by Matt Weik
Have you ever seen the old Ronnie Coleman VHS tapes of his life and training? I’m talking about the videos he published and sold: Unbelievable, On the Road, The Cost of Redemption and Relentless, to name a few. I remember when I was just starting bodybuilding and sitting on the couch and watching each video one by one. I sat there all day and was in awe of what Ronnie Coleman could do and what he was willing to do to be the best.
If you asked Ronnie if the cost of bodybuilding on his back was worth it, I’d bet he would say so without a doubt. Ronnie Coleman is a different breed. From the balance between bodybuilding and his work as a policeman to the absolute limit of his body, Ronnie was willing to do anything to be the best.
The cost of being the best
With double-digit operations, Ronnie Coleman has been scrutinized more often in a few years than an injury-prone person would do all her life. But do you know what’s funny about it? He is still walking around with a smile on his face while in constant pain.
Ronnie Coleman literally gave his life and body to bodybuilding. If that’s not dedication and true passion, I don’t know what it is. There aren’t many people who would be willing to get under 800 pounds and crouch, let alone do it, and then live with regret for the rest of your life to tell people that you’ve bitten out and could have done more repetitions than it just felt. I mean, that’s just not normal. If any of us had ever crouched down to 800 pounds strictly form, we would probably include them in our social media biography so the whole world can see them. (LOL)
After all the years in which Ronnie Coleman brutally beat his body and destroyed up to several operations, he can only walk 14 feet without having to stop. To this day, he lives with constant pain. He has leg pain and his feet are numb. To make the injury worse, almost his entire back was melted down and locked up. Now he has problems with one of the (not locked) intervertebral discs in the neck that may need surgery. The man can’t take a break.
Despite all the setbacks, Ronnie has to be very grateful when he tries to fix his broken body. He is happily married, has four children and his own supplement company, which makes 8-digit sales every year. It’s hard to be mad at this kind of life.
No Regret (Well … just ONE)
As mentioned above, Ronnie Coleman had only one regret in his career and that was no longer 800 pound reps while squatting. Other than that, he mentioned that there was really nothing left to do, or stone that was not intact.
If you saw interviews with other bodybuilders who were asked about Ronnie, they would all say that they cannot believe the condition he is in and that they are sad but know that Ronnie is not playing the victim and The sport of bodybuilding has no bad will. He was ready to endure all the pain to be the best in the world.
It is even more interesting that like Arnold, he has to train every day. What surprises me is that he never opened his own gym. I can see it’s a kind of bodybuilding mecca and people from all over the world travel to visit Ronnie’s gym and have the opportunity to work out and take a picture there. But then I thought the same thing about Arnold and he never opened a gym.
Even when Ronnie Coleman was a police officer, he didn’t unwillingly go on patrol – he wanted to go. The man didn’t need the money – he had more than enough sponsorships and profit shows. But for some reason, he loved dressing and helping people.
What makes me laugh is the thought that someone is run over to speed and this man’s over 300 pound monster leads to your window and asks if you know why he ran you over. At this point, I’m sure people just asked him not to hurt them. The man was incredibly tall.
Strangely enough, due to his size, he mentioned in an interview with Joe Rogan that nobody had ever messed with him or wanted to choose a fight. He also mentioned that he wanted to do something, but when people saw him, everyone corrected themselves pretty quickly (and rightly so).
There will NEVER be a Ronnie Coleman again … NEVER
It feels like I’m writing some kind of eulogy, but how can you really respect the man for everything he did for bodybuilding? There will NEVER be a Ronnie Coleman in bodybuilding again. And if so, he’s better a freak and ready to carry the industry on his back like Ronnie did (and still does).
Ronnie is still performing. He is still answering emails. He’s still opening fan mail. Even though he’s been retired for years, the industry still interacts with Ronnie as if he’d never left the stage.
Speaking of the stage, there is still no bodybuilder who has come close to what Ronnie Coleman brought to the stage. The man was fat, dense and his muscles had muscles – he was a monster. Nevertheless, the man was able to speak for days and is strange. His personality was badly needed in the bodybuilding industry. Everyone expects to meet a pompous muscled idiot who can’t put two sentences together when they meet a bodybuilder, and Ronnie broke that form when people would meet him.
I’m not sure if there will ever be another competitor willing to do what Ronnie Coleman did. The industry has been missing something since he retired. And while Ronnie appreciates the bodybuilders up there on stage today, you have to ask yourself if he thinks deep inside: “What if I gave this thing a shot and showed these young puppies what an old dog can do ? ” I will not keep my hopes up, but I keep my fingers crossed