Legendary Backs: Dorian Yates

The Shadow's high intensity back workout

Dorian "The Shadow" Yates' lats hung low and stretched wide as if to form a perfect (huge) square, and their inner, lower drape framed a prominent lumbar Christmas tree, but the quality that most distinguished his back was its unparalleled thickness.

He sported football-sized slabs of inner traps, spinal erectors that resembled Doric columns and lats so dense their depth was a winning advantage even in front shots. All were visual manifestations of Yates’ high-intensity workouts.  

Now you can try Dorian's legendary back workout for yourself.  The exercises, sets, and reps are here, but you've got to bring the HARDCORE...


  • 1. Hammer Strength pulldowns: 1 set of 8-10 reps
    • or Nautilus pullovers: 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • 2. Underhand barbell rows: 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • 3. Hammer Strength one-arm rows: 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • 4. Seated cable rows: 1 set of 8-10 reps
  • 5. Back extensions: 1 set of 10-12 reps
  • 6. Deadlifts: 1 set of 8 reps
  • Notes: These working sets were usually preceded by one or two warm-up sets. Yates trained rear delts between seated cable rows for his upper back and back extensions for his lower back.



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