Is Ronnie Coleman The Greatest

Is Ronnie Coleman The Greatest Mr. Olympia?

Born in May 1964, Ronnie Coleman is now retired, but back in the late 1990’s, the turn of the century and early 2000’s he dominated the bodybuilding world and was the undisputed king of Mr. Olympia. Winning the title a record equalling 8 times, he holds the record of the most wins along with Lee Haney (also a retired bodybuilder).

With a total of 26 wins to his name, Ronnie smashed the previous record of 22 wins during his whole bodybuilding career. Starting from 1990 where he took the title as Mr. Texas, both in the heavy weight class and also overall. Between 1990 to 1998, Ronnie stayed relatively quiet winning only 5 new titles in the space of 8 years. You could say that he was preparing during this time, growing and developing his body for something greater…..

Mr. Olympia Domination

Starting in 1998, Ronnie Coleman was near untouchable when it came to winning bodybuilding titles, none more important or as high profile as the well coveted Mr. Olympia. There had been many great champions before, so how was Ronnie going to stand out and be different from the others? The world was about to see the emergence of a true great champion, and one who wasn’t going to lose his crown as king of Mr. Olympia!

What’s also extremely impressive is during the beginning of his career and even when he held the Mr. Olympia title, Ronnie also found time to train and serve as a police officer in Arlington, Texas and even a reserve officer when his bodybuilding started to take over and become his primary focus.

Winning titles all over the world, like Grand Prix England, Holland and Russia, in 2001 Ronnie also competed and won the now fiercely competed Arnold Schwarzenegger Classic, which has proven to be a stepping stone to success for many of today’s top Mr. Olympia contenders.

When casting our minds back to when Ronnie was at the top of his game, our immediate thought is pure size and muscle quality. He was literally add slabs of muscle to his frame during the lead up to a major competition. He trained hard extremely heavy which resulted in him looking full, muscular, extremely powerful but well toned and ripped at the same time. It was like a magic trick the likes of which we’d never seen across the bodybuilding stage before. He was known for leg pressing in the region of 1 tonne to build and his enormous legs – hard to even imagine the weight!

When it came to training, you could say Ronnie Coleman was “old school” with his training style. He preferred to use free-weights over machines as this gave him more range of movement – thus enduring a more complete and round muscle extension and contraction. The flexibility meant Ronnie could build bigger muscles in a shorter period of time. This would help him later in his career as he was touring and travelling a lot for different competitions and events, therefore only managed to lift weights four times a week.

How Strong Was Ronnie Coleman?

We’ve already touched on the fact that when it came to training, Ronnie often went with the mentality of “go hard or go home” and that’s why he was able to add thick lean muscle to his body time and time again. There are very few professional bodybuilders who can match Ronnie’s strength and if it wasn’t for the fact that he was dominating in Mr. Olympia he could have easily taken a slightly different route and starting competing in strong man events.

Here’s some of Ronnie’s lifting stats –

  • Squat – 800lbs (2 reps)
  • Deadlift – 800lbs (2 reps)
  • Bench Press – 500lbs (for reps to strength)

There’s also video evidence on the net somewhere of Ronnie using dumbbells for a 200lbs bench press for 12 reps….

The guy was a machine!!

The Biggest Bodybuilder

There are many names you can throw into the ring when comparing to see who is or was the biggest professional bodybuilder, but let’s face it, Ronnie Coleman was often in a league of his own. His leg were like tree trunks, his wing span so wide that when he opened his lats, you wouldn’t have been surprised if he could fly!

Ronnie Coleman was a muscular beast!

So who are we comparing Ronnie against? The likes of –

  • Lou Ferrigno
  • Dennis Wolf
  • Lee Haney
  • Flex Wheeler
  • Roelly Winklaar
  • Phillip Heath
  • Kai Greene
  • Markus Ruhl
  • Dennis James

This list of names is pretty impressive! When it comes to overall size and mass, this is the top of the pile – the A-list of professional bodybuilders, old and new. Ronnie Coleman was by far the biggest bodybuilder on show, which was testament to his ability to add serious size and mass whilst looking completely ripped. He would literally add slabs of mass and shred every ounce of fat from his body, leaving pure lean and mean muscle behind!

Calling It A Day

Following his 8 consecutive Mr. Olympia titles starting from 1998, the man mountain Ronnie Coleman, also known as “Big Arm”, finally called it a day and retired in 2007 after finishing fourth, thus ending his reign as the out-and-out Mr.Olympia champion.

With not having enough preparation time to compete in the 2009 competition, Ronnie hinted that he would come back and enter the 2010 competition, when it came closer to the event, this didn’t materialised.

The following year, in 2011, Ronnie launch his new nutrition brand called “Ronnie Coleman Nutrition” that serve to provide the much needed protein, nutrition and well-being products for bodybuilders and fitness athletes at all levels – this continues to be an extremely successful brand.

The New Breed

Ronnie Coleman still holds the record for the most Mr. Olympia wins alongside Lee Haney, with both of them holding 8 titles each. However, there is a new breed of bodybuilder with the likes of Phillip Heath hot on their heels with 6 wins currently against his name…. So, are we set to see the emergence of a new records holder??!!

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