As more and more IFBB pros and past Mr. Olympia winners like Dorian Yates start to open up over social media about their steroid use, we have started to get incredibly detailed insight into things like their genetic response to their first steroid cycle.
From a very early age, it was pretty obvious that Dorian Yates was different from the rest and had a hyper-response to training and anabolics.
A lot of people look to Dorian Yates as the pinnacle example of “hard work beats talent” and how “genetics aren't everything”.
A bit of delusion has been created stemming from Dorian's training philosophies whereby many have truly started to believe that you can just grind harder than the next guy in the gym and completely make up for lacklustre genetics.
The reality is that Dorian actually has some of the most insane bodybuilding genetics of all time.
His biceps were a bit average compared to the rest of him, but other than that there was literally nothing wrong with his genetics at all, and the reason he became Mr. Olympia in the first place was his incredibly superior genetics.
This is what Dorian looked like prior to training.
Dorian stepped on stage for his first bodybuilding event only 6 months after starting training at 21 years old.
This event was at the Temple Hotel across the street from the gym that he worked out at.
This is a picture of him posing at that event at the Temple Hotel Birmingham in 1984.
According to him, this is after 6 months of natural training.
He's already bigger than almost every single person you would see at your local gym who have been training years.
After 9 Months of Natural Training
After only 9 months of natural training, Dorian already looked like a bodybuilder and had surpassed 99.9% of the population who has been working out for years.
I see guys on gear constantly who look much worse than this that have been cranking for years.
This is not something that can be attributed solely to “hard work beats talent”.
Dorian Yates' Progress From His First Steroid Cycle
Moving forward to 1985, Dorian did his first steroid cycle to prepare for his first official bodybuilding competition, the Novice West Coast (England).
This is what he looked like at that first show.
At the Novice West Coast Dorian placed first and shortly thereafter went to the World Games in London and placed 7th.
This is after his first cycle, which was only 18 months after starting training.
Within a year and a half, Dorian had already packed on what appears to be upwards of 40-50 pounds of pure muscle.
Dorian Yates' First Steroid Cycle
Quoting Dorian from an interview he did on his steroid use, his first cycle was as follows:
It was 1985.
I was 23 years old and had decided to enter my first competition after a year and a half of training, in which I had made excellent progress.
I knew the others who would be competing would be using gear, and I wanted to even the playing field.
It was a very deliberate decision that I didn’t take lightly, and I did as much reading as I could first.
At 23, I feel I was old enough.
At that age, you are fully matured physically, you’ve reached your full adult height, and so on.
Even though I hadn’t been training terribly long, I had already managed to develop my physique to a decent level.
Looking back, I may have been able to win that contest without using anything.
I did one six-week “building” cycle of 20 milligrams of Dianabol a day, which took me from 215 at 5’11” to 235.
Those were the most dramatic results I ever saw from steroids.
I took six weeks off the gear, then at eight weeks out from my contest I began using 15 milligrams of Anavar per day, as well as one shot of Primobolan a week, which was 200 milligrams.
I competed at around 210-215 and won that contest.
EFBB [Britain’s equivalent of the NPC] officials were there and convinced me to represent the United Kingdom the following weekend as our heavyweight at the IFBB World Games.
I placed seventh, and competed with men like Berry de Mey and Matt Mendenhall, both of whom were the top amateur heavyweights in their respective nations at that time.
– Dorian Yates
Dorian Yates Rate Of Muscle Growth
At the 1985 show, we see Dorian displaying an insane level of progression relative to what he looked like in the Temple Gym photoshoot in 1984.
There's a reason he became Mr. Olympia in the first place, and anyone who wants to argue that his training intensity, workout split, and training past failure is the reason he made such ridiculous progress is delusional in my opinion.
Dorian gained upwards of what looks to be 20-30 pounds of stage weight per year until he won the Olympia.
Even on what many would consider baby dosages of gear, he still easily swept high level bodybuilding shows and gained muscle at an incredibly fast rate.
You can't attribute that progress to just “he trained harder than everyone else”.