstanding and defined.

Dorian Yates’s back training includes 7 different routines that target different areas of his back.

  • 1 set of Dumbbell pullover of 8-10 reps
  • 1 set of hammer pulldowns and reverse hammer pull-downs of 10-15 reps each.
  • 2 sets of barbell deadlift of 8-10 reps
  • 1 set of wide grip seated strength cable row of 10 reps
  • 1 set of dumbbells rows with the overhand grip of 8 reps
  • 1 set of hyperextensions of 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of deadlifts of 8-10 reps

Wednesday: Rest

What’s a good workout plan without rest? Dorian Yates knows the answer to this hence he rests on Wednesdays.

Thursday: Dorian Yates Abs, Chest, and Biceps

Dorian Yates Abs are very well designed. It’s no surprise they feature severally in his daily routine. Below is his workout for Thursday:

  • 2 sets of incline dumbbell bench press 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of standing EZ barbell curls of 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of machine chest press of 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of decline barbell press of 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of flat bench Dumbbell fly’s strength seated bench presses of 8-10 reps
  • 1 set of cable crossover of 10-15 reps
  • 2 sets of machine preacher curls of 8-12 reps

Friday: Rest

The legend takes a rest to recover

Saturday: Dorian Yates Legs Routine – Quads and Calves

On Saturdays, the Dorian Yates program focuses on 8 key muscles of the legs. These include:

  • 2 sets warm-up sets and 1 set workout of leg extensions; 10-12 reps
  • 3 sets of leg press of 10-15 reps
  • 3 sets of hack squats of 10-14 reps
  • 3 sets of seated hamstring curls of 10-12 reps
  • Five to ten minute rest
  • 2 sets of stiff legged-deadlift of 10-12 reps
  • 2 sets of seated calf raise of 8-10 reps
  • 2 sets of standing calf raise of 8-10 reps

Sunday: Rest

To wrap up the week, Dorian Yates rests again on Sunday.

Though Dorian Yates is out of professional competition, you can still learn from the monster. If you are only starting out, we recommend bespoke online coaching which is affordable and allows you to get a feel of his training.

If you want something more challenging, and training that gives you more interaction with Dorian Yates, then the gold package is what you are looking for.

Finally, there is the platinum package where you get to enjoy a 20-minute Skype call with the man every month.


There you have it. If you want to build your muscles the Yates way, you have to put in the work. With this diet and workout plan, Dorian Yates went and won the highest accolade in the bodybuilding industrysix consecutive times in a row.

Further, unlike the mainstream aesthetic bodybuilding approach that involved high volume and low-intensity training, Yates single-handedly changed the game.

He introduced a new world of bodybuilding where mass monsters ruled.

His work out approach is Mentzerlike emphasis on low reps, especially on the upper body, and more for abs and legs. Usually, his sets are 2 for warm-up exercise and 1 forced working rep.

For the sake of this article, we just blended them. As for diet, Dorian Yates gives emphasis to different sources of proteins, vegetables, and starch.