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When we think of the all-time greatest athletes, names like Jordan, Brady, Woods, and Schwartzenegger come to mind.

Yet, one that stands beside Arnold as arguably the all-time greatest bodybuilder is Ronnie Coleman.

Sporting a physique that would define the modern era and propel him up onto bodybuilding’s Mount Rushmore, Coleman collected a staggering eight Mr. Olympia Champion crowns.

But what did Coleman do to achieve his massive, sport-conquering physique?

Today, let’s discuss the Ronnie Coleman workout routine and diet plan, including his training principles and supplement preferences to help you achieve this hall of fame physique.

Let’s jump in.    

Ronnie Coleman Current Bio and Stats

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Ronnie Coleman was born May 13th, 1964 in Monroe, Louisiana.

He attended Grambling State University, where he would play linebacker for the GSU Tigers and graduate cum laude with an accounting degree.

Following graduation, Coleman struggled to find work in accounting, handing out over 1,000 resumes. He would head over to Dallas with a friend and get a job at Domino’s Pizza.

During this time, Coleman would struggle financially, his diet relying heavily on complimentary pizza during his shift.

For the next two years Coleman would scrape by before a friend recommended he join the police force. Coleman applied and was accepted onto the force within three months. 

It was here that Coleman’s bodybuilding career would begin, with fellow officer and friend Gustavo Arlotta suggesting that he should join the local gym Metroflex.

Coleman would soon be introduced to owner and amateur bodybuilder Brian Dobson, who would extend the rare offer of training him in exchange for a free lifetime membership.

To which Coleman replied, “You had me at ‘free.’”   

Brian would then train Ronnie for the upcoming 1990 Mr. Texas bodybuilding competition. He won first place, beating out Brian in the process. 

In the following years, Coleman would rack up wins in The Canada Pro Cup (1995) and The Russian Grand Prix (1997).

During this time he would participate in Mr. Olympia, at first unranked, and then placing 15th in 1994, 10th in 1995, 6th in 1996, and 9th in 1997. It was as if Coleman’s rise was stagnating as he struggled to lift to a podium finish.

However, the next year, Coleman would have achieve a miraculous breakthrough that would see him finally crowned Mr. Olympia, defeating favorite Kenneth Wheeler.    

From here, Coleman would go on to dominate the sport of bodybuilding, winning the Mr. Olympia title for an incredible eight consecutive years, a run that has yet to be matched to this day. 

This showcased Coleman’s dedication to training, and his perseverance in pursuing his dream of being one of the all-time greats. 

  • Age: 58 Years Old
  • Height: 5’11” (180 cm)
  • Weight: 300 lbs (136 Kg)
  • Birthday: May 13th, 1964
  • Occupation: Police Officer/Bodybuilder
  • Retired/Active: Retired


  • 8x Mr. Olympia Champion
  • 26 IFBB Professional Titles
  • Deadlift:  800 lb (363 kg) x 2 reps
  • Squat:  800 lb (363 kg) x 2 reps 
  • Bench press: 500 lb (227 kg) x 5 reps

Ronnie Coleman Workout Fundamentals

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ronnie coleman workout fundamentals

Throughout his time bodybuilding, Coleman never considered his competition to be his motivation. He understood that if he was going to win, he would need to out-work himself.

Ronnie’s discipline came from his mom, who would have him and his siblings adhere to a strict routine as a child. This carried over into his training, as he began lifting through his adolescence for general health and football.  

Whenever he would get asked about training, he described it as a hobby. However, after some consideration, Coleman decided to see where training would take him.

Ronnie aims to train six days per week, targeting each body part twice a week, training for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes per session. 

This was combined with an additional one to two hours per day of cardio during the season when he is preparing for a contest.

Coleman built large amounts of muscle by participating in powerlifting and traditional bodybuilding training, which gave him the ability to push massive weights and high reps.

He also thoroughly enjoyed training with a partner, providing that they could keep up. 

Ronnie encourages many to get the assistance of a trainer just like he did, so that you are performing the correct exercises with proper technique. 

Ronnie Coleman Workout Routine

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Now that we have covered the foundation of Coleman’s training, let’s take a look at the workout that transformed him into a bodybuilding icon.

