Ronnie Coleman is a professional American bodybuilder. Together with Lee Haney, he holds the record for the most victories in the most prestigious bodybuilding tournament, Mr Olympia. At the time of the official end of his competitive career, he was his 8-time triumph (from 1998 to 2005). For comparison: the most famous bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger won the coveted trophy only 7 times (from 1970 to 1975 and in 1980).
Ronnie Coleman Biography
Ronnie Coleman was born on May 19, 1964 in Monroe (Louisiana). Later, the boy’s family moved to nearby Bastrop, where he spent most of his childhood. Ronnie’s mother was not a fragile woman, but childbirth was not easy for her. Even the doctors were surprised how big the baby was. He remains the eldest of 4 children and the eldest male in the Coleman family, as his father did not live with them.
From a young age, the future winner Mr Olympia is forced to earn money, making his own contribution to the family budget: he works 2 jobs on weekends and after school to help his mother. Ronnie Coleman is fond of sports from a young age: like most American boys, he is interested in baseball, basketball and American football. The guy’s phenomenal genetics manifested itself at the age of 14-16 (80+ kg of weight at ≈180 cm in height), which allowed him to stand out among his peers.
Ronnie, one might say, became interested in heavy sports by chance, wandering out of curiosity into the school gym. Since he did not understand all the intricacies of power loads, it was only later that he realized that he was engaged in powerlifting for a long time. But still, Coleman’s main hobby until old age is American football, thanks to the success in which he goes to university and receives a scholarship.
The future bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman graduates from the university with honors, receiving a bachelor’s degree (specialty – accounting). In search of work, he moves to Dallas (Texas), but things do not go well for a long time. Again he has to earn extra money in order to find a livelihood: he works as a deliveryman of newspapers and pizza and for some time in his specialty, until he gets a job in the Police, the service in which was his childhood dream.
It was during his work as a police officer that Ronnie Coleman begins to really engage in bodybuilding: his colleague in the service, Gustavo Arlotta, suggests going to the gym together, Metroflex gym, which is owned by Brian Dobson. Brian, as an amateur bodybuilder, immediately notices Coleman’s physical potential, offering him a free lifetime membership if Ronnie agrees to prepare under Dobson for the Mr Texas amateur tournament.
As a result of the preparation, aspiring bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman wins the title without any problems (in both heavyweight and general categories). It is ironic that he bypasses his mentor. This was the beginning of the athlete’s triumphal procession in bodybuilding championships, which lasted almost 20 years.
The athlete receives the status of a professional in 1992, but until 1995 he was not marked with much success: on average, he takes 4-6 places at various Grand Prix.
Ronnie Coleman’s first professional victory happened in 1995 – he won the Canada Pro Cup, after which things are going uphill: 1st at Canada Pro Cup 1996, 1st at Grand Prix Russia 1997, 1st at Toronto Invitational 1998, 1st Grand Prix Finland 1998 and so on. At the time of his retirement from professional sports, he is already an 8-time owner of Mr Olympia.
Officially, Ronnie Coleman ended his career in 2009 after several not very successful seasons (in 2006-2009 he took a maximum of 2 places in tournaments). This was not news to anyone, but what surprised many was the athlete’s desire to return to competitive performances after the break. However, this did not happen.
Today Ronnie Coleman focuses on family life and personal business. In 2016, he married his longtime girlfriend and personal trainer Susan Williamson. This is the athlete’s second marriage. The first was with Rouaida Christine Achkar, who bore him two daughters, Jamelia and Valencia Daniel.
At the peak of his form, Ronnie Coleman had impressive anthropometric data, bypassing most of the champions of the past and present in size:
- ≈180 centimeters in height;
- ≈138 kilograms of weight;
- ≈62 centimeters of biceps volume;
- ≈148 centimeters of chest volume;
- ≈105 centimeters of waist;
- ≈87 centimeters of thigh volume.
In the off-season, the weight of the athlete increased to ≈ 150 kilograms.
Ronnie Coleman is a bodybuilder of unique genetics. By body type, he is a pronounced mesomorph, but the matter is not limited to this. A genetic study has been performed which has shown that the athlete does not have myostatin blockage. Myostatin is a protein that inhibits muscle growth. The smaller it is, the higher the predisposition to the development of muscles. So, Ronnie actually does not have it. Some consider it an ugliness, while others call Coleman the only natural born bodybuilder.
Outstanding physical fitness allowed him to achieve a record number of titles, beating Arnold Schwarzenegger in this indicator and equaling Lee Haney. Here are just a few of the awards won by a living legend from 1995 to 2005:
- Mr. Olympia 1998 – 1st;
- Grand Prix Finland 1998 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 1999 – 1st;
- World Pro Championships 1999 – 1st;
- Grand Prix England 1999 – 1st;
- Grand Prix England 2000 – 1st;
- World Pro Championships 2000 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2000 – 1st;
- Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic 2001 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2001 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2002 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2003 – 1st;
- Grand Prix Russia 2003 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2004 – 1st;
- Grand Prix England 2004 – 1st;
- Grand Prix Russia 2004 – 1st;
- Mr. Olympia 2005 – 1st.
