Ronnie Coleman – 8 Time Mr. Olympia

Ronnie Coleman goes to the gym around midday, Monday to Saturday for a two-hour workout with his three training partners, Gus Carter and Curtis Fails, both recreational bodybuilders, and Vickie Gates, a pro who this Spring won the Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, another prominent bodybuilding contest; she is also Coleman’s girlfriend of several years.

In March, spoke to Coleman, and he forecasted that this year would see him winning his eighth straight title. Coleman has an incredible work ethic and plans his life carefully, with hardly any outside interruptions and full focus on his bodybuilding activities. Coleman’s Christian beliefs also have a great bearing on his capacity to attain what most only dream of.

For his leg presses, Coleman puts 1350 lbs on the machine. Not for one or two presses, but for 15 in a row. Coleman has never tried to see how much more he can press. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t, that’s all the weight the machine at his gym will hold. Those legs turned to jelly in October 1998, when Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title for the first time. He collapsed in a heap onstage, and stayed there for a full three minutes, because he couldn’t get up even when he tried.

In 2005, a competitor caught Coleman from behind for the first time. That man was Jay Cutler, but ultimately, he wasn’t enough to end the supremacy of Coleman, who made it eight in a row, tying with Lee Haney for the Olympia record.

Olympia 2005 was a wild night, from the opening section of the show, when power lifter Gene Rychalik took the stage in an effort to break his all-time bench press record and press 1015 pounds, only to end up broken himself under the bar as his attempt went askew. There were also unhappy athletes offstage, crying foul over a supposed “belly ban” that didn’t change the scores in any way.

Coleman holds the record for most wins as an IFBB professional with 25 wins, alongside his eight Mr. Olympia wins. He graduated cum laude from Grambling State University in 1989 with a degree in Accounting. He supports the Inner City Games, an organization that Arnold Schwarzenegger co-founded in 1991. Coleman is an advocate of “old school” bodybuilding, consisting of power lifting, simple and compound movements with mostly free weights.

Vital Stats

  • Name: Ronald Dean Coleman
  • Location: Arlington, Texas
  • Born: May 13, 1964
  • Birthplace: Monroe, LA
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Off-season weight: about 300 lbs.
  • Competition weight: 257
  • Arms: 22″
  • Pro qualifying event: 1991 World Amateur Championships

Coleman is as massive as the state of Texas, with comic-book arms, a superhero’s chest, and wide-screen thighs. In contest shape, he carries 4 percent body fat. One thigh is three feet around, several inches greater than his waist. His favorite saying, as he’s about to lift some absurd weight, is, “ain’t nothin’ but a peanut.” When he fires up his six-pack, the cuts in his abs are so deep you can slide a coin into one and never see it again.

Ronnie Coleman Quotes

“Regardless of how heavy I lift, my main focus is always on working the muscle as best I can.”

“An increase in strength indicates an increase in size.”

“Facing an extremely heavy lift forces me to concentrate even harder on proper execution. The heavier the lift, the cleaner the form.”

The Contest

Mr. Olympia is a global bodybuilding contest, which is held yearly by the International Federation of Bodybuilders. Lee Haney and Ronnie Coleman hold the record number of wins – eight. Larry Scott, the star bodybuilder of the time, won the first two Mr. Olympia contests, held in 1965 and 1966. There is a parallel female contest for female bodybuilders – Ms. Olympia.

Coleman’s Routine

  • Monday: chest, triceps, calves, abs
  • Tuesday: quads, hams
  • Wednesday: back, biceps, calves, abs
  • Thursday: chest, delts, triceps
  • Friday: quads, hams, abs
  • Saturday: back, biceps, delts, calves
  • Sunday: rest

Coleman says that you can make impressive gains using only dumbbells. Here is his chest routine:

  • Incline dumbbell presses: bring the weights all the way down, until they touch your deltoids. At the top, bring the dumbbells together and squeeze your pecs hard.
  • Flat dumbbell presses: bring the dumbbells down until they touch your upper pecs and again, bring them together at the top and squeeze.
  • Incline Flyes: here is where you can get the fullest range of motion for your upper pecs and your deltoid tie-ins by stretching at the bottom and touching the dumbbells together at the top.
  • Flat Flyes: this is the ultimate full-extension motion for your pecs.

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