Despite being a Strongman athlete, Mitchell Hooper thoroughly enjoys bodybuilding training. So, he recently took on legendary bodybuilder Dorian Yates’ leg workout in the gym.
Canadian Strongman Mitchell Hooper is one of the most prominent Strongman competitors in the world today. He won the prestigious World’s Strongest Man competition in 2023 to stamp his name in the history of the sport. However, his journey in sports goes way back to his younger years when he played American Football, golf, and more.
After a few years of experimenting with different sports and fitness activities, Hooper traveled to Australia to complete a master’s degree in Exercise Psychology. During his time there, he built a decent powerlifting foundation before transitioning to Strongman some time later. The 28-year-old competed in several local competitions in the country and continued his journey in this sport after returning to Canada.
He was invited to compete at the 2022 Giants Live Deadlift World Championships and also made his professional debut at the 2022 World’s Strongest Man with an eighth-place finish. After scoring several victories and podium finishes at high-profile Strongman competitions like the 2022 Shaw Classic, 2022 Arnold UK, and 2022 Rogue Invitational, the Canadian continued strong in 2023. This year proved to be even better for him, as he has won the 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic and the 2023 World’s Strongest Man so far, along with several other podium finishes.
Mitchell Hooper goes through Dorian Yates’ leg workout
Mitchell Hooper has been experimenting with sports other than Strongman in spite of being at the peak of his career. The 28-year-old considers himself a diverse athlete and has recently announced that he will compete against retired strongman Eddie Hall in an MMA fight in Qatar on February 17, 2024.
In recent weeks, Hooper has tried to replicate Ronnie Coleman’s legendary back workout and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arms and shoulders workout to understand their training methods and also to create engaging content. So, he picked out another bodybuilding legend for his newest challenge.
In the most recent video on his YouTube channel, Mitchell Hooper put the legendary Dorian Yates’ leg routine to the test. However, it was far from an easy task since Yates is a six-time Mr. Olympia and one of the most successful mass monsters in bodybuilding history.
“He was the first one to bring what looks like now the modern era of bodybuilding… Absolutely huge!”
Hooper pointed out some interesting facts about Dorian Yates’ training practices and shed light on his unusual workout routine:
“Interesting thing about him – he only went to the gym four days a week and each time he spent about an hour there… Which if you look at his physique, is pretty mental.”
With that, Hooper jumped right into the workout and did some simple but effective lower body exercises by dialing up the intensity to honor Dorian Yates. He performed all the sets in rapid succession and kept the rest periods to a bare minimum to take the intensity of the workout a notch above.
So without further delay, let’s check out the detailed account of this training session.
Hooper commenced the workout with barbell squats in order to fire up his lower body muscles and get the pump going. He worked his way up to the working sets with a few warm-up sets and then proceeded to do Dorian Yates’ heaviest set.
“Dorian Yates’ training was very different to strongman. This is going to be a replication of his best set of all time, which is 465 pound for a set of 10… Technically his best but he was employing really really short rest times. So he was probably capable of a lot more.”
Mitchell Hooper maintained slightly longer rest periods than Dorian Yates and pushed through the 465-pound barbell squats set with furious intensity. He performed a couple of sets more before jumping into the next exercise.
The strongman competitor, who has also tried out eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman’s workouts, compared Yates’ training style with his and said:
“It’s pretty crazy thinking about how Ronnie Coleman trained where he worked with heavy, heavy weights and very low reps. Contrast that with what Dorian did. He did very short rest times. He did very moderate weights but very high reps working to maximum failure, maximal exertion… Almost like Tom Platz.”
Hooper notes that irrespective of the stark difference in their training styles, both men were able to build massive physiques.
Mitchell Hooper next took to the leg press. He performed four sets of the exercise for 20 reps each. He holds the record for leg pressing 2000 pounds for 13 reps. So. there is a big difference between him and Dorian Yates’ best set of 1260 pounds for 10 reps.
“We’re going to start at five plates because we’re going to do 20 reps. I’m going to stick to strict 60-second rest times.”
After doing the four sets of leg press, Hooper advanced over to doing standing calf raises.
Standing Calf Raises
Once again, Mitchell Hooper performed four sets of the exercise, with each set consisting of 20 reps. He maintained 60-second rest periods between the sets and pushed through all the sets with proper technique.
The strongman competitor performed this quad isolation exercise as the finisher to his training session. He closed the show with an all-out drop-set of 100 reps. He dropped the weight after reaching failure multiple times over the course of these reps and made it to the final rep, spending every bit of energy in his lower body.
Overall, the workout included:
- Barbell Squats
- 1st Warm-up set – 315 lbs / 143 kg
- 2nd Warm-up set – 405 lbs / 184 kg
- 1st Working set – 465 lbs / 211 kg for 10 reps (replication of Dorian Yates’ set)
- 2nd Working set – 495 lbs / 225 kg for 10 reps
- 3rd Working set – 585 lbs / 265 kg for 10 reps
- Leg Press – 4 sets of 20 reps
- Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 20 reps
- Leg Extensions – All out set of 100 reps with multiple drops
Hooper has been engaged in bodybuilding training for a while and feels comfortable with it. He ruled that training has been fun overall, but that he is not following a bodybuilding diet.
Approximately three-and-a-half months out of the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic, Mitchell Hooper is working extremely hard to get ready to put on a show. It will be interesting to see how he fares at the show.
Watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Mitchell Hooper’s personal YouTube channel: