Ronnie Coleman Workout and Diet

Professional Bodybuilder (Retired)
Born: 1964

From Louisiana, Ronnie Coleman and his 3 siblings were raised by a single mom. Coleman won a scholarship to play football in college and graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting, but took a job at a Domino’s Pizza because he was so broke. He then moved to Texas where he became a police officer. Coleman was offered a free membership at a gym in Texas owned by amateur bodybuilder Brian Dobson in exchange for allowing Dobson to train him for the Mr. Texas competition. Coleman won both the heavyweight and overall categories (and even defeated Dobson himself). Coleman went pro in 1995 and won the Canada Pro Cup. He also entered powerlifting competitions throughout the mid-’90s. It took ‘Big Ron’ a while to rise to the top, but he eventually did and he is considered to be one of the greatest bodybuilders in history. Coleman won the title of Mr. Olympia 8 years in a row (1998-2005). He also won the Arnold Classic in 2001, and holds 26 titles overall. The training took its toll however and Coleman has suffered damage to his spine. He retired from competition in 2007 but has gone on to make public appearances, training videos and his own line of nutritional supplements. Coleman is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed about 287-300 lbs. during contest season, and 315-320 in the off-season.

Known For:

Ronnie Coleman’s Diet

Diet Summary

All bodybuilders need to pay careful attention to their diet and Coleman is no exception. To build and maintain his massive physique, Coleman would eat 5,000+ calories per day over the course of 10 meals (although some were just shakes). He would eat a lot of protein in the form of chicken, steak, egg whites and whey protein, and enough carbs in the form of rice, beans and potatoes to keep his body fueled. He would count macros and weigh and measure his food. He would also take several supplements including BCAAs and l-arginine to help maintain muscle mass and speed recovery.

Estimated Macros

  • Low-Medium Fat 20% 20%
  • Medium Carb 40% 40%
  • High Protein 50% 50%

Diet Details

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Power Up

When he was in training, Coleman took a supplement of the amino acid l-arginine: first thing in the morning, as part of his pre workout, and in the early evening. L-arginine leads to the production of nitric oxide, which feeds the muscles, helping you to make greater gains during a workout.

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Pure Protein

Coleman would have 2 cups of egg whites, cheese grits and coffee as his first meal of the day. For those looking to build muscle, he recommends 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.

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Post Workouts

Coleman’s post workout was a serving of BCAAs to help maintain muscle mass and aid with recovery. He would take another serving of BCAAs at midnight, and wake up at 1:30 am to have 4 scoops of whey protein.

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Massive Meals

Coleman would regularly eat a pound of meat as a meal in the form of chicken breast, filet mignon or turkey, along with baked potatoes and french fries.

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Keeping It Sweet

Coleman likes his lemonade pink. When training, he’d enjoy an 8 oz. serving with dinner.

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Cheat Minute?

Coleman said after winning Mr. Olympia, he had a single cheat meal, and then went straight back on his training diet.

What to Eat

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Chicken

R

Turkey

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Filet Mignon

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Egg whites

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Vegetables

R

Potatoes

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Rice

R

Beans

R

Corn bread

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Grits

R

Cheese

What to Avoid

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Refined carbs

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Processed sugar

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Preservatives

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Additives

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Chemicals

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Junk food

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Artificial sweeteners

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Coleman On Getting Swoll

‘You gotta eat big to get big.’

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Coleman On How He Reduced His Waist Circumference

‘I dieted all year. I ate at the same time as in contest season…and pretty much had the same food.’

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Coleman On The Importance Of Diet

‘I don’t think this is a big secret, but protein is what builds muscle, so it all starts with your food.’

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Coleman On Cheat Meals

‘Why would I cheat on my diet?’

Ronnie Coleman’s Fitness Routine

Weekly Workout Routine

Power Building

Coleman took a high-weight, low-rep to lifting, which is not the conventional method for bodybuilders.

Free Weights For Flexibility

Coleman preferred to use free weights rather than machines in order to increase his range of motion and get maximum flexibility.

Commit To the Split

Coleman trained 6 days a week, concentrating on 1 or 2 areas each day. Even in retirement and despite his many surgeries, he still works out regularly.

Compounding Interest

For maximum gains, Coleman believes in sticking to the basics: squats, deadlifts and bent-over rows.

Let It Out

Coleman is known for yelling when he works out. Not surprising when his dumbbells weigh 200 lbs.

What Off-Season?

Coleman lifted heavy weight even in the off-season. Some of his personal records include 900 lb. deadlift, 855 lb. squat and 500 lb. bench press x 5 reps.

