My weight training in the gym where I work had become stale a while back.
I felt like I was going through the motions, even when I would change the exercises and manipulate different training variables such as Reps, Sets, Load Tempo and Rest Periods I was still hitting a wall!
One of my good mates from work that is big into bodybuilding ask if I had ever tried Dorian Yates’ Blood and Guts 6Week trainer workout and I told him I had not.
I knew of the legendary 6time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates years ago, I remember him competing in Mr Olympia back in the ’90s with Dorian’s training methods leading him to win the Mr Olympia title a phenomenal six straight times from 1992 – 1997 so he already had my respect. He’s right up there with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman as an all-time great!
He’s put himself out there a lot more the last few years, so recently, after a bit more research I decided to try out Dorian’s six week Blood and Guts routine to freshen things up but also to see how my body would react to the shock that was to come!
Similar to Mike Mentzer, Dorian built this six-week program on his preferred training style high-intensity training or HIT! They both have history together.
This mass routine was created to unlock new pathways of extreme growth using only two warm-up sets and one working set to max.
Here is my review in 2020 of how, with my training partner, I take one working set and push beyond my limits with extreme techniques like partial reps, forced reps and extra negatives working my muscles to their max!
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Who Should Use The Blood and Guts Routine?
This product, when done correctly, is one of the most intense programs I’ve ever done.
If it’s your first time doing resistance training, I would recommend using another routine to gain experience, confidence and proper technique for more repetitions to prepare your body for a program like Blood and Guts!
It is for Bodybuilders and also individuals looking to increase their strength, mental fortitude and muscle mass through short bursts of high-intensity lifting.
If you’re used to more volume, this will freshen things up big time!
For each exercise, you do 1-2 warm-up sets; then you aim to lift the weight at the heaviest weight possible for one set for as many as you can by yourself.
With the aid of your workout partner, you’ll do whatever repetitions you can with what you’ve got left in the tank all in one set!
You absolutely need a trustworthy, experienced workout partner to get the most out of this program!
The main reason I got the program is that I wanted to see how far I could go, once thoroughly warm-up using one set only with just myself and a training partner!
Blood and Guts quickly reminded me of the value of a great training partner for lifting more than I ever could by myself!
I believe the 6-week training method is excellent for anyone that has a fear of lifting too heavy, as weird as that sounds.
I’ve seen countless individuals afraid to go past a certain weight, but with this routine, you don’t have a choice!
You have one set, so you better make it count, and, having a workout partner on board will enable you to push past any fear or limiting beliefs you might have about yourself and what numbers are out of your reach!
What You Should Know
As mentioned previously, you will be doing 1-2 warm-up sets then one complete set doing as many reps as you can with the most massive weight possible, then pushing for a few more with your workout partner in that one set.
You will work your entire body doing this. Broken down into four days;
Day 1: Chest and Biceps,
Next up Day 2: Back,
Then Day 3: Deltoids and Triceps
And then finally Day 4: Legs.
Each day has between 5-7 exercises for that specific day. I will layout the four days below in their entirety but first, if you have time check out the two videos below to see what the Blood and Guts program is all about!
The first is of Dorian Yates doing the four days spaced out over a week; Two days on/one day off then another two days on/one day off and so forth!
1. This recording was from the mid-’90s when Dorian was in his prime going for Mr Olympia’s every year.
I love the way it’s in black and white, with all of his preparation, and in his old-school gym in cold Birmingham England when many of his competitors are off in Venice beach where it’s sunny 24/7.
Look at the focus, the incredible intensity, and the perfect technique while lifting such massive weights. Plenty of people can lift heavy, but not with such great technique!
He’s also got the best workout partner on the planet! If Leroy Davis doesn’t motivate you, nothing will!
Check it out below
2. Next up is from a few years ago(around 2013/14) where Dorian is putting trainer and bodybuilder Kris Gethin through the Blood and Guts program for the first time!
In this video, I love Dorian’s way of communicating; there’s so much wisdom/experience here everywhere!
Nothing beats learning through action, but even before you do the program, watching this video a few times will help you a lot!
Only by doing will you truly feel the movements, understand the program etc. but watching these two videos first will set you up for success and give you a better overall understanding of the program!!
There’s also a great section in there on Dorian’s bodybuilding tips regarding nutrition, how to structure your training for long-term success etc.
3. Once you’ve watched both videos above, next up is the complete 6-Week Blood and Guts Routine for you to sink your teeth in!
Follow it to the T (Ahem Training Partner!!)
Day 1 – Chest and Biceps:
- Begin with a 10-Minute Warm-Up on the Treadmill.
- Then Rotator Cuff Warm-Up: 2 Sets x 12 Reps.
- Decline Barbell Bench Press: 2 Warm-Up Sets x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Dumbbell Flies: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Dumbbell Concentration Curl: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Barbell Curls: 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
Day 2 – Back:
- Dumbbell Pullovers: 2 Warm-Up Sets x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- V-Bar Pulldown: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Dumbbell Rows: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Wide-Grip Rows: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Barbell Deadlifts: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
Day 3 – Deltoids and Triceps:
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Warm-Up Set x 8-10 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Side Lateral Raises: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Cable Lateral Raises: 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
- Cable Pushdown: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Skull Crushers: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
- Seated Triceps Press: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 8-10 Reps.
