“Light weight!” Ronnie Coleman would bark prior to lifting a ridiculously heavy weight again and also again. Together he collected Mr. Olympia to win each loss from 1998 come 2005, he ended up being as celebrated for his stupendous strength as his phenomenal physique. Long prior to Instagram, jaw-dropping tasks were chronicled in his training DVDs and also FLEX newspaper photographs, all shot in his “workplace,” Metroflex Gym, in the sweltering Texas heat. We have actually the evidence to verify Coleman’s greatest lifts. In fact, i witnessed several of those workouts in 2004-05, spanning them for FLEX. “Ain’t nothin’ however a peanut!” Many take into consideration Ronnie Coleman the GOAT that bodybuilding. Was he likewise the strongest great bodybuilder of all time?

“Everybody desire to it is in a bodybuilder, yet don’t nobody want to lift no heavy-ass weights, yet me.”


Coleman completed in the Texas Deadlift standard annually indigenous 1991 come 1994, years in i beg your pardon he also flexed in 14 bodybuilding contests (the last three as a pro). Deadlifting raw through a traditional stance, his finest pulls varied tiny over the 4 years, indigenous 695 come 727.5 lbs. (329 kg.). Because the last lift was in the 275 class, his finest official deadlift was 725 in the 242 course in 1992, once he to be 27. Through comparison, Arnold Schwarzenegger deadlifted 675 lbs. (306 kg.) at 20 in a 1968 powerlifting meet.

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Weeks prior to the 2000 Mr. Olympia (his 3rd win), Ronnie to be filmed training in Metroflex. He deadlifted 755 for four reps and also followed this up through 800 lbs. (362.9 kg.) because that a double. These pulls room a good reflection the his strength (both to adjust equal about 823 for a single), but, because he offered straps and also wore gloves, they space not competition-comparable. However, he likewise wasn’t wearing a power suit or low-soled shoes, however instead was dressed in a tanktop, tights, and also thick-soled boots.


In a training video clip shot prior to the 2003 Olympia (which he winner supersized at almost 300 lbs.), Ronnie wanted to duplicate his deadlift the 800 for a double, this time in the squat. The bought a squat suit, i m sorry he’d never ever previously worn. Like usual, he also wore knee wraps and also a belt. He came in a tiny high ~ above the first rep, and he knew it, so he went three inches deeper on the 2nd rep, which clearly breaks parallel. If we offer him the two reps through 800, prefer the deadlift, the calculates to 823 for a single. The later declared he wished the hadn’t been so fixated on the double, since he felt the could’ve got an ext reps.

In 2005, covering his workouts because that FLEX, i watched Coleman squat 585 because that 10 reps, every one of them deep, in a T-shirt and tights (belt and also knee wraps), squatting until his nose bled. This additionally calculates to an 820-ish single, but it’s an ext impressive than the 800 double two year earlier since he no wearing a suit. Functioning off free-standing racks, he didn’t even have a spotter.

Before the handle breaks: Ronnie T-bar rowing 580 / Kevin Horton


In 2003, ~ the squats, the leg push was loaded with all the stole that can be piled ~ above its sleeves and over the sled. “Everybody desire to it is in a bodybuilder, yet don’t nobody want to lift no heavy-ass weights, yet me!” Mr. Olympia shouted before pounding out 10 reps with a narrow stance, pressing about a ton each time. In which method even more weight to be crammed on. V a calculator, Metroflex owner Brian Dobson computed it in ~ 2250. Because a usual leg push sled weighs about 75 pounds, fine say 2325 pounds (1065.9 kg.). “Got to rest the record, baby,” Ronnie called the camera. He got eight reps, narrow and also not specifically deep, yet deep enough.

MORE EXERCISES (all top top video)

• sit dumbbell shoulder press: 160 lbs. X 7 reps

• seated army press (leaning back): 315 lbs. X 11 reps (plus one required rep)

• behind-the-back barbell shrugs: 735 lbs. X 10 short, fast reps

• dumbbell pullovers: 160 lbs. X 10

• dumbbell triceps extensions: 75 lbs. X 15 reps every arm

• standing alternate dumbbell curls: 75 lbs. X 8 reps


1991-94 compete deadlifting: www.openpowerlifting.org

2000 workouts: Ronnie Coleman: The Unbelievable!!, DVD, command by Mitsuru Okabe, 2001.

2003 workouts: Ronnie Coleman: The price of Redemption, DVD, directed by Mitsuru Okabe, 2004.

2004 ago workout: “Ain’t Nothin’ yet a Peanut,” FLEX, Nov. 2004, p. 50-71, message by Greg Merritt, picture by Kevin Horton.

2005 chest and triceps workout: “Blood, Sweat, & Dust,” FLEX, April 2006, p. 92-107, message by Greg Merritt, picture by Kevin Horton.

2005 leg workout: “Top-Dog Thighs,” FLEX, Jan. 2006, p. 80-92, text by Greg Merritt, photos by Kevin Horton.

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2006 workouts: Ronnie Coleman: Relentless, DVD, directed by Mitsuru Okabe, 2007.