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Monday, September 12, 2016

Steroids, stardom and sunglasses in the gym: Dorian Yates on the life of a bodybuilder

Six-time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates

SIX-TIME Mr Olympia Dorian Yates sheds some light on what it's like to be a champion bodybuilder.

Yates on drugs:
"There are two drawbacks to steroids; one is the potential health problems and the second one is it is very easy for people to dismiss everything you have put into it by saying, ‘yeah but he takes steroids, that’s why he looks like that’.
“Well obviously it is not because there are millions of people who take steroids and there are not millions of people who look like Mr Olympia. It gives you a certain advantage but years and years of hard work and years of sacrifice and dieting go into one of those physiques, so for people to dismiss that and not realize that is the main drawback. They do not make the champion.
Yates on bodybuilding:
"The whole image projected from the Weider’s, was a guy on the beach with a protein shake and his sunglasses on. I took a whole new approach.
"When I did the photo shoots I wanted to do real workouts with real weights. Before they had never done that, they wanted to get the correct lighting and I said it is not about that it is about the energy of the photo.
"If people see me lifting weights with veins ******* popping out of my neck and they can see that is really genuine and they will be inspired by it and people will more interested in that than whether the lighting is OK and the angle is right.
"So I started doing that and doing the pictures in black and white and not wearing sunglasses, I mean why the **** am I going to wear sunglasses in a gym, I come from fucking Birmingham.
"It was a whole new image, hardcore, blue collar, working class, in the dungeon, in the gym and this inspired a whole new generation of people. And I think the reason for that is these guys who were lifting weights, they could relate to me because the majority of them are working-class guys. They were like, ‘****, this guy is like us’.
Yates on Mr Olympia
"My first Mr Olympia was 1991 in Florida against the great Lee Haney, who became Mr Olympia in 1984. I started training properly in 1983.
"I realized at this point that I had a legitimate chance to beat this guy - who was actually my hero.
"So I had to change my mental outlook from being, ‘Wow, this is Lee Haney, the icon we are all trying to aspire to’, to, ‘This is the guy I am trying to beat’. I couldn’t be in awe of this guy because if that is your attitude then I am not going to have much chance of winning.
"By the time I went there I did believe in myself and went there trying to beat him and I actually got a very close second and that had never happened before that someone beat Haney in one of the three rounds of judging. After making it a record of eight, he retired.
"So the title was open in 1992, which was strange because I was almost there as a favorite. I had a mental battle with myself going into this contest thinking, ‘I could win this thing. That means I am going to be the best bodybuilding in the whole world, the whole ******* planet. How can that be? Hold on, but it can be.
"Let’s be honest, is there anyone else that has given more to this sport than you, or who trains harder or diets better, not possible. It is not possible to do any more. So there is no one out there doing more than me, so there is nobody out there who deserves it more than me, so why not, why not me?’ So I got over the mental hurdle and by the time I got to the contest I was ready to win it."

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