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Ronnie Coleman – A Bodybuilder’s Secret to Bodybuilding


Ronnie Coleman is a bodybuilder and winner of the Mr. Olympia title. Also, he is a living legend. Ronnie has inspired many gym enthusiasts. Not only them but also many IBFF professionals.

Ronnie won 26 different titles during his career. He was born on May 13, 1964, in Monroe, Louisiana. His early life differed significantly from now. Let’s go back in time and find out how a man from such a humble background became the legend of bodybuilding.

Ronnie Dean Coleman completed his college degree from Grambling State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

Ronnie’s education in accounting gave him a strong background in math and management. We need both to build a successful diet and workout program.

You can measure a diet, workouts, muscle mass, and body fat in calories or pounds. Both measurements are numbers and, along with time, provide the blueprint for a great bodybuilder.

Also, at Grambling, Ronnie was a football player. He played middle linebacker under the coaching of the legendary Eddie Robinson.

Attaining one of the world’s most muscular bodies, Ronnie Coleman has worked hard throughout his career. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

The king of sturdiness, Ronnie Coleman, has been a great success with his world-breaking records. Ronnie is the most persistent bodybuilder in history. Some say he is the king and the greatest bodybuilder of all time.

Ronnie-Coleman-Professional-Bodybuilder

Who Is Ronnie Coleman, the Bodybuilder?

After graduation, Ronnie went to Texas for better job opportunities. As Ronnie struggled to make ends meet, he worked as a delivery man at Dominos. He was never happy with the job.

However, Ronnie always believed God had destined him to do big things. Ronnie finally came to Arlington, Texas, seeking better job opportunities. He became a police officer when he was 25. It was a far better opportunity, which eventually led him to test his abilities.

Ronnie started working out in the private gym at the police station. Thus, he started believing in his potential. Coleman’s eagerness for the gym became more robust.

Thus, he joined the Metroflex gym and started his bodybuilding career. They provided Ronnie with his first chance to compete. Also, this was the beginning of Ronnie’s legendary career. His infatuation with bodybuilding was enough to encourage him every day. Under the gym’s guidance, he was finally ready to rise above the competition. All his efforts didn’t go in vain.

Vital Stats –

After much diligence and hard work, Ronnie Coleman stunned the world with his enormous body of 300 lbs. However, he never stopped working harder. Ronnie kept working on his body until he reached the maximum weight of 315 lbs.

Ronnie built power, definition, and mass during his early years. By 2003, Ronnie was the most dominant combination of size and symmetry in bodybuilding. Ronnie Coleman stands 5’11 (180cm), with an ideal chest of 60-inches (150cm) and biceps of 24-inch.

Personal life –

  • Raised by a single mother in Pelican State, USA, Ronnie Coleman is a devoted Christian. Also, he is a family man. Ronnie has a younger brother and two sisters.
  • He met French Lebanese personal trainer Raouida Christine Achkar in March 1998. They married on December 28, 2007, in Beirut. But unfortunately, that marriage didn’t last long, and they divorced soon after.
  • Afterward, he met and married Susan Williamson, an American personal trainer. She was a breath of fresh air for the legend. They married in 2016 and are currently living in Arlington, Texas. Both Ronnie and Susan have children from previous marriages.

Career –

The secret behind the success of Ronnie Coleman was that he always worked on his body. For competitions, he constantly improved his body. After winning his first competition, he went to Poland to compete, earning his Pro Card. Thus, Ronnie Coleman became a professional bodybuilder at 27.

Ronnie took part in many competitions, which did not meet his standards. As a result, he struggled early in his career. However, he never let failure get in his way. Ronnie was not one to accept defeat. But Ronnie eventually won a significant victory at the Canada Pro Cup.

Some of his championships include:

  1. Texas (heavyweight) 1999–First Place
  2. Grand Prix Holland 2002–First Place
  3. World Amateur Championships
  4. Grand Prix England 2000–First Place
  5. Grand Prix New Zealand 2001–First Place
  6. Arnold Classic 2001–First Place
  7. Olympia 1998-2005–First Place
  8. Olympia 2006–Second Place

Most of Coleman’s fans know the primary reason he started his bodybuilding career. However, it was later revealed to the rest of the world when Ronnie stated that his primary goal was to do what he enjoyed.

