How Strong Was Ronnie Coleman? Comparing His Numbers to Other Athletes

 


Ronnie Coleman is widely regarded as one of the strongest bodybuilders of all time. He won the Mr. Olympia title eight times in a row, from 1998 to 2005, and was known for his impressive feats of strength in the gym. But how does his strength compare to other athletes, such as powerlifters, strongmen, or Olympic weightlifters? In this post, we will look at some of Coleman’s best lifts and see how they stack up against the records and achievements of other strength athletes.

Ronnie Coleman’s Best Lifts

According to various sources, these are some of Coleman’s best lifts in different exercises:

It is important to note that these lifts were not performed in a competition setting, but rather in training sessions or videos. Therefore, they may not adhere to the strict rules and standards of official powerlifting or weightlifting federations. However, they still demonstrate Coleman’s incredible strength and power.



How Does Coleman Compare to Other Athletes?

To compare Coleman’s strength to other athletes, we will use the following criteria:

Powerlifting

Powerlifting is a sport that consists of three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. The total is the sum of the best attempt in each lift. The current world records in the raw division for the 120+ kg (264+ lbs) category are:

As we can see, Coleman’s squat and deadlift are about 75% of the world record, while his bench press is about 67% of the world record. His total would be around 2,095 lbs (950 kg), which is about 91% of the world record. This means that Coleman was very strong for a bodybuilder, but not quite at the elite level of powerlifting.

Strongman

Strongman is a sport that involves various events that test strength, endurance, and athleticism. The events vary from competition to competition, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Atlas Stones: Lifting five spherical stones of increasing weight onto platforms of varying height. The current world record is 286 lbs (130 kg) for the heaviest stone by Tom Stoltman (Scotland) in 2020.
  • Log Lift: Lifting a log from the ground to overhead. The current world record is 502 lbs (228 kg) by Zydrunas Savickas (Lithuania) in 2015.
  • Deadlift: Lifting a barbell from the ground to a standing position. The current world record is 1,105 lbs (501 kg) by Hafthor Bjornsson (Iceland) in 2020.
  • Farmer’s Walk: Carrying two heavy implements in each hand for a set distance. The current world record is 410 lbs (186 kg) per hand for 20 meters (66 feet) by Mateusz Kieliszkowski (Poland) in 2019.
  • Yoke: Carrying a heavy frame across the shoulders for a set distance. The current world record is 1,565 lbs (710 kg) for 10 meters (33 feet) by Brian Shaw (USA) in 2019.

It is hard to compare Coleman’s strength to these events, as they require different skills and techniques. However, based on his overhead press, we can estimate that he could lift around 400 lbs (181 kg) on the log lift, which is about 80% of the world record. Based on his deadlift, we can estimate that he could lift around 900 lbs (408 kg) on the deadlift, which is about 81% of the world record. Based on his T-bar row, we can estimate that he could carry around 300 lbs (136 kg) per hand on the farmer’s walk, which is about 73% of the world record. Based on his leg press, we can estimate that he could carry around 1,200 lbs (544 kg) on the yoke, which is about 77% of the world record. Based on his shrugs, we can estimate that he could lift around 250 lbs (113 kg) on the atlas stones, which is about 87% of the world record. These estimates are very rough and may not reflect Coleman’s actual performance, but they give us an idea of his potential in strongman events.

Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic weightlifting is a sport that consists of two lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The total is the sum of the best attempt in each lift. The current world records in the 109+ kg (240+ lbs) category are:

  • Snatch: 485 lbs (220 kg) by Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia) in 2021
  • Clean and Jerk: 584 lbs (265 kg) by Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia) in 2021
  • Total: 1,069 lbs (485 kg) by Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia) in 2021

Olympic weightlifting requires a high level of speed, technique, and flexibility, which are not the main focus of bodybuilding training. Therefore, it is very unlikely that Coleman could perform these lifts with good form and efficiency. However, based on his overhead press, we can estimate that he could clean and jerk around 350 lbs (159 kg), which is about 60% of the world record. Based on his deadlift, we can estimate that he could snatch around 250 lbs (113 kg), which is about 51% of the world record. His total would be around 600 lbs (272 kg), which is about 56% of the world record. This means that Coleman was not very proficient in Olympic weightlifting, but still had some basic strength and power.

Conclusion

Ronnie Coleman was a phenomenal bodybuilder who also possessed incredible strength and power. He lifted weights that most people can only dream of and inspired millions of fans around the world. However, when compared to other strength athletes, such as powerlifters, strongmen, or Olympic weightlifters, he was not at the top of the game. This is not to diminish his achievements, but rather to appreciate the different aspects and challenges of each sport. Coleman was a master of his craft, and his legacy will live on as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

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