How Ronnie Coleman Became the King of Strength and Mass

Ronnie Coleman is widely regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, and the most dominant physique ever to grace the stage He won the Mr. Olympia title for eight consecutive years, from 1998 to 2005, and set a record for the most IFBB professional titles with 26 But how did he achieve such a remarkable feat of strength and mass? Here is a brief overview of his life and legacy.

Coleman was born in Monroe, Louisiana, on May 13, 1964. He graduated cum laude from Grambling State University in 1984 with a BSc in accounting. He played football as a middle linebacker with the GSU Tigers under coach Eddie Robinson. After graduation, he failed to find work as an accountant and instead went to work at Domino’s Pizza, where he would eat the complimentary pizza every day due to being so poor that he could barely afford to eat outside of work. He then became a police officer in Arlington, Texas, serving as an officer from 1989 to 2000 and a reserve officer until 2003

Coleman’s bodybuilding career began when his fellow officer Gustavo Arlotta suggested he attend the Metroflex gym, owned by amateur bodybuilder Brian Dobson. Dobson offered Coleman a free lifetime membership if he allowed Dobson to train him for the upcoming 1990 Mr. Texas bodybuilding competition. Coleman agreed and won first place in both the heavyweight and overall categories. He also defeated Dobson himself

Coleman won his first competition as a professional, the Canada Pro Cup, in 1995. The following year, he won the contest again and then went on to win the 1997 Russian Grand Prix. He also participated in powerlifting competitions in the mid-1990s His rise to the top in the professional circuit of bodybuilding was relatively slow: for his first participation at the Mr. Olympia contest (the most prestigious worldwide) in 1992, he wasn’t ranked; then in 1994 he placed 15th, then 10th in 1995, 6th in 1996, and 9th in 1997 when Dorian Yates won his sixth and last title before retiring

Coleman’s breakthrough came in 1998, when he shocked the bodybuilding world by winning the Mr. Olympia title, defeating the reigning champion Flex Wheeler. He repeated his victory in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, becoming the most successful Mr. Olympia of all time, tied with Lee Haney. His closest rival was Jay Cutler, who placed second four times before finally dethroning Coleman in 2006. Coleman attempted to reclaim his title in 2007 but placed fourth. He retired from competitive bodybuilding after that, having suffered from several injuries and surgeries that affected his performance and health

Coleman followed a high-volume, powerlifting-inspired training style focused on lifting maximal poundages. He aimed to increase strength and break PRs in the gym, trusting that sheer muscle size would follow. Coleman’s workouts were the stuff of legend. He combined the high reps favored by bodybuilders with the high-weight approach found in powerlifting circles. He trained six days a week, using a body part split, and the only thing that changed was that he consistently sought to increase the weight lifted across all muscle groups

Some of his most impressive lifts include: 

  • Squat: 800 lb (363 kg) for 2 reps
  • Deadlift: 800 lb (363 kg) for 2 reps
  • Bench press: 500 lb (227 kg) for 5 reps
  • Barbell row: 585 lb (265 kg) for 5 reps
  • Dumbbell shoulder press: 200 lb (91 kg) for 12 reps
  • Dumbbell curl: 100 lb (45 kg) for 10 reps

Coleman is also renowned for his combination of size and conditioning, dominant body parts, and charismatic personality. He weighed between 287 and 300 lb (130 and 136 kg) on stage, and between 315 and 330 lb (143 and 150 kg) off-season He had a 58-inch (147 cm) chest, 24-inch (61 cm) arms, 36-inch (91 cm) thighs, and 22-inch (56 cm) calves He had a body fat percentage of around 3% during competitions, and around 6% during off-season He was known for his massive back, chest, legs, and arms, as well as his shredded abs and striated glutes. He was also famous for his catchphrases, such as “Yeah buddy!”, “Lightweight baby!”, and “Ain’t nothing but a peanut!”

Coleman is widely respected and admired in the bodybuilding community and has inspired generations of athletes and fans. He is considered a legend, a hero, and a role model by many. He has also been involved in various business ventures, such as his own supplement line, Ronnie Coleman Signature Series, and his own clothing line, Ronnie Coleman Apparel. He has also appeared in several documentaries, such as The Cost of Redemption, Relentless, The Unbelievable, and most recently, Ronnie Coleman: The King

Coleman’s legacy is undeniable, and his achievements are unmatched. He is the king of strength and mass and one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time

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