Ronnie Wins Mr. Olympia –

His passion and love for the sport developed during his early life. He continued to work hard throughout his career. Ronnie never lost his passion for bodybuilding. Even when things got tough, Ronnie worked harder. His first five years were harsh. Ronnie rarely reached the top five in competitions. However, Ronnie never let failure get in his way. Thus, he never lost hope. Instead, he kept on working even harder.

It was in 1998 that Ronnie’s career reached legendary status. He went on an unprecedented streak to win 8 Mr. Olympia titles. Only Lee Haney matched Ronnie’s feat.

In that regard, Ronnie stands above other professional bodybuilders. Many call him the king, the GOAT (the greatest of all time). Ronnie cemented his place amongst the greatest bodybuilders of all time. What we remember most about Ronnie Coleman are his iron will and flawless physique. Ronnie Coleman is what you get when you combine mental and physical toughness.

Gym Life Workout Compound Exercise

Ronnie Coleman’s Workout

Unlike many other bodybuilders who trained with machines and reps, Ronnie Coleman used grit, will, and heavyweights to build his impressive body. He is undoubtedly one of the most defined bodybuilders because his training was unequaled.

Thus, it brought out the best in Ronnie. “Hard work and training. There’s no secret formula. I lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best,” says Ronnie.

Ronnie had a well-planned routine. He followed the same principles during his career. Thus, Ronnie planned every minute to maximize his results.

Undoubtedly, his degree in accounting and the influence of his college coach, the legendary Eddie Robinson, influenced how Ronnie went about training. Likewise, the legendary bodybuilder, which we came to know as Ronnie Coleman, resulted from many successful workouts and a careful diet.

Training –

  • Monday: Shoulders, back, biceps – There are three sets of 10-12 reps: Dumbell Row, T-Bar Row, Barbell Row, biceps Curl on a bench, and Seated Alternating Curl. Four sets of 10-12 reps of the Deadlift, Cable biceps Curl, Overhead Shoulder Press, Dumbell Shoulder Press, and Dumbbell Front Raise.
  • Tuesday: Legs workout – Four sets of 12 reps of Leg Press and Leg Curls. Six sets of 2-12 reps of Standard Squats.
  • Wednesday: Triceps and chest – Four sets of 12 reps of Seated Dumbbell Extension, Lateral Raises, Close Grip Bench Press, and  3-5 sets of 12 reps of Bench Press and Incline Bench Press.
  • Thursday: Biceps, back, shoulders – There are three sets of 12 reps of Close-Grip Lat Pulldown, Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown, and Machine biceps Curl.
  • Friday: Legs workout – Three sets of 12-15 reps of Standing Leg Curl and Hack Squat and four sets of 30 reps of Leg Extensions.
  • Saturday: Triceps, calves, abs, chest – Four sets of 12 reps Seated Calf Raises, Standing Calf Raise, Incline and Decline Dumbbell Fly, and Crunches.
  • Sunday: Rest day

Much deserved time. Sunday was a rest day for the champ. During this break, he spent his time with his family.

Protein Diet

Ronnie Coleman’s Diet

Food is undoubtedly an essential fuel for a hardcore bodybuilder like Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie followed a quality diet during his career. Combining your diet, workout, supplements, and multivitamin is the best way to get ripped.

As a result, his impeccable body resulted from exercise, nutrition, and supplements. Ronnie’s diet included classic foods rich in calories, proteins, vegetables, oatmeal, beef, eggs, rice, and potatoes. In addition, he recharged his body sometimes with whey proteins.

Meals –

It was difficult for Ronnie to follow his daily food, but he endured it well, just like all other struggles. Ronnie ate hamburgers and fried chicken during the off-season.

