These days, Dorian Yates happily spends most of his time in a deserved retirement in Brazil. However, there was a time when the six-time Mr. Olympia champion (1992-1997) constructed one of the greatest runs in bodybuilding history. As the 61-year-old continues to coast into the sunset, he’s been sharing more and more training tidbits that helped a one-time superstar become a living legend.
On June 7, 2023, Yates took to his Instagram page to break down a rather simple but effective ab workout from his Olympia heyday. Yates maintained that he was once inspired by the physique of the legendary Bruce Lee, who, in Yates’ opinion, had “great abs.”
When boiled down, Yates’ prime ab routine probably doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Even at a glance, it appears pretty standard and accessible for athletes of any skill level. All one really needs to perform Yates’ ab workout is a focused commitment to their training.
It is as follows:
Dorian Yates | “Simple” Ab Workout
- Bodyweight crunch — Two sets to failure
- Bodyweight reverse crunch — Two sets to failure
Yates made sure to clarify that each rep was done with a “hard contraction” and a big exhalation of air at the peak contraction to maximize the potential benefits. Yates wrote that in the early parts of his career, he placed more of a premium on weight training with his abs. That, in turn, led to a “blocky” look that he didn’t appreciate, and he transitioned to contraction-focused work utilizing just his body weight as a result.
In the end, Yates leaned on what he believed were natural gifts, proper nutrition, and low body fat that let him give his abs the requisite attention without going too far.
“In my opinion, it wasn’t really that important to train my abs as they were always visible due to my low body fat year-round,” Yates wrote. “And my genetics did play a part here in helping me stay lean. Everyone has abs. It’s just a case of revealing them by lowering your body fat.”
In what can be a rigid and demanding sport like bodybuilding, there can be a natural tendency to believe that every segment of preparation needs to be complex. As Yates proves with a look at how he chiseled his abs, some workouts can be very simple and help an athlete achieve their goals anyway.
Featured image: @thedorianyates on Instagram