Ronnie Coleman (Mr. Olymipia) – His Workout Programs, Training Split, & More…

Ronnie Coleman's workout

Ronnie Coleman is a retired IFBB professional open-division bodybuilder.

He worked for many years as a police officer as well.

People remember him most for winning Mr. Olympia, a very prestigious title, eight times! Many consider him to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

He loved sports even when he was little.

Where he came from, it was all about football.

Then he got a scholarship to attend Grambling State University where he played more football – he was a middle linebacker for the GSU Tigers.

He graduated from university with a BSc in accounting. He never could really find work as an accountant and ended up working at Domino’s Pizza to pay the bills.

Then he became a police offer in Texas working for many years.

He would balance working as a sheriff and also being Mr. Olympia. A friend told him to train at the MetroFlex Gym close by that was owned by Brian Dobson.

Ronnie was told that if he competed in the Mr. Texas competition he would be offered a free gym membership, trained by Dobson.

Ronnie went on to win the heavyweight championship.

Gradually he made a name for himself, defeating many elite athletes – many believe Ronnie is the greatest of all times! He lives with his wife in Arlington, Texas.

Ronnie Coleman Workout & Training – All You Need to Know

Current Stats

  • Weight: 300 pounds/136 kg.
  • Birthday: 13 May 1964
  • Birthplace: Monroe, Louisiana, USA
  • Accolades/accomplishments:
    • Ronnie Coleman has held the title of Mr. Olympia 8 times
    • He won many victories for the IFBB – 26 times! This is the most of any bodybuilder ever.
    • Look at all of his wonderful titles here.

Workout Principles of Ronnie Coleman

“Hard work and training. There is no secret recipe. I train hard with heavy weights and try to be the best in the world.” 

That’s Ronnie’s workout principle.

But he says he could run through a whole list of his favorite workout principles, combinations, and techniques of exercises.

But he says it really comes down to just one basic old-fashioned “best” exercise for each body part. Without these, you would not reach your maximum mass potential.

He says, “It’s the foundation movements, working more of the muscle heavier, harder, and more thoroughly than any of the others.”

Not all his workouts start with his favorites though.

But Ronnie says that everybody’s workouts should be designed around them.

Ronnie says people have probably been doing them all the time, but that he just wanted to emphasize their importance.

He wants to persuade people to give them even more prominence in their workouts. Here is his list of the ones he considers the best:

  • Chest bench press
  • Leg squats
  • Back: barbell rows
  • Shoulders: Seated Military press
  • Triceps: lying extensions
  • Biceps: preacher curls

Ronnie Coleman’s Training Methods

Ronnie Coleman’s training methods focus on all of his muscles groups over a weekly period.

  • On Mondays, he focuses on his back, biceps, and shoulders.
  • On Tuesdays, he will reserve for leg training.
  • On Wednesdays, he will exercise his triceps, muscles, and chest.
  • He repeats Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Sunday: rest day

Being a bodybuilder, it was easy for him to follow these training methods.

Everybody who wants to be a bodybuilder can customize their own workout routines according to their body’s potential.

Ronnie trains 6 times a week, but others might consider training 3-4 times a week.

Workout Routine

Ronnie Coleman training

When it comes to packing on mass, Ronnie always said that it comes down to just one thing – and that’s nutrition.

Protein, he says, is what builds muscles – it all starts with your food.

He also said that the best exercises are the old-school ones that not many people like to do anymore, like squats, bent-over rows, and deadlifts.

During his heyday days, Coleman ensured that his diet was regimented with perfect precision.

Training for elite bodybuilding competitions, Ronnie’s life revolved around training, working hard, and eating.

Monday: Back, Biceps, Shoulders

  • ‘Deadlifts – 4 sets – 6-12 reps’
  • ‘Barbell rows – 3 sets – 10-12 reps’
  • ‘T-Bar rows – 3 sets -10-12 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell rows – 3 sets – 10-12 reps’
  • ‘Biceps curls – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Seated alternating dumbbell curls – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘EZ-bar biceps curls on the bench – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Cable bicep curls – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Overhead shoulder presses – 4 sets – 10-12 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell shoulder presses – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell front raises – 4 sets – 12 reps’

Tuesday: Legs

  • ‘Squats – 5-6 sets – 2-12 reps’
  • ‘Leg press – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Lunges – 2 sets of 30m each’
  • ‘Deadlift with straight or slightly bent legs – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Leg curls – 3 sets – 12 reps’

Wednesday: Chest, Triceps

  • ‘Bench presses – 5 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Incline bench presses – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Dumbbell presses – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Lateral raises – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘EZ-bar triceps extensions – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Seated dumbbell triceps extensions – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Close grip bench press – 4 sets – 12 reps’