And whenever he wanted to lose weight, he ate vegetables and chicken. His day started with 3-5g of arginine, two cups of egg white, a coffee cup, and ¾ cup of semolina, preceded by a pre-workout stimulant and post-workout supplement. In the evening, Ronnie had two slices of cornbread, 450g of chicken breast, 1.5 cups of red beans, 1.5 cups of brown rice, and arginine.

His night diet was 250g beef, 140g chicken breast, 230ml lemonade, 120g French fries, one baked potato, and four scoops of whey protein. Ronnie’s diet and workout routine complemented each other.

Ronnie knew his diet could not work against his workout to get the best results. Thus, Ronnie ensured his calories, exercises, and nutrition worked together to help him reach the best results.

Steroids –

There have been many controversies regarding steroidal use, and Ronnie clarified everything in an interview. First, he accepted he took steroids prescribed by his doctor.

But whatever he did was legal as he followed his doctor’s medical advice for taking steroids. Second, no one could believe that a 300 lb man was less than a half percent total body fat. Ronnie’s highest body fat percent was 3% during competing years. An average human has 20-30% total body fat.

In contrast, some elite athletes may have less than 8%. Having fat less than 10% means that one is a specimen to be studied by a biologist. Ronnie always related his low body fat percentage to his genetics.

Ronnie Coleman Retires?

Not only did Ronnie defeat some of the greatest bodybuilders in the world, but he also made some great movies. In 1998, he made his first film, ‘The First Training Video,’ which was an overall success and an inspiration for athletes.

Some other movies included:

  • The Unbelievable–2000
  • The Cost Of Redemption–2003
  • Relentless–2006
  • Invincible – 2008
  • The Last Training Video–2009
  • The King–2018

Retirement –

After spending 15 years setting world records because of his incredible body, Ronnie finally retired in 2007. After reaching the world record of 8 Mr. Olympia titles set by Lee Haney, Ronnie left the sport. Bodybuilding had exacted a toll on Ronnie’s body over the years.

Ronnie sustained injuries from performing exercises like the deadlift and squats. Some suspect these injuries resulted from his tenacious attitude and reckless regard for maintaining proper technique throughout the lift.

Ronnie has been through seven major surgeries, including:

  • Laminectomy L4-L5 discs–December 2007
  • Disc Decompression L3-L4–July 2011
  • Neck Vertebra Joint – December 2011
  • Left Hip Joint Replacement–July 2014
  • Right Hip Joint Replacement–August 2014
  • L3-L4 Disc Joint–July 2015
  • Spine Surgery–February 2016

Ronnie spent a period of his life in a wheelchair, but that never got him down. He believes that whatever he achieved in his life was enough to eliminate all the negatives he overcame.

Entrepreneur –

After retiring from bodybuilding, Ronnie remained passionate and active in the fitness industry. Today, he runs a fitness supplement company to help others achieve their fitness goals. Thus, this company provides quality products, from pre-workout supplements to post-workout boosters and fat burners. According to the statistics of 2019, the media estimated that Ronnie’s net worth was 10 million dollars. Ronnie also visits the expos worldwide, approaching his fans and promoting his company. As a result, he has been a great inspiration for everyone.

The Last Word on Ronnie Coleman, the Bodybuilding

Never giving up was one of Ronnie Dean Coleman’s essential assets. He came from a humble background and faced a lot of failures during his early year. Yet, he never gave up and remained consistent. Every time he met a loss, it resulted in a better version of him. Like a Phoenix, Ronnie Coleman, the bodybuilder, rose from the ashes to become a legend in his lifetime.

Motivated by his passion, he exceeded all the limits. Thus, Ronnie performed the most intense workouts in the gym. He always brought a honed version of his body to the stage. Stong will combined with hard work, was the secret to the legend’s success. Thus, it helped Ronnie win Mr. Olympia a staggering eight years! His remarkable success was that he had a passion for the sport.

Ronnie believed in mind over matter. And that passion was a driving force that always pushed him to work harder. Ronnie always says that realizing one’s passion is the start of success.

The legend reminds us you only get out of bodybuilding what you put into bodybuilding. What do you think? Please share your response in the comments so others can benefit from your experience.


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