Ronnie Coleman: Bodybuilding Legend

Ronnie Coleman

If you were to make a Mt. Rushmore of bodybuilding, Ronnie Coleman is an automatic choice. The 7x Mr. Olympia took the sport to new heights and is considered one of the best ever.

Birth Name:Ronnie Coleman
Date of Birth:DOB: May 13th, 1964
Place of Birth:Monroe, Louisiana, U.S.
Nickname:The King
Height:5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight:Contest: 287–300 lb (130–136 kg) Off season: 315–330 lb (143–150 kg
Pro-debut:IFBB World Amateur Championships 1992
Years Active: 1990-2007
Championships: 7x Mr. Olympia

Here is the bio of bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman. Detailing his body-building career and how he became one of the greatest of all time.

Ronnie Coleman’s Early Years Ronnie Coleman’s 

Growing up in Monroeville, Louisiana, Ronnie Coleman was an active kid. He lived with multiple siblings and excelled at football from an early age.

Coleman noticed early on that he had some physical gifts and was naturally strong. This led him to earn a college scholarship to play football with the GSU Tigers. Ronnie was also smart and graduated with an accountant degree from the university.

Ronnie Coleman

Entry Into Bodybuilding 

When Ronnie began his bodybuilding training, he was struggling financially. After college, he had trouble finding work and couldn’t afford a gym.

He was even a Domino’s delivery driver who lived off pizza. When he got a steady gig as a security guard, Ronnie was able to get a gym membership. 

At one Mr. Olympia event, Ronnie was hired to work security. Multiple times during Olympia weekend, Ronnie was confused about one of the pros.

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People approached Coleman, saying he could be on that stage, but he didn’t believe them.

But after enough encouragement, Ronnie would begin training. His friends told him to go visit Arlington gym Metroflex, which was known for training bodybuilders.

When Metroflex owner Brian Dobson saw Ronnie, he offered him a free lifetime membership in exchange for training him. This would be the beginning of Ronnie Coleman’s bodybuilding career in 1990.

He’d win various amateur shows with his naturally big physique and definition. But despite his natural talent, it took Ronnie years to become a champion.

Ronnie’s first Olympia in 1992 ended without the young bodybuilder placing. He would spend the next years with disappointing outcomes at Mr. Olympia.

It took Ronnie eight years to finally break his ceiling and become an elite bodybuilder.

Ronnie Coleman’s Legendary Career 

Ronnie Coleman was the most dominant bodybuilder in the world from 1998 to 2004. Here are the highlights of his 7 Mr. Olympia titles.

After seven years of learning and grinding, many bodybuilding fans considered Ronnie the next big thing. During his preparation for the 1998 Mr. Olympia, Ronnie evolved into the world’s greatest bodybuilding.

Fans were stunned at the size and definition Ronnie was able to achieve. His hard luck was rewarded, and he won his first Mr. Olympia title.

For the next six years, Coleman had a stranglehold on the world of bodybuilding. He was heads above all of the competitors, and everyone agreed.

Coleman would come in bigger and more defined at the next six Olympias. He tied bodybuilding legend Lee Haney’s Olympia record with eight straight Mr. Olympia titles.

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In 2006, Coleman was finally uncrowned by 3x runner-up Jay Cutler, who became a legend. Coleman’s 8 years on top of the sport is considered one of the most dominant runs in bodybuilding history.

Ronnie Coleman wrestler

Ronnie Coleman: The Police Officer

What made Ronnie’s feats in bodybuilding more miraculous was that he held down a day job. For most of Coleman’s career, he worked as a full-time police officer in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

In his training DVD, cameras followed Ronnie as he went on his weekly patrols and ate his meals in the squad car.

Ronnie Coleman’s Training 

His intense training made Ronnie a legend to many fans and athletes. Ronnie’s training sessions became the stuff of legend as he put up insane weight in his hot Dallas gym.

During competition season, Coleman’s training routine would look something like this.

  • Day 1: Back/Biceps/Shoulders 
  • Day 2: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Calves.
  • Day 3: Chest and Triceps.
  • Day 4: Back, Biceps, and Shoulders 
  • Day 5: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Calves
  • Day 6: Chest, Triceps, Calves, and Abs
  • Day 7: Rest

However, Ronnie admitted that he would hit every muscle group when he worked as a police officer. Putting up numbers equivalent to pro powerlifters.

His personal record for the main lifts were:

  • Squat: 822.8 lbs (373.21 kg)
  • Deadlift: 829.8 lbs (373.21 kg)
  • Bench Press: 562.5 lbs (255.24 kg)

Ronnie Coleman’s Meal Plan 

Ronnie was one of the early bodybuilders who gave fans access to his eating habits. The numerous videos of Ronnie eating have views equal to the number of his epic training videos.

Here is what Ronnie Coleman’s in-season meal plan looked like during his bodybuilding career.

  • Meal 1: Grits, Eggs, & Coffee
  • Post-Training Protein Powder
  • Meal 2: Chicken Breast, Rice, Red Beans, Cornbread
  • Post-Training Protein Powder
  • Meal 3:  Chicken Breast, Baked Potatoes/Fries
  • Meal 4: Steak & Carb
  • Late Night Protein Powder
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Coleman would also drink gallons of water to go along with his eating and supplement intake.

Ronnie Coleman’s Supplements 

Ronnie even gave fans access to his supplementation as a bodybuilding champion. Here is a sample of the supplements Ronnie took during his career.

  • 3-5 Grams of L-arginine(2 Per Day)
  • Multivitamins
  • Pre-workout Supplements(Before Every Training Session)
  • Branch Amino Acids(BCAAS)
  • Protein Powder
  • Omega 3s

Ronnie Coleman Talks Steroids

In recent years, Ronnie Coleman has been more open about steroid use in bodybuilding. He admitted to using steroids throughout his career but didn’t divulge how much.

On his appearance on JRE, Coleman claimed that pro bodybuilders got steroids from prescriptions. The main governing body in steroids didn’t clean up the sport, but made it a rule that steroids must be bought legally.

Ronnie Coleman’s Injuries

Sadly, the legendary bodybuilding is in poor health. After years of pushing his body to the limit, Ronnie’s body finally gave out on him.

A victim of his own success. In multiple interviews, Ronnie detailed that he was plagued with injuries and just trained through them.

Ronnie has undergone dozens of surgeries since retiring from bodybuilding in the early 2000s. The 7x Mr. Olympia has a metal rod keeping his spine together with numerous screws and braces locking it in. Today, the legend has to get around using a wheelchair and crutches. 

Mr. Olympia

The Legacy of Ronnie Coleman

Despite the health problems, Ronnie Coleman is still a beloved legend. He is an all-time great bodybuilding who inspired generations of lifters with his intense training styles.

Today, you will never enter a gym without hearing someone yell out, “Lightweight BABY!!!” Ronnie cemented his legacy and continues to inspire future athletes.