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Dorian Yates' The Age of Intensity

Dorian Yates – The Age of Intensity

Dorian Yates’ super intense bodybuilding workout plan. Not for beginners.

  • Goal: building muscle mass
  • Technical complexity: medium
  • 4-Day Split
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • 4 times a week

Dorian Yates was a dominant bodybuilder for several years winning the Mr. Olympia title 6 times. His training style was significantly different from most of the other top bodybuilders’ style.

Read his amazing and inspiration story here. 

A Portrait of Dorian Yates: The Life and Training Philosophy of the World’s Best Bodybuilder Paperback – December 6, 2006

With six Mr. Olympia title victories, Dorian Yates has dominated bodybuilding in the 90's in the manner that Arnold Schwarzenegger dominated in the 70's and Lee Haney in the 80's. Furthermore he has dominated the sport in a white-hot period of competition when standards have never been higher. He has brought a scientific and precise planning approach to bodybuilding that revolutionized the sport. * The life and training philosophy of the World’s Best Bodybuilder. The ultimate bodybuilding guide from the ultimate bodybuilder. * Packed with training advice and methods.

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Below are 10 interesting facts about Yates and his workout method as well as a workout plan used by him: The Age of Intensity.

  1. Yates worked out only for an hour a day, 4 times a week. Most of the other bodybuilders spent much more time at the gym. Yates studied and developed several different kinds of training methods but this “an hour four times a week” ended up being the most effective for him.
  2. Yates did only one intense set per exercise. This set he did to total failure. Sure Yates did one or two warm-up sets before a hard set, but these sets were done with a very light weights, without really loading the muscle. Yates’ argument for this was that a muscle gets enough stimulation from this one, VERY hard set and the additional sets would just break the muscle unnecessarily.
  3. Yates trained one part of the body only once a week. Most of the other bodybuilders train each body part 2 – 3 a week (eg. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman and the other top bodybuilders).
  4. Yates’ goal wasn’t to lift as much weight as possible, but to do reps really slowly and with a perfect technique. He did the concentric phase (eg. the pulling phase of pull-ups) quickly and the eccentric phase (eg. the lowering phase of pull-ups) extremely slow. When the set was done to failure, Yates strived to do a few incomplete reps until the muscle wasn’t able to move the bar at all.
  5. Yates didn’t have a coach or instructor as most of the other bodybuilders did.
  6. Yates worked out in England, far away from California’s Venice Beach where almost all of the other top bodybuilders at his time came from.
  7. Yates thinks that a regular eating rhythm is critical. His argument for the importance of a regular eating rhythm is that when the body knows when it will get food, it doesn’t need to store it and all the food and energy will be essentially used for muscle growth.
  8. Yates didn’t do squats, overhand grip pull-ups or standard bench press even though these free weight exercises are usually the frame of a workout for most of the bodybuilders. Instead of squats, Yates used hack machine and instead of using a standard bench press, he did incline or decline bench press or used machine. Also instead of overhand grip pull-ups, he did machine pulldowns and cable pulldowns with underhand grip.
  9. Yates believed that cardio three times a week helps you to recover from high intensity trainings because it gets the blood flowing. Several other bodybuilders don’t speak for cardio and some of them don’t do it at all. According to Yates, cardio should be done on the days when you don’t workout at a gym so that the muscle growth doesn’t become disturbed. Yates also favored a short cardio as a warm-up before gym workout.
  10. Yates spoke for short-term goals. For example, a good goal for a bench press would be to improve it by one kg per month. Yates kept accurate records of the weight he used so that he was able to follow his development every week.

The Age of Intensity Workout Plan

This workout plan follows a 4-day split and will be done four times a week.

Day 1: Shoulders, trapezoids, triceps, abs
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Rest (cardio)
Day 4: Chest, biceps, abs
Day 5: Rest (cardio)
Day 6: Legs
Day 7: Rest (cardio)

For each training day, you do only a few working sets; one per each muscle group. Complete one to two warm-up sets before the working sets.
According to Yates, a “working set” is a fully completed set done with inhumanly hard intensity. So after training to failure, you should still do a few incomplete reps. If you have someone training with you, you can do a few forced reps and then a few negative reps. A negative rep means that your training partner helps the weight up and then you slow it down the best you can when coming back down.

Recovery from a working set takes 5 – 7 minutes.

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Day 1 (Shoulders, Trapezoids, Triceps, Abs)

Shoulders:

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 1* 12
1* 10
1 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 1* 10
1 6-8
Cable One Arm Lateral Raise 1 8-10

* A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Trapezoids:

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Shrug 1* 12
1 8-10

* A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Notice! Since the amount of reps when doing dumbbell shrug is small, the weight has to be REALLY heavy.

Triceps:

Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Pushdown 1* 12
1* 10
1 6-8
Barbell Lying Tricep Extension 1* 10
1 6-8
Cable One Arm Pushdown 1 6-8

* A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Abs:

Exercise Sets Reps
Roman Chair Sit up 1 20
Crunch 1 20
Reverse Crunch 1 10

 

Day 2 (Back)

Exercise Sets Reps
Lever Underhand Pulldown 1* 12
[overhand grip] 1* 10
1 6-8
-Or-
Machine Pullover 1* 12
[Alternate this and Lever Pulldowns] 1* 10
1 6-8
Yates’ Bent-over Row 1* 10
1 6-8
Dumbbell Bent-over Row 1* 10
Cable Seated Row 1 6-8
Rear-Delt Hammer Strength Flyes 1 6-8
Dumbbell bent-over lateral raise 1 6-8
Back Extension 1 6-8
Deadlift 1* 8
1 6-8

*A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Day 4 (Chest, biceps, abs)

Chest:

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Incline Bench Press 1* 12
1* 10
1* 6-8
1 6
Lever Chest Press 1 10
1 6-8
Dumbbell Incline Fly 1* 10
1 8
Cable Cross-over 1 8-10

*A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Biceps:

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Incline Curl 1* 10
1 6-8
Barbell Curl 1* 10
1 6-8
Lever Preacher Curl 1 6-8

*A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Vatsat:

Exercise Sets Reps
Roman Chair Sit Up 1 20
Crunch 1 20
Reverse Crunch 1 10

Day 6 (Legs)

Legs:

Exercise Sets Reps
Lever Leg Extension 1* 15
1* 12
1 10-12
Leg Press 1* 12
1* 12
1 10-12
Hack Squat 1* 12
1 8-10
Lever Leg Curl 1* 8-10
1 8-10
Stiff Leg Deadlift 1 10
Single-leg Leg Curl 1 8-10

*A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

Calves:

Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Calf Raise 1* 10-12
1 10-12
Seated Calf Raise 1 10-12

*A warm-up set which is done with a weight that is 50 – 70 % of the weight of the working set.

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Download a workout journal below so you don’t need to remember the exercises by heart.

Dorian Yates' The Age of Intensity

Source: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/athletes-celebrities/news/age-intensity-legendary-bodybuilder-dorian-yates

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