Day 4 – Legs:
- 10 Minute Cardio Warm-Up.
- Lower Back Stretch (Knees Bent): 1 Set x 6 Reps.
- Lower Back Stretch (Legs Straight): 1 Set x 6 Reps.
- Hamstring Stretch: 1 Set x 6 Reps.
- Glute Stretch: 1 Set x 6 Reps.
- Leg Extension: 1 Warm-Up Set x 15 Reps, 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps.
- Leg Press: 2 Warm-Up Sets x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps.
- Hack Squat: 2 Warm-Up Sets x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps.
- Leg Curl: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps.
- Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps.
- Calf Raises: 1 Working Set x 10-12 Reps, 3 Rest-Pause Sets (1 Set x Failure, 10-15 Second Pause, **Increase Weight** 1 Set x Failure, 10-15 Second Pause, **Increase Weight** 1 Set x Failure).
- Seated Calf Raises: 1 Warm-Up Set x 10-12 Reps, 1 Working Set x 6-8 Reps.
My First Impressions
I love that you can do Blood and Guts in almost any gym out there!
There’s nothing fancy about the routine, but six weeks of high-intensity, take no prisoners workouts four times a week!
Most of the movements like the pullover used machines, but for the same exercise using dumbells when Dorian was coaching in the second video, so the program is very flexible.
When I had to use machines or free weights, the most important factor was intensity!
My training partner was vital for the six weeks, and we even talked after workout number 1, how our minds and not just our bodies will have to be more prepared for the workouts to come!
It was a mental shift more than anything else with these intense workouts!
The Use Phase
After my first workout that was Chest and Biceps(Not Even Legs) after lifting as heavy as I could, I remember having to sit down and thinking to myself “Holy Shit! What am I feeling right now?!!” It was a great workout!
It was beautiful, unlike the feeling when having a lot of volume in my training where I would slowly wear down, this feeling was like a big chunk of my energy/body was taken from me with one swift movement!
Physically and mentally for week 1, we had to adapt and catch up!
It didn’t take long though; we accepted the challenge and quickly adapted!
Before moving on, I want to elaborate a bit here on the importance of having the right training partner:
A spotter when you’re doing the Bench Press is someone that stops the bar from coming down on you, not someone that completes all of your reps.
Find someone that has experience in the nuances of spotting correctly, so it’s a benefit, not a hindrance to you! Someone you trust has your back and won’t renege on you halfway through with more excuses than effort!
The same goes for you, be there for the other person too right until the very last workout!
Another thing is because of your lifting as heavy as possible for one Set if you need to take more time to warm-up.
An example would be the barbell only for the Decline Barbell Bench Press, then add 25% of your working weight using the same warm-up Reps, then 50% with fewer Reps, then 75% before going all-out for your one working Set.
My strength levels went through the roof! , e.g. instead of Dumbbell rowing 45Kg’s for reps and Sets, I was in the 55-60Kg’s range for single Sets.
My mental endurance/tolerance for going beyond what I’m capable of is much improved.
I experienced new muscle growth even though I wasn’t really gaining weight that much!
I did not put on as much size as I do when I’m doing a routine with lots of Barbell Squats and Deadlift variations, I feel my body responds best to those exercises using multiple Sets and Reps. So I did not bulk up much more than usual.
All in all, though, it was a phenomenal experience!
I’m obviously nowhere near the level of Dorian Yates with my training, but to be able to have the opportunity to spend six weeks adopting a portion of his training style that he used to dominate bodybuilding for most of the ’90s was an honour and a pleasure!
It’s another layer to my training in experience and knowledge that will stand to me for the rest of my life!
Dorian Yates’ 6-Week Blood and Guts Workout Rating: 4.6/5
The Blood and Guts workout is outstanding, and I recommend for everyone that loves the weight room to devote at least six weeks to do this program!
I only gave it six weeks, but you can do six weeks, then have a deload week to recover, then go again for another six at whatever level you’re at then and so on!
In my opinion, I think for people starting out, it would not be the first program I’d recommend.
Begin with something else first that has more Reps and Sets so you’re building up the volume and your body is gaining the experience it needs lifting weights and mastering training principles such as Reps, Sets, Load, Tempo and Rest Period!
Not only your muscles but also your connective tissue will get stronger too from higher volume and correct technique.
You also have to find out what works best for you. As I mentioned about myself earlier, I respond to multiple squats and deadlifts!
Dorian Yates worked harder than anyone to win his six Mr Olympia titles. Still, his genetic makeup allowed him to respond better to short, fast high-intensity training sessions that may not suit others to the same extent!
Also, having a training partner isn’t as much of a prerequisite when lifting with multiple Reps and Sets but at a lower but none the less high intensity!
I hope you enjoyed my Blood and Guts Review as much as I enjoyed looking back on my experience doing it!