“My Skin Was Paper Thin”: Bodybuilding Beast Aka ‘The Shadow’ Flaunts His Insanely Shredded Physique From the Past, Admitting It Was Unhealthy to Push That Far

Published 04/07/2023, 1:40 PM EDT

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In 1992, Dorian Yates made history by winning his first Mr. Olympia title, cementing his status as one of the greatest bodybuilders in the history of sports. The Shadow stunned the world with his incredibly shredded physique. He was muscular, ripped, and had an unmatched aesthetic by any other bodybuilder back then. However, in a recent post, Yates admitted that he pushed himself too far to achieve a level of conditioning that was unhealthy.

The six-time Mr. Olympia winner has been credited with revolutionizing the sport into the Mass Monster Era. However, the legend has done some introspection about his heydays. 

Dorian Yates’ serious revelations about the negative side of intense training


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The legendary bodybuilder recently shared a picture from his first Olympia win. Yates was able to achieve a level of conditioning that was unprecedented in bodybuilding at the time. He had striations in his muscles that were never seen before, and his physique was the epitome of shredded. My skin was paper thin and I was as dry as a bone in the desert sun!, he wrote in the caption. However, Yates acknowledged that he had gone too far and that it was not a sustainable way to live.

Yates explained that he was so focused on winning the Mr. Olympia title that he was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that goal. He acknowledges that his win in 1992 came at a cost and that it was not a healthy way to live.Surely that must be unhealthy? Well, yes it was! But anything extreme including sports competition isn’t healthy for long periods of time.”, his caption stated. 


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Read More: “Was Totally Devastated”: 29 Years Ago, a Career-Ending Injury Turned Dorian Yates Into an Unbeatable Force in Bodybuilding

Yates hopes that by sharing his story, other bodybuilders will realize that there are limits to what the body can handle and that extreme measures should be avoided. He also emphasized that athletes should be aware of when they should stop pushing their bodies. Knowing when to switch lanes is a lesson to learn.”, he wrote.

Dorian Yates grabs fans’ eyes with another throwback picture


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Just 2 days back, Yates took a trip down memory lane and shared a throwback picture from his glory days of the 1995 Mr. Olympia. The picture, posted on Yates’ social media accounts, shows him standing on the stage at the 1995 Mr. Olympia, which he won for the fifth time. Yates is seen flexing his massive muscles, with his signature pose and a fierce look on his face. “The Victory Roar”, he wrote on his Instagram account with a lion emoji. 


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His muscles were incredibly dense and striated, with a level of definition that had never been seen before. He was also able to maintain an impressive level of symmetry, with his muscle groups flowing together seamlessly. However, Yates’ honesty about the dangers of extreme dieting and training is a reminder that there are limits to what the body can handle.

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Written by:

Shivam Sharma


One take at a time

Shivam Sharma is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, he has previously worked as a writer and an anchor for Navbharat Today, penning down and explaining issues around sports, politics, and international relations. He is an admirer of Virat Kohli for the passion that he brings to the field.
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Edited by:

Anupama Ghosh