Dorian Yates belongs to an elite group of men who have probably spent more time at the gym than in their actual lives. The balance of the former English professional bodybuilder can only be surpassed 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 did it six years in a row, from 1992 to 1997. Perhaps he would have achieved much more if an injury crisis had not driven him into early retirement. However, he has continued to make a name for himself as a serial entrepreneur in the bodybuilding industry.
Dorian Yates’ Bio
The man from Hurley was born on April 19, 1962, as Dorian Andrew Mientjez Yates. He knew the tragedy at a young age when he witnessed his father’s death from a heart attack. Yates was only 13 years old at the time and moved with his family to Birmingham. Growing up Dorian had always been a fan of the world of sports and athletics. However, some tragedies and negative influences at the beginning of his life led him to go off course and lead a life of crime.
Three years after his father’s death, Yates began to get involved with a skinhead gang, a relationship that eventually led him to prison at the age of 19 and sent him to a juvenile detention center for six months. When he was in prison, Dorian Yates, who was athletically built by nature, started training for the first time. Soon he noticed modeling and muscle growth and realized that he could succeed in the fitness industry.
Determined to make something of himself, he turned away from life as a criminal after his release and devoted all his time to cultivating his bodybuilding career. He was 21 years old when he began this journey.
Yates entered his first professional competition – the 1984 Mr. Birmingham rookie – after a year of rigorous training, conditioning, and dieting, and walked away with the title. The Englishman continued to put pressure on him and continued to win titles. He achieved his first major competition victory in 1986 at the British EFBB Championship.
After a two-year break, which he spent developing his physique, the muscle man received his call-up card for the big leagues. After further years of disappearance, he returned in 1990 at the Night of the Champions, where he shocked the entire industry by appearing in front of a number of well-known names at the 2nd place. He was rewarded with the pseudonym “The Shadow” because of his ability to appear from nowhere at the last minute and because he was the best veteran among the competitors.
After winning the Night of Champions in 1991, Dorian Yates entered the Mr. Olympia competition, the highest recognition in the world of bodybuilding. He showed a remarkable performance, finishing second only to bodybuilding expert Lee Haney.
What happened next was an achievement that even he did not see happen. Yates won the prestigious Mr. Olympia title the following year in 1992 and defended the title five years in a row until it peaked in 1997.
In the final year of his professional career, the Briton had sustained a number of injuries in preparation for the tournament, including tears on his triceps and biceps. He proved his resilience, however, by overcoming the pain and finally struck a high note by winning the final Mr. Olympia title.
Yates’ professional trophy cabinet consists of 15 major title wins and two high-profile second places. When Yates was still a bodybuilder in 1994, he started his first entrepreneurial venture when he founded Heavy Duty Inc. with brothers Mike and Ray Mentored.
Dorian Yates Post Career – Where is He Now?
Since his retirement, Yates has owned a variety of companies, including a nutrition company that provides protein and weight gain solutions, which he founded in 2006. The man, who was known for his extra-wide back, also built several other companies in the fitness industry. Over the years, the workout madman has also bought, founded, and franchised a number of fitness centers, including Temple Gym, which he bought back in 1987.
Throughout his life, he has never been in the limelight but has always chosen to focus on building his career, avoiding interviews and endorsements. However, in 1993 Dorian published an autobiography entitled “Blood and Guts” and three years later a training video of the same name.
Yates was at the forefront of some heated debates. These included advocacy of alternative treatments for cancer, the re-investigation of the September 11 attacks, and the use of sodium fluoride in the treatment of tap water.
After his retirement, he published several other works, including a book entitled A Warrior’s Story (1988) and a second training video entitled Blood and Guts (2012).
A London real-life feature film entitled Dorian Yates: Inside the Shadow had its world premiere in 2017 at BAFTA London. The film depicts the early life of the former bodybuilder, turbulent times, and his way of becoming powerlifting great.
Dorian Yates’ Family – Wife and Son
The former powerlifting champion took time for love in his life when he met his wife Glauce “Gal” Ferreira. Gal was born in Brazil and like Dorian is a fitness model. Before she met Yates, Glauce had already made a name for herself in the bodybuilding world. She had won the South American IFBB Bodyfitness title and also won the IFBB Bodyfitness World Championship 2007.
Dorian Yates met Glauce while they were both present at the 2008 Arnold Classic. Since then they have become a couple and live in Marcella. The couple has a son, Lewis Yates, who follows in his father’s footsteps and tries to make a name for himself through professional bodybuilding. Dorian takes the time to train his son regularly to give his best.
Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
Yates was not very upright, a statistic that probably worked in his favor during his active time. The muscleman stands at a height of 180 cm (5 feet 11 inches). During his career, he had a competitive weight of 120 kg (265 lb), and off-season he had a weight of 132 kg (290 lb).
Yates also had a massive upper arm circumference of 20 inches, massive thighs of 31 inches, a waist measurement of 35 inches, a calf measurement of 20 inches, and a broad chest of 56 inches.