Can Ronnie Coleman Make A Comeback In 2007?

Ronnie came in way too heavy last year and Jay was in his best condition since 2001. Will Ronnie be able to get #9 or is his time really over? Get some insight right here and see if you agree!

The 2006 Mr. Olympia is in the history books. Jay won. Ronnie lost. The question in everyone's mind is can Ronnie pull off another victory this year when he's going in as the underdog?


Here's The Old News

Ronnie came in way too heavy in last year's competition. Jay was in his best condition since his 2001 Mr. Olympia form. Putting those two elements together along with some funky looking body parts on Coleman, Jay won with an upset.

Jay also won three more times in the 2006 European Grand Prix in the week following the Olympia (Personally, I think Ronnie had regained most of his conditioning and his water-logging problem was under control in the final Grand Prix event and should have placed ahead of Cutler).

Big Ron Coleman
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Eight-Time Mr. Olympia.

Week #8 - 5/02/2006
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What Went Wrong For Ronnie?

He was announced at weighing 300 pounds. If he was indeed 300 pounds on Friday during the prejudging, he should have came in closer to 285. Apparently Ronnie had dropped about 10 pounds from Friday night to Saturday and he looked much better, but he still was not up to par with his stellar conditioning of the past.


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Ronnie At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

If he had Saturday's conditