What Is Ronnie Coleman’s Workout Routine That Helped Him Win the Mr. Olympia Title for 8 Consecutive Years?

Ronnie Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title eight times. (Image via IG @ronniecoleman8)
Ronnie Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title eight times. (Image via IG @ronniecoleman8)
Soniya Y

Ronnie Coleman is one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time. Known as Big Ron, Coleman is a former professional bodybuilder and an IFBB member who won the Mr. Olympia title a record eight times.

However, that didn't come easy for him. Many years of hard work and dedication was required before Coleman became a professional bodybuilder.

Aside from being an impressive athlete, he is also an inspiration to many who want to take up bodybuilding as a sport.

Ronnie Coleman's Workout Routine

Ronnie Coleman used a 'power building' technique to training to acquire strength and muscle mass.

He participated in competitive powerlifting involving deadlift, bench press and squats during his early career. Therefore, the training he received was different from that of other bodybuilders.


Unlike many bodybuilders who prefer light weights and high repetitions, Coleman preferred very heavy weights with only a few repetitions.

He didn't use machines, as he believed they limit the flexibility and range of motion. He trains hard six days a week, dedicating most of his workouts to exercises for all the major muscle groups.

Coleman completes six workouts per day but only for a total of three sets and 15 reps.

Monday: Quads, hams, and calves

  • Squats with a Weighted Barbell (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Hack Squat - with Barbell (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Extensions of the legs (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Standing, Lying, and Seated Leg Curls (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Curl with a single leg while seated (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Raise a seated calf (3 sets, 15 reps).


Tuesday: Triceps and Back

  • Rowing Barbells Twisted (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • T-Bar Row while lying down (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • Dumbbell Row with One Arm (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • Lats with a Wider Grip Down-pull (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • Dips of the Triceps (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • Triceps Extension with a Standing Dumbbell (3 sets, 15-20 reps)
  • Lying Triceps Press (3 sets, 15-20 reps).

Wednesday: Shoulder

Wednesday is shoulder day for Ronnie Coleman, who performs the following exercises:

  • Overhead Shoulder Press (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Side Lateral Raise (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Front Dumbbell Raise (3 sets, 15 reps)
  • Dumbbell Rear Deltoid Raise with a Seated Bent-Over Position (3 sets, 15 reps).

Thursday: Biceps and Chest

Ronnie Coleman’s chest and biceps routine on Thursday consists of the following:

  • Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press (3 sets, 20 reps)
  • Bench Press with a Medium Grip Barbell in an Incline Position (3 sets, 20 reps)
  • Decline Barbell Bench Press (3 sets, 20 reps)Barbell Curls (3 sets, 20 reps)
  • Preacher Curl with Dumbbells (3 sets, 20 reps)
  • Interchange Hammer Curl (3 sets, 20 reps).

Friday: quad, ham, and calf

On Friday, Ronnie Coleman performs a quad, ham, and calf routine. Here’s Ronnie Coleman’s quad/ham/calf routine:

  • Barbell Squat (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Hack Squat -Barbell (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Leg Extensions (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Leg Curls (Standing, Lying, and Seated) (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Seated Single-Leg Curl (3 sets of 15 reps)
  • Seated Calf Raise (3 sets of 15 reps).


Ronnie Coleman’s Saturday schedule includes incline dumbbell presses, decline barbell presses, incline dumbbell flyes and decline dumbbell presses. He also works his triceps with EZ-bar triceps extensions (lying or seated) and triceps dips.

Calf raises and seated raises complete his shoulder workout before he finishes off with crunches.

Sunday: Rest


Ronie Coleman's Diet

To fuel his workouts and maintain his physique, Coleman has many staple foods. He has chicken and lean beef, as well as eggs, potatoes, beans, rice and vegetables. He also takes protein powders and other supplements to give him extra energy.

Here is a sample diet for Ronnie Coleman. Every day, he consumes:

  • 3 to 5 grams of L-Arginine supplement. 1 cup coffee, ¾ cup grits with cheese, 2 cups egg whites
  • Pre-workout – 1 serving of pre-workout supplements, 3-5 grams L-Arginine.
  • Post-workout – 1 serving of BCAA.
  • Lunch : Two 8oz chicken breasts, 1 ½ cups brown rice, 1 ½ cups red beans, 2 pieces cornbread. Three to five grams of L-Arginine powder.
  • Two 8oz chicken breasts, 1 medium-sized baked potato. Nine ounces filet mignon (steak), five ounces chicken breast meat, one medium-sized baked potato,
  • One serving of BCAA supplements (Branched Chain Amino Acids).
  • Scoops of whey blend for protein shakes.


Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title eight times, a record that has not been broken to this day. Most pros have followed his workout routine, but they still can't beat his genes when it comes to gaining muscle and strength.

Use his programme as guidance, and modify it as you see fit so you can reap the benefits of his workout routine without going mad with your new regimen.

Ronnie Coleman's training programme was a game changer in the bodybuilding industry. However, it is not for everyone. If you are willing to give it a try for a few months, you are more than likely to witness tremendous changes in your body and performance.

We would love to know your views in the comments below..

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Edited by Bhargav


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