At home, bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman has an excellent gym, but still occasionally visits the Metroflex gym, where, one might say, his career as a bodybuilder began.
Once an athlete was asked what is most important for him in life, to which he replied without hesitation: “To make money.” Indeed, Coleman is a great businessman. A variety of seminars, presentations, books, video courses and advertisements bring him fabulous income. In addition, in July 2012, Ronnie launched its own brand of sports nutrition called the Ronnie Coleman Signature Series (RCSS). At the beginning, it only included 2 products, but today it has expanded to a range of more than 10 products.
Ronnie Coleman, as people familiar with him say, is a kind-hearted person. He is a deeply religious person. He tries to go to church every Sunday. When traveling, he always keeps the Bible with him.
Ronnie Coleman has received the nickname “Big Ron” from fans and colleagues, which hints at his enormous proportions and strong influence in bodybuilding.
Ronnie Coleman Workouts
The Ronnie Coleman workout plan includes two main components: the first is a strength complex, the second is a pumping complex. He alternated them on average every 3-6 weeks to make maximum progress. And in this way he practiced practically the whole year up to Olympia. Strength training is literally powerlifting: a minimal set of exercises with high weights and low reps. The pumping complex, on the contrary, implies a large number of sets, exercises and repetitions.
Ronnie Coleman’s strength training was carried out with an incredible intensity: ≈ 1-2 basic exercises; ≈ 5-6 sets in total; ≈ 4-6, less often 8-10, repetitions per approach. Rest between sets, as a rule, is long – up to 3 minutes or more, since the athlete worked with large (although not maximum) weights.
Ronnie Coleman’s bodybuilding workouts were no less intense: ≈ 3-4 pumping exercises; ≈ 12-15 sets in total; ≈ 10-15 repetitions per set. Rest between sets is short, but sufficient – up to 1-3 minutes, depending on the severity of the load.
The Ronnie Coleman workout program involves working out large muscle groups like the back, chest and legs at the beginning of classes, and small ones like biceps, triceps and calves – at the end.
The athlete is convinced that a couple of basic lifting exercises are enough to stimulate muscle growth: such as squats, bench press and deadlift. Once a week, he definitely performed one of these loads in a heavy power style.
In a weekly split, Coleman worked each muscle group twice, but the loads were constantly changing. That is, the set of exercises for the same muscles in the first lesson could be completely different (lighter) than in the second lesson (more difficult). When he trained lightly, he used mainly blocks and dumbbells, and when it was hard – barbell and dumbbells.
Ronnie Coleman in training is an ardent opponent of “rejection”, because he considers such a method harmful, as he said more than once in interviews. In his opinion, working in the approach to failure contributes not to progress, but to muscle regression. He never fully straightened joints in the positive phase of the movement, and also never worked with extreme weights. Ronnie claims that this is what allowed him to avoid serious injury.
In Ronnie Coleman’s training, aerobics also took place ≈ 4 times a week for 45 minutes. He needed aerobic activity to maintain optimal cardiovascular function. In order not to lose weight, the bodybuilder exercised at a moderate pace and consumed three times more calories than he expended. At the same time, he practically did not rest during the season – he very rarely took week breaks for himself in order to avoid overtraining.
Ronnie Coleman is a conservative in both his personal life and his sports career. He has never made any major changes to his own training program (since he won his first professional bodybuilding tournament). Only once has he minimally reduced the share of the power complex in favor of the pumping complex.
Ronnie Coleman and Steroids
For a long time, Ronnie Coleman did not want to admit that he used steroids. The police force forced him to stick to the letter of the law, or at least pretend to stick to it. Therefore, it was necessary to deny that the use of anabolic steroids takes place in a sports career.
There are several fairly old and short videos circulating on the net in which Ronnie Coleman allegedly claims to be using steroid cycles. But they are nothing but fiction, since their content is taken out of context. In fact, Ronnie only admitted to using anabolic steroids in 2011 in an interview with Muscular Development magazine.
Coleman is often cited as one of the best bodybuilders in history despite his doping use. The main aspects of his success in sports are amazing genetics and hard training, and sports pharmacology only helped him hone his already huge muscles. Look at least at the old photos of the athlete, even at them, being a beginner, he looks impressive.
What Steroids Did Ronnie Coleman Take?
It is believed that his pharmacological diet consisted mainly of a mix of Testosterones (Sustanon), Nandrolone Decanoate, Boldenone Undecylenate, Oxymetholone, Methandienone and Somatotropin (Growth Hormone), which he used in exorbitant doses: ≈ up to 500 mg of Sustanon per day, ≈ up to 200 mg of Nandrolone per day, ≈ up to 300 mg of Boldenone per day, ≈ up to 100 mg of Oxymetholone per day, ≈ up to 100 mg of Methandienone per day; GH ≈ 16 IU per day. It is important to understand that, firstly, this information has never been confirmed by official sources (by the bodybuilder himself or people close to him), and secondly, it is presented solely for information.
No sane sports enthusiast, if he has not reached the level of professionals preparing to perform at Mr Olympia, will not resort to such dosages. Without the proper experience and training, so much pharmacology will do more harm than good!