Bodybuilding icon Dorian Yates topped the Men’s Open division with hard work and a rock-hard physique. In a recent Instagram post, Yates presented the two-exercise ab routine that helped him win six Mr. Olympia titles.
Dorian Yates pioneered the Mens Open division mostly in the 1990s. He was next to take the throne after the great Lee Haney, who left the sport as an eight-time champion. While dominating his class, Yates had a great influence on the overall appearance. As time went on, bodybuilders with overbearing dimensions continued to find success years after he left.
Yates followed an unconventional training style to become one of the best bodybuilders in the world. He ignored commonly used practices regarding reps and sets in the weight room. Instead, Yates regularly trained to the brink of failure and pushed his body to extremes every time he set out to train.
Retired, he is an open source of bodybuilding knowledge for everyone. Whether talking about the mindset needed to reach the top or reliving a hallucinogenic journey with ayahuasca, Yates leads a fast-paced and exciting life. This time he offers fans two of his favorite ab exercises that he used during the early years of his career.
Dorian Yates reveals winning abs routine from Mr. Olympia: ‘I usually train my abs once a week’
Yates said abs training was typically included after a “heavy shoulder and triceps session.” His two exercise routine consisted of two sets of bodyweight crunches to failure and two sets of reverse bodyweight crunches to failure.
“Usually I trained my abs once a week.
They were usually done after my heavy shoulders and triceps session. That’s because I felt shoulders and triceps were probably the easiest workout of the week (well, easier than the others!) and didn’t take much away from me, so I’ve added those at the end here.
My abs routine was simple:
2 bodyweight crunches until failure
2x bodyweight reverse crunches to failure
The six-time Mr. Olympia shared that he completed these exercises with strong contractions and a big exhalation of air at the top of each movement. Personally, Yates never found ab training “that important” because he usually kept a low body fat percentage during days of active competition.
But these were done with a hard contraction and a large exhalation of air at the peak of the contraction. We were squeezing our abs so hard they would almost be on the verge of cramping!
The physique that inspired me when I was younger, especially abs, was Bruce Lees, he had great abs. In my youth, I was always doing bodyweight exercises like sit-ups and push-ups, with a Bruce Lee poster watching over me!
As far as I can remember, I’ve always had a visible set of abs. In my early bodybuilding days, I used to train them with weights, but noticed that they would grow quite quickly and potentially look quite boxy.
So I switched to contraction work with just my body weight.
In my opinion, it wasn’t really that important to train my abs because they were always visible due to my low body fat all year round and my genetics played a role here in helping me stay slim.
Everyone has abs, it’s just a case of revealing them by lowering body fat. Dorian Yates shared.
In addition to maintaining her own health, Yates loves offering wellness advice to her followers. He regularly offers guidance and tips on building muscle. One of the last topics he addressed was the time of training. Legend explained that he preferred to keep his body guessing by training at times he wasn’t used to.
Dorian has long been respected for his nuanced training methods and tactics. He learned from and attracted to a number of legends like Mike Mentzer and Tom Platz, who is highly regarded for his advanced, intense and downright gritty leg training strategies. Last year, Platz expressed his gratitude to Yates and was proud that Dorian took his teaching seminar to heart decades ago.
At 61, longevity has become a priority for Yates. Just last week, “The Shadow” shared that he recently underwent a stem cell therapy procedure. After the treatment, Yates says she has more energy and said her nagging shoulder pain feels better.
RELATED: Dorian Yates on building legs with hamstring curls: “Use a full range of motion and a slow negative”
Given his contributions to the sport, the bodybuilding community is lucky to have an upcoming figure like Yates. Even in retirement, he continues to influence generations of bodybuilders after him.
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