Mass Monster Dorian Yates Spills His Secret on How He Developed Enormously Huge and Dense Pecs After Losing to Lee Haney

Published 01/19/2024, 4:04 PM EST

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Dorian Yates, a bodybuilder who revolutionized the entire era of Open Division competition. Recently, revealed the journey and mindset that motivated him to become the “complete package.” After 1991, Mr. Olympia, where he felt his chest was lacking compared to Lee Haney’s, Yates decided to transform his massive feature.

The Shadow aimed to be the best, and he dedicated the next few years to bringing up his weakest body parts- his chest and biceps. The focus on chest development became a crucial part of his journey toward being the Mass Monster.

Dorian Yates’ quest to have the perfect physique in bodybuilding


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Yates took to his Instagram and shared two pictures of himself, showcasing his huge chest with a story behind his gigantic upper body. The motivation came after losing to Haney during the 1991 Olympia. He was determined to gain more muscles thereafter.



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He expressed in his caption, “In 1991, it was clear when Lee Haney beat me that his chest was far superior than mine. But this was something I could work on and gave me even more drive for the following year. I wanted to be the complete package, so over the next two years, in particular, I really brought up my two weakest body parts.” Yates recognized the importance of addressing his weaknesses and tailored his workout accordingly.

Yates incorporated into his routine incline, pressing on the Smith machine. This move, done with determination and precision, added significant thickness to his chest. The chest workout routine during that era included a decline barbell bench press, incline Smith machine press, incline dumbbell flyes, and cable crossovers. Yates emphasized training to failure in the 6-8 reps range, employing high-intensity techniques like forced reps, rest-pause, and extra negatives. These techniques were carefully applied, particularly on machine-based exercises for safety reasons of course!

The technique he followed for optimal growth


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Smith machine presses were a vital part of Yates’s routine, and he often utilized rest-pause sets. This involved reaching failure, briefly resting, and then pushing out a couple more reps. The smith machine at Temple Gym, where Yates trained, was notably heavy even without additional plates, adding an extra challenge to his workouts.

Incline pressing on the smith machine became a favorite for Yates, as he felt a strong connection that significantly contributed to his chest development over the years. Both incline presses and flies were performed on a low incline, approximately 30 degrees, to target the chest muscles rather than the deltoids.

“There Was a Chink in My Armour”: 6X Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates Takes a Look Back at the Unified Camaraderie He Experienced in Temple Gym


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Yates attributed the thick density of his pecs to the heavy, pressing movements he incorporated into his training regimen, along with heavy dumbbell flies. Delving into this routine, he gained huge muscles in time, and the following year, he won his first Olympia title. Later, Yates won six consecutive Sandow trophies and became one of the most elite bodybuilders of all time.

WATCH THIS STORY: 6X Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates Reveals Why He Once Turned Down A Life-Changing Offer From Bodybuilding Legend Tom Platz


Written by:

Arpita Shrivastava


One take at a time

Arpita Shrivastava is a bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in tracking the lifestyles of bodybuilders. A master’s degree holder in Mass Communication, Arpita is a frequent contributor to coverage about her idols Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. She likes going behind the scenes to understand the nitty-gritty of building a shredded physique.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai