Dorian Yates belongs to an elite group of men who have probably spent more time in the gym than in their actual lives. The English former professional bodybuilder’s record can only be bested by universal greats such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Haney, Ronnie Coleman, and Phil Heath.
During his active years, he won the Mr. Olympia title and made it his for six years in a row, from 1992 to 1997. He may have achieved much more had an injury crisis not forced him into early retirement. However, he has continued to make a name as a serial entrepreneur within the bodybuilding industry.
Dorian Yates’ Bio
The man from Hurley was born Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates on April 19, 1962. He knew tragedy from a young age having to live through the death of his father from a heart attack. Yates was just 13 at the time and relocated to Birmingham with his family afterward. Growing up, Dorian had always been a fan of the world of sports and athletics. However, a few tragedies and negative influences early in life saw him veer off course and embrace a life of crime.
Three years after his father’s demise, Yates began rolling with a skinhead gang, an affiliation that eventually got him incarcerated at 19 and saw him do time for half a year in a youth detention center. It was when he was on the inside that Dorian Yates who had a naturally athletic build began working out for the first time. Soon he began to notice the sculpting and muscle growth and realized he could succeed in the fitness industry.
Determined to make something of himself, he turned away from the life of crime upon his release and poured all his time into grooming his bodybuilding career. He was 21 when he started this journey.
Yates entered his first professional competition – the 1984 Mr. Birmingham novice – after a year of rigorous training, conditioning, and dieting and walked away with the title. The Englishman continued to push himself and continued to win titles. His first major competition win came at the 1986 EFBB British Championship.
After a two-year hiatus which he spent developing his physique, the muscle man received his call-up card to the big leagues. Disappearing for another couple of years, he returned in 1990 at the Night of Champions where he shocked the entire industry by finishing in the 2nd place above some notable names. He was rewarded with the pseudonym “The Shadow”, due to his ability to appear out of nowhere at the last minute and best veteran contestants.
After winning the Night of Champions in 1991, Dorian Yates entered the Mr. Olympia contest, the highest recognition in the world of bodybuilding. He performed remarkably and came in second only to bodybuilding expert Lee Haney.
What happened next was a feat even he did not see happening. Yates won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title the next year in 1992 and went on to defend the title for five straight years, culminating in 1997.
In the last year of his professional career, the Brit had suffered a string of injuries while getting ready for the tournament, including tears to his triceps and biceps. He showed his resilience, however, by competing through the pain and ending on a high note by winning the Mr. Olympia title for the last time.
Yates’ professional trophy cabinet consists of 15 major title wins and two high-profile second-place finishes. While still a bodybuilder in 1994, Yates entered into his first entrepreneurial venture when he collaborated with two brothers Mike and Ray Mentored to establish Heavy Duty Inc.
Dorian Yates Post Career – Where is He Now?
Since his retirement, Yates has owned a myriad of businesses, including a nutrition company that provides solutions for protein and weight gain, which he established in 2006. The man who was known for his extra-wide back also went on to establish a few other businesses within the fitness industry. The workout maniac has also bought up, established, and franchised a plethora of gyms over the years, including Temple Gym which he bought as far back as 1987.
Throughout his life, he has never been one for the limelight, always choosing instead to focus on building his career while avoiding interviews and endorsements. However, in 1993, Dorian released an autobiography titled Blood and Guts and released a workout video of the same name three years later.
Yates has been at the forefront of some hot-button debates. These include advocating for alternative treatments for cancer, re-investigation of the 9/11 attacks, and the use of sodium fluoride in tap water treatment.
Following his retirement, he has released some other works including a book titled A Warrior’s Story (1988) and a second workout video titled Blood and Guts (2012).
A London Real Feature film titled Dorian Yates: Inside the Shadow had its world premiere at BAFTA London in 2017. The movie chronicles the former bodybuilder’s early life, turbulent times, and his path to becoming powerlifting great.
Dorian Yates’ Family – Wife and Son
The former powerlifter made time for love in his life when he met his wife Glauce “Gal” Ferreira. Gal is a native of Brazil and like Dorian, a fitness model. Before meeting Yates, Glauce had already made a name for herself in the bodybuilding world. She had clinched the IFBB South American Bodyfitness title and also bagged the IFBB World Bodyfitness Championship for 2007.
Dorian Yates met Glauce while they were both in attendance at the 2008 Arnold Classic. Since then they have become a couple and reside in Marcella. The couple has a son, Lewis Yates who is following in his father’s footsteps and trying to make a name for himself through professional bodybuilding. Dorian makes out time to regularly train his son to be his best.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Yates did not stand very tall, a statistic that probably worked in his favor during his active days. The muscle maniac stands at a height of 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm). During his career, he had a competition weight of 120 kg (265 lb) and an off-season weight of 132 kg (290 lb).
Yates also had a massive 20 inches of upper arm girth, massive 31-inch thighs, 35 inches waist size, calf size of 20 inches, and a wide 56 inches chest.