Well, I do not think he trained the same way as all pros. He would do a flat pyramid for this first exercise of the workout. Every exercise thereafter, had one or NO warmup sets and he went straight into a work set. From '83 to '85, he used three work sets with the SAME weight. From '86 to '92, he used two working sets with the same weight, and from '93 to '97, he used ONE working set - and as stated - sometimes with no pyramided sets beforehand if he was already warmed up.
So, he did not train like all others. Most guys pyramid up on ALL exercises, which to me is pointless. Well, maybe not ENTIRELY pointless, but it can be overkill. I say not entirely pointless because as Dan Duchaine once stated, warmup sets still “groom the neural pathways”; “grease the groove” so to speak.
And in order to progress size wise, you need to progress neurally, as CT has stated. This is also why its not a good idea to change routines too often as stated ad nauseum on here too.
I think how Dorian was different from other pros was that he was meticulous in his record keeping, program design, and diet. He was one of the most cerebral bodybuilders ever! He never did instinctive training; never walked into a gym casually like some other guys I have seen in person and in videos. And I do not think these videos were an exception to how they train when not on camera.
I have seen videos of Craig Titus, Flex Wheeler, Paul Dillet, Jerome Ferguson, and some others either acting like complete idiots or seeming half asleep or acting very causal. This is not to criticize them or take away from them becoming pros, something I most cannot do. Its just that Dorian took things to a level they could not, either because they were not equipped emotionally or simply undisciplined. I doubt that the guys I speak of were trying to break records at EVERY workout like Dorian. These guys were loafers; Dorian was a performer.
Who has ever seen the old video of Titus, although looking like a Greek god, performing the most sissy machine and cable exercises, some of which I think he made up, in the most casual manner. It also has him parading around in a backwards Kangol and shorts with no shirt on, boasting and bragging to a young Triple H and his friend, and admiring himself in the mirror.
I can also vividly remember a video of Flex Wheeler doing forward shoulder raises with what looked like 12 to 20 lbs. This was a long time ago. Then he would walk around the gym telling jokes and engaging in behavior that seems similar to “pimped out rappers”.
You got a video on the FIT show of Jerome Ferguson doing arms, a workout in which he seems perfectly chipper in between sets of machine curls.
Guys like Dorian, Mike Francois, Gay Strydom, Chris Duffy, Ronnie, Milos Sarcev, and others NEVER fucked around like this, which is why they had some of the best physiques in the world, in my opinion. Flex was also extremely undisciplined with his diet, eating BK a few weeks out from shows. Again, some men (ie: Dorian) can deal with restriction well. Others can’t.
This is why people “perceive” Dorian as training so different. Perhaps its not that he trained drastically different but because of his mindset, and his PERFORMANCE BASED system of training.
There are also some pros who APPEAR to be training goofy, but they are actually not and have reasoning behind what they are doing, so I give them credit too. Rusty Jeffers, I saw a Fit Show video of him training and he had a chest routine I would probably NEVER do:
1)Bench Presses supersetted with bar pullovers
(he also “sandwiched” in bent over barbell concentration curls after the pullovers to keep his injury prone shoulder joints warm)
I know this post is not correctly written as I sometimes go on a tangent and I am not about to edit my own posts so thoroughly. I’ll leave that to more serious matters in my life.
2) Dips supersetted with slight decline flies
He might have done some other stuff but this is all I remember.
His routine was goofy to ME but he has his reasons. He was influenced by Reg Park, who he stated was fond of pullovers supersetted with bench presses. His doc stated that he would be less injury prone if he kept his bis warm during chest training. So, clearly he put some thought into his training system
I don’t know how I came up with this crazy rant. I guess in conclusion, its that some guys, like Dorian, have a really methodical system which makes them seeem different, and some guys just waltz into a gym and don’t do much.