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Dorian Yates Covered Up His Legendary Back With a Bonkers Tattoo

The six-time Mr. Olympia is so over bodybuilding.

From 1992 to 1997, English bodybuilder Dorian Yates dominated the IFBB Pro League, racking up six Olympia wins. From his quads to his delts, he displayed muscle so dense and skin so thin that observers coined the term “grainy” to describe his otherworldly level of definition. But it was when “The Shadow” turned around to display his perfectly sculpted back that audience members and fellow competitors alike knew the win was Yates’s.

Fast-forward two decades and Yates could give two shits about his back. Well, his back muscles, to be more precise. At 57 years old, and with his career 22 years in the rearview, Yates has adopted a new health-first approach that entails Pilates, yoga, copious amounts of pot, and psychedelic trips. In a 2014 interview with London Real, Yates spoke about his spiritually enlightening experience taking the hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca and DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine), saying, "You realize that everything is connected. The thing that I got, is everything is one and one is everything." 


After his most recent ayahuasca experience in January of this year, this new, deep Yates had a vision that inspired some trippy ink—a portrait of a lion, surrounded by the ayahuasca plant and geometric patterns that take up nearly all of the real estate on his Olympia-winning back.

While he still appreciates his accomplishments on stage, Yates has completely moved beyond his bodybuilding days. But if that was ever in question, this massive portrait covering what was once the greatest agglomeration of lats, traps, spinal erectors, and rhomboids in history should clear things up.

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