Workout Style

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A Ronnie Coleman Routine

Day 1: Legs
Do 3 sets x 15 reps
Barbell squat
Barbell hack squat
Leg extension
Leg curl: standing, lying & seated
Seated single-leg curl
Seated calf raise

Day 2: Back & Triceps
Do 3 sets x 15-20 reps
Bent-over barbell row
Lying T-bar row
Single arm dumbbell row
Wide-grip lat pulldown
Triceps dips
Standing dumbbell triceps extension
Lying triceps press

Day 3: Shoulders
Do 3 sets x 15 reps
Overhead shoulder press
Side lateral raise
Front dumbbell raise
Seated bent-over dumbbell rear deltoid raise

Day 4: Chest & Abs
Do 3 sets x 15-20 reps
Medium grip barbell bench press
Medium grip barbell incline bench press
Decline barbell bench press
Barbell curls
One-arm dumbbell preacher curl
Alternate hammer curl

Day 5: Legs
Do 3 sets x 15 reps
Barbell squat
Barbell hack squat
Leg extension
Leg curl: standing, lying & seated
Seated single-leg curl
Seated calf raise

Day 6: Chest, Triceps, Abs
Do 3-4 sets of 12 reps each
Incline dumbbell press
Decline barbell press
Incline dumbbell flys
Decline dumbbell press
Cambered bar triceps extensions: lying & seated
Triceps dips
Donkey calf raises
Seated raises
Crunches

Day 7: Rest

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Coleman On The Secret To Success

‘Hard work and training. There’s no secret formula. I lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best.’

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Coleman On The Competition

‘My biggest competition is always myself. I mean no disrespect, but I do not look at any of the guys as being my competition for the simple reason that I can’t control how they’re going to look.’

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Coleman On Glutes

‘If you’re lacking, start squatting!’

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Coleman On Hard Work

‘Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavya** weight.’

Ronnie Coleman’s Supplements

Pre Workout

Pre Workout

Coleman’s Yeah Buddy pre workout contains l-citrulline which converts to l-arginine, the purpose of which is to increase nitric oxide production which is critical for building muscle. It also contains caffeine for energy and special ingredients that improve focus and mood. Also in his supplement line is Stacked, a stimulant-free pre workout.

Post Workout

Post Workout

For his post workout, Coleman would take a supplement that helps replenish glycogen stores. Coleman’s version contains maltodextrin and dextrose, as well as electrolytes to help with hydration.

Whey Protein

Whey Protein

Coleman would drink his requisite whey protein shakes, and has his own brand which is free of fillers and other unwanted ingredients.

BCAAs

BCAAs

Coleman would take branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) as part of his recovery plan to help rebuild muscle and reduce muscle wasting.

Growth Accelerator

Growth Accelerator

Coleman would take an anabolic growth accelerator to build muscle and reduce the risk of injury.

Ronnie Coleman’s Lifestyle

Keeping the Faith

Coleman is a devout Christian who says we are all put here for a purpose, and that his was to be Mr. Olympia. He says he did not choose it, but rather that it was chosen for him.

Pay Back

Years of training have taken its toll on Coleman’s body. He has had both hips replaced and several surgeries to try to relieve pain from damage to his spinal discs. The surgeries have not been successful, and he may never walk unassisted again. He continues to train with lighter weights.

Record Setter

Coleman holds the record as Heaviest Winner at 296 lbs.;  Biggest Arms: 24”; Biggest waist: 36” and Biggest Calves: 22”. He held the title of entering the most Mr. Olympias competitions (15) until he was deposed by Dexter Jackson who has 16 (but only won one).

One And Done

Coleman says he would not encourage his kids or grandkids to follow in his footsteps.

Giving Back

Coleman supports an organization co-founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger called Inner City Games that promotes self-confidence and camaraderie amongst kids in the inner city.

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Coleman On Weightlifting

‘I loved challenging myself every day. The weight room was my therapy for everyday life stresses. No matter what I was doing, I always wanted to be the best.’

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Coleman On Faith

‘If we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing by serving Him, then we’re all living a very good life.’

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Coleman On Hard Work

‘Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it!’

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Coleman On Failure

‘When you hit failure, your workout has just begun.’

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Coleman On A Support Network

‘It is important to have people who believe in you. With this support, what you can achieve is limitless.’

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Coleman On His Surgeries

‘Twelve spine surgeries has me down but not out.’

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Coleman on keeping busy

‘The more I have to do, the better off I am. I’m not really one to sit around and relax and take it easy. I always like having something to do.’

Recommended Products

RC Pre Workout

RC Pre Workout

RC King Whey

RC King Whey

RC King Carb

RC King Carb

RC King Mass

RC King Mass

RC Stacked

RC Stacked

RC BCAAs

RC BCAAs

RC Omega-3 Fish Oil

RC Omega-3 Fish Oil

The First Training Video

The First Training Video

The Unbelievable

The Unbelievable

Relentless

Relentless

Invincible

Invincible

On the Road

On the Road

The Cost of Redemption

The Cost of Redemption

The King

The King

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