Here is the Ronnie Coleman workout routine.

It is based on a six-day training split, targeting each muscle group twice per week with a rest day on Sunday.

Coleman also had two different routines for each muscle group, with changes to a selection of exercises.

This program will be presented with a weekly schedule, sets, reps, and rest times to help give you the full Ronnie Coleman workout experience.

Coleman was known for his high volume training with a wide rep range and heavy weight, giving him phenomenal results. 

Ronne Coleman Workout Routine Weekly Schedule

Back, Biceps, Shoulders Quads, Hamstrings, CalvesChest, TricepsBack, Biceps, ShouldersQuads, Hamstrings, CalvesChest, TricepsRest

Ronnie Coleman Back, Biceps and Shoulder Workout #1 (Thickness)

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Deadlift3-54-845-60 secs
Barbell Bent Over Row3-58-2030-45 secs
T-Bar Row3-58-2030-45 secs
Single Arm Dumbbell Row3-58-2045-60 secs
Dumbbell Preacher Curl3-58-2030-45 secs
EZ Bar Curl3-58-2030-45 secs
Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl3-58-2030-45 secs
Seated Barbell Military Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Dumbbell Lateral Raise3-58-2030-45 secs
Barbell Front Raise3-58-2030-45 secs
Rear Delt Pec Dec3-58-2030-45 secs
Bent Over Rear Delt Raise3-58-2030-45 secs
Dumbbell Shrugs3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Quad, Hamstrings, and Calves #1

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Back Squat3-54-1245-60 secs
Hack Squat3-58-2045-60 secs
Leg Extension3-58-2030-45 secs
Leg Curl3-58-2045-60 secs
Single Leg Curl3-58-2030-45 secs
Calf Raises3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Chest and Triceps Workout #1

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Bench Press3-55-1545-60 secs
Incline Bench Press3-58-2045-60 secs
Decline Bench Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Seated Single Arm Dumbbell French Press3-58-2045-60 secs
Machine Dips3-58-2030-45 secs
Standing Cable Tricep Pushdown3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Back, Biceps and Shoulder Workout #2 (Width)

ronnie coleman workout routine
ExerciseSets RepsRest
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown3-58-2045-60 secs
Behind Head Wide Lat Pulldown3-58-2030-45 secs
Seated Cable Row3-58-2030-45 secs
Dumbbell Pullover3-58-2045-60 secs
Machine Preacher Curls3-58-2030-45 secs
Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curls 3-58-2030-45 secs
EZ Bar Cable Curls3-58-2030-45 secs
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Machine Lateral Raise3-58-2030-45 secs
Machine Overhead Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Dumbbell Front Raise3-58-2030-45 secs
Cable Rear Delt Fly 3-58-2030-45 secs
Bent Over Cable Rear Delt Fly3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Quad, Hamstrings, and Calves #2

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Front Squat3-54-1245-60 secs
Hack Squat3-58-2030-45 secs
Barbell Walking Lunges3-58-2030-45 secs
Lying Leg Curl3-58-2045-60 secs
Seated Leg Curl3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Chest and Triceps Workout #2

ExerciseSets RepsRest
Flat Dumbbell Chest Press3-55-1545-60 secs
Incline Dumbbell Press3-55-1545-60 secs
Dumbbell Flys3-58-2030-45 secs
EZ Bar Skull Crushers3-58-2045-60 secs
Close Grip Bench Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Seated Dumbbell French Press3-58-2030-45 secs
Dumbbell Tricep Kickback3-58-2030-45 secs

Ronnie Coleman Dieting and Food Preferences

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ronnie coleman diet

Ronnie Coleman diet and food preferences were as disciplined as training routine.

Coleman was known for his rigidity, having never cheated his diet on his way to achieving Olympia glory. 

He focuses on a good quality, high protein and carbohydrate diet to give him the energy to smash out his mammoth sessions.

Coleman would eat close to 600g of protein per day across five meals.

His diet would consist of lean chicken, beef, turkey, oats, eggs, potatoes, beans and vegetables.

This amounts to 546g of protein, 474g of carbohydrates, and 150g of fat totaling a massive 5,562 calories.

Meal 13-5g L-Arginine Supplement
Meal 23/4 Cup Grits, 2x Cups Egg Whites, Coffee
Meal 31x BCAA
Meal 42x 8 oz Chicken Breast, 1 ½ Cups Brown Rice, 1 ½ Cups Red Beans, 2 Pieces Cornbread
Meal 53-5g L-Arginine Supplement
Meal 62x 8 oz Chicken Breast, 1 Baked Potato
Meal 71x 9 oz Steak, 1x 8 oz Chicken Breast, Baked Potato, French Fries
Meal 81x BCAA
Meal 94x Scoops Whey Protein Powder

Ronnie Coleman Diet Plan 

ronnie coleman diet plan

To get that Ronnie Coleman physique takes dedication to your training, nutrition, and a huge appetite.

While Ronnie’s workouts were sure to stimulate that continuous muscle growth, it was in the kitchen where his gains were truly made.

Below is a Ronnie Coleman inspired diet plan to help you obtain that monster physique.

Meal 1

  • 1x Cup Oats (Banana, Cinnamon, Honey)
  • Protein Yogurt
  • 2x Cup Egg Whites

Meal 2

  • 1x Scoop Protein Shake
  • Banana
  • Nuts

Meal 3

  • 2x 8 oz Grilled Chicken Breast
  • 1 Cup Brown Rice
  • Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Baked Potato

Meal 4

  • 1x 8 oz Grilled Chicken Wraps (salad, low fat cheese, mayo)

Meal 5

  • 2x Scoop Protein Shake (yogurt, banana, honey, peanut butter, oats)
  • Protein Bar

Meal 6

  • 9 oz Grilled Steak
  • 8 oz Grilled Chicken
  • Sweet Potato Mash
  • Stir Fried Vegetables

Meal 7

  • 2x Scoop Protein Shake

Ronnie’s dietary discipline is what took his training to the next level, and you better believe he tracked his calories and macros.

So, if you are considering taking on the challenge of performing the Ronnie Coleman workout routine, we strongly suggest doing the same.

Tracking your calorie intake will ensure that you have energy to fuel your body and build muscle

Meanwhile, monitoring your macros will give you the correct balance of nutrients to pack on lean mass like the legend himself.

To find out your precise calorie and macronutrient intake, try our advanced calorie and macronutrient calculator.

Here you will be able to plug-in your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level to give you an accurate calorie and macronutrient intake to build a Ronnie Coleman body.  

Ronnie Coleman Supplement Preferences

ronnie coleman bulking supplements

Ronnie Coleman’s supplement preferences were based on building muscle and aiding in recovery.

His high-volume, six-day training schedule requires that boost to get in more protein, reduce soreness, and build lean muscle tissue.

Ronnie’s list of supplements include:

  • Whey Protein – Build muscle, aid in recovery
  • BCAA – Reduce soreness and fatigue, improve growth
  • L-Arginine – Build and repair muscle tissue

Final Thoughts

Ronnie Coleman is a name that will go down in history as one of the all-time great lifters.

His incredible physique, legendary workouts, and dedication to his nutrition is something that inspires many to this day.

So, if you are thinking of trying the Ronnie Coleman workout routine and diet plan, do so with the same dedication to your nutrition. Eat high-protein, nutrient dense foods and track calories and macros. 

Are you considering trying the Ronnie Coleman workout routine and diet plan?

Which part of his training routine interests you most?

Let us know in the comments. 

How many hours a day did Ronnie Coleman workout?

Ronnie Coleman trained for one hour to an hour and 15 minutes per day. This would expand with an additional two hours of cardio per day during the competitive season. 

What was Ronnie Coleman workout routine?

Ronnie Coleman’s workout routine was a six-day per week, high-volume routine with a focus on training each muscle group twice per week. 

How many times a day does Ronnie Coleman workout?

Ronnie Coleman would train once per day for 60-75 minutes. During the season this would be extended with an additional two hours of cardio to help him cut weight.

How many hours does Ronnie Coleman sleep? 

It is said that Ronnie Coleman sleeps five hours per night.

How many calories did Ronnie Coleman eat a day?

Ronnie Coleman consumed 5,562 calories per day. This would be broken up across six high-protein meals to help fuel his body and build lean muscle.

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