By Debdoot Ghosh
FITNESSGURU Magazine speaks with the Ronnie Coleman, Holding a record number of 8 straight wins as Mr Olympia and the most wins as a IFBB professional with 26, Ronnie Coleman is unrivalled in his conditioning and massive physique the moment he steps onto the bodybuilding stage. Arguably the greatest bodybuilder ever, his passion for the sport and his laid-back and humble attitude towards his achievements is remarkable. His impeccable dedication, commitment and excellence to the sport of bodybuilding have inspired many. In this exclusive interview, Fitness Guru sits down with the man himself to gain insights into his candid views on life and bodybuilding.. Check it out!
Ronnie Coleman: When I was 12 years old, I had people come up to me and ask me all the time if I worked out. I started to say no, but I got tired of saying no and I started to wonder what I would look like if I did really work out. And so I started around the age of 12, just working out and continued that all through high school, college and even after college. One day, I went to the gym and someone (Brian Dobson) asked me if I was a bodybuilder. I said no, and then he said you should start bodybuilding. I told him I don’t really like to diet or take steroids. Mostly I just liked eating hamburgers and pizza and fried chicken.
One day he said, look, I’ll give you a free membership if you compete. At the time, I was really poor and when he said free, I’m like ‘Ok’. Back then I’d do just about anything for something free. I struggled for a long time coming up, you know, from getting out of college, working in the police department, working at Dominoes for 2 years with a full time college degree, background in accounting, graduating with honours and all that kinda stuff. So I said yes and started training around December before competing in my first ever contest, Mr Texas in April that year and I won. The next show I did was at nationals where I came 3rd, after only after a year of training. So Brian Dobson kinda helped show me the ropes and was kind of my mentor. Ronnie Coleman – 8 Time Mr Olympia & Nick Jones – World Bodybuilding Champion.
Consecutively you have 8 Mr Olympia wins under your belt and you are also the record holder for the most number of IFBB wins. It has been an amazing journey but also one that must have been fraught with challenges. What are some of the challenges you have faced and where does your motivation come from?
Ronnie Coleman: Training has always been a hobby, and my whole life has revolved around training. It’s something I truly love doing. I wanna do what I wanna do and this is something I wrestled with, because I have to make many sacrifices to do what I wanna do.
Can I say that you got into bodybuilding accidentally? Has it ever cross your mind that you would be where you are today?
Ronnie Coleman: Yeah, It was never mentioned in my home town, nobody was interested in it. I had no intention at all. It was only when I met Brian that he got me interested and involved in it. I basically just wanted to work in the police department. But well God has a plan for each and everyone of us, and mine was to be an 8x Mr Olympia.
Currently you are touring a lot, what’s your training and nutrition like? And how do you fit your training into all these touring and appearances?
Ronnie Coleman: I still eat the same as when I was training for a contest. I’m eating 5 meals a day made up of mainly grilled chicken, steak, baked potato, rice and my protein shakes. I still worked out the same. So it’s still the same lifestyle, nothing really changed. Our company is actually in more than 100 countries right now and I spend a lot of time on the road. And because of that I train between appearances and after my events. I train 3 different body parts a day, 5 days a week. For instance, I may do Chest/Triceps/Abs on day 1, Back/ Biceps/ Calves on day 2, Quads/ Hamstrings/ Calves on day 3 and Front Delts/ Side Delts/ Rear Delts etc on another day.
Let’s talk about your supplement line. What does RCSS stand for and what makes it different from all the other brands that are already in the market?
Ronnie Coleman: RCSS stands for Ronnie Coleman’s Signature Series and we use the highest quality ingredients in our supplements. A lot of companies don’t do that because they are all about making money. It kind of revolved around how I trained for Mr Olympia. I don’t take no short cuts. I trained hard, I worked hard. Even though I had a fulltime job, I still work out hard, each and every single day, 3 times a day. So I’m not taking any shortcuts with my products, whatever it cost to make a product, I’m going to spend the money. I’m not so worried about making money than putting quality ingredients in the products that people can enjoy and have something that really works. We are also the first to bring out Testosterone supplements in powder form. All our products are now in powder form because powder is generally more accepted in countries around the world as pills are considered pharmaceuticals.
You have retired from the Mr Olympia, do you have plans to compete again? Will we see you on stage anytime soon?
Ronnie Coleman: Yeah, I can’t compete in the Mr Olympia because I can’t compete with the younger guys. Like Jay, I have maxed out my potential and I got the best out of it so I can’t get back on stage and turn back the hands of time. I have maxed out and peaked out and the only thing I can compete in now is the Masters Olympia which I might try to do once my body is healed. I have had quite a few injuries too during my time and if you are not injured in this sport, you are not doing anything.
That’s quite a quote…. what’s the injury that you have currently?
Ronnie Coleman: Yeah, currently I just got a neck surgery in December, it’s 75% healed. Hopefully by the time I get back to competing, most of the promotions would be done. When I was competing for Mr Olympia it took me 9 weeks to prepare for the show, so that should be around the time it would take me to prepare for this show.
Do you have plans to follow in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger to venture into showbiz?
Ronnie Coleman: Nope. The company is already quite a handful and with my family, I have 6 kids and the training, I don’t have time. You see whenever I do anything, I want to put all my focus into it and doing something else, I would have to sacrifice my time and commitment in what I’m already handling.
You have accomplished tremendously in the sport of bodybuilding. Many people look to you as an inspiration. Any advice for aspiring bodybuilders out there?
Ronnie Coleman: The support that I have received from the people around me was important, like my family. It is important to have people believe in you. With this support, what you can achieve is limitless. Also, knowledge is power. The more you have, the better you are. When I first started Brian Dobson was there to train and guide me in all matters of training and nutrition. Once I maxed out my development under him and learnt all I could, Chad Nicholls came in as my nutritionist and took me to the next level. I wouldn’t be Mr Olympia without him.