Thursday: Back, Biceps, Shoulders

  • ‘Barbell rows – 5 sets -10-12 reps’
  • ‘Low pulley row – 4 sets of 10-12 reps’
  • ‘Close-grip lat pull-downs – 3 sets – 10-12 reps’
  • ‘Wide-grip lat pull-downs – 3 sets – 10-12 reps’
  • ‘Seated alternating bicep curls – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Machine bicep curls – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Barbell biceps curls – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Low cable bar curls – 4 sets of 12 reps’
  • ‘Overhead shoulder press – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Front raises – 3 sets – 8-25 reps’
  • ‘Seated dumbbell shoulder presses – 3 sets – 8-25 reps’

Friday: Legs

  • ‘Leg extensions – 4 sets – 30 reps’
  • ‘Front squats – 4 sets – 12-15 reps’
  • ‘Hack squats – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Standing leg curls – 3 sets – 12-15 reps’
  • ‘Leg curls – 4 sets – 12-15 reps’

Saturday: Chest, Triceps, Calves, Abs

  • ‘Dumbbell incline bench presses – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Decline bench presses – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Incline dumbbell fly’s – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Decline dumbbell Fly’s – 3 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘EZ-bar French press – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Parallel bars dips – 4 sets -12 reps’
  • ‘Seated EZ-bar triceps extensions’
  • ‘Standing calf raises – 4 sets, 12 reps’
  • ‘Seated calf raises – 4 sets – 12 reps’
  • ‘Crunches – 3 sets till failure’

Sunday: Free day

Ronnie Coleman’s Diet and Supplements

“Fuel” for Ronnie Coleman is very important.

He would eat the typical food that bodybuilders eat; chicken, potatoes, lean beef, rice, eggs, beans, oatmeal, and plenty of veggies.

And he would recharge his energy with whey protein as well.

He always used to say, “I have always considered myself the greatest adversary. I am not trying to offend anyone, but I cannot see other competitors as my competitors because I cannot control them. I can only change what I look like.” 

Look at what his diet looked like, including supplements:

  • 10:00 – Arginine (3- 5 g)
  • 10:30 – A three-quarter cup of semolina, 2-cups of egg-white, followed by a cup of coffee
  • 12:30 – Pre-workout stimulant, Post-workout supplement, Arginine
  • 16:00 – 450 g Chicken breast, with 1½-cup of red beans, 1½-cup of brown rice, and 2 slices of cornbread
  • 18:30 – Arginine
  • 19:00 – 500 g chicken breast, 1 baked potato, drink water
  • 22:00 –140g Chicken breast, 250 g Beef, 1 baked potato, 120 g French fries, 230 ml Lemonade
  • 00:00 – Post-workout supplement
  • 01:30 – Whey Protein: He would put in 4 scoops.

Ronnie Coleman’s noteworthy recommendations

1) Strength

He says you need to constantly push your limits. You should always try and become stronger whenever you are at the gym.

The stronger you get, the longer your plateaus last. It doesn’t mean that you are no longer growing – you are going beyond the normal human limits.

Then, eventually, you will breakthrough to a new level.

2) Don’t cheat

Ensure that it is your muscle that is doing the lifting and that you aren’t cheating. You need to feel the pump build tight and hard in the muscle that you are working on before you feel it in the adjacent muscles.

3) Get the highest quality pump you can

Feel the healthy coursing of blood where you want it in the muscle. It needn’t be numb or painful.

It should be a wholesome tightness in the muscle belly though. That will tell you it is swollen with blood under high pressure.

4) Be consistent in selecting a workout schedule…

…Then stick to it.

Regardless of how hard you lift, if you don’t stay consistent, it is not going to work. Don’t make a habit of taking unscheduled rest days.

Where is Ronnie now – 2021?

Ronnie has had his bouts of surgery and his latest one was in September 2019 – mostly as a result of his competitive bodybuilding career.

He is actually still recovering, although the doctor has given him the green light so he can train again.

Now he is back in the gym, and looking pretty jacked again.

In his Instagram posts he’s explained that he’s getting back into shape after being six months away from the gym.

He still undergoes physical therapy.

He loves being back at the gym.

He says, “Ain’t nothing in the world that compares to doing what you love doing most in the world,” Coleman wrote.

Because of all his surgeries, eventually, the time did come to say farewell to the competitive bodybuilding world.

Now he spends a lot of his time with his family and friends. With all he has gone through in life, he still inspires others. He wrote a book that was released in 2019.

As of 2021, Ronnie is still very active on his YouTube channel.

He shares videos around workouts and bodybuilding.

We wish him a speedy recovery to full strength again!

“My biggest competition is always myself”Ronnie Coleman