“I Sacrificed a Lot”: 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates Recalls Bodybuilding Career 26 Years After Retirement

Published 04/16/2023, 12:30 PM EDT

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Dorian Yates made history in 1992 after he became the first Mr. Olympia from England. However, the bodybuilding legend’s journey to becoming one of the greatest bodybuilders in history was “full of ups and downs.” The Englishman often shares snippets of his bodybuilding journey with 1.5 million Instagram followers. In his latest post, the six-time Mr. Olympia shared a side-by-side comparison of himself, reminiscing about the transformation he went through to reach the Mr. Olympia stage.

The image showcased all the drastic changes Dorian Yates made to his physique, going from a novice bodybuilder to a world champion six times in a row. So what did Yates say about his career 26 years after retirement? 

It’s not about the destination


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“Enjoy the journey!” wrote Yates in the caption of his latest Instagram post. The image he uploaded showed the bodybuilding legend in 1983, “barely a year into serious bodybuilding training,” on the left. However, “on the right, I was at the highest heights… the Olympia stage,” revealed the former Mr. Olympia.



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The English champion recalled that his journey to the top was tumultuous“I sacrificed a lot in my quest to conquer the bodybuilding world…” wrote the former champion. However, Dorian Yates didn’t elaborate on the challenges he faced in the post. “In the end, it all paid off!” he wrote in the caption.

“As the years went on from the start of my journey in 1983, the Olympia scene became more and more visible to me and I went all in…” revealed Yates. In 1984, Yates won a local show in England, Mr. Birmingham Novice. By 1990, he had won the British Championships twice and competed at the Night of Champions in America. Two years later, the Warwickshire native won his first Mr. Olympia. Throughout his career, Yates never stopped learning and spoke about its importance in another post.

Dorian Yates learned from his mistakes

On April 15, the bodybuilding legend shared an image of his back, glutes, and hamstrings taken four weeks before the 1992 Mr. Olympia. In the caption of his post, Yates explained “I overdid my diet and wanted to be freaky shredded.” However, his attempt to look freaky resulted in him losing 12 lbs of “mostly muscle.” Yates wrote that he didn’t repeat the mistake the next time he competed.



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Throughout this ten-year journey from 1983 to winning Mr. Olympia and beyond, Yates never settled. “I kept detailed records of everything which helped me to analyse and learn from mistakes,” wrote the bodybuilding legend.


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What did you think of Dorian Yates’s insane transformation and work ethic? Let us know in the comments.


Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi


One take at a time

Sagnik Bagchi is a sports writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in American sports. He has a deep understanding of combat sports, gymnastics, and weightlifting. He holds a Master's Degree in English Literature from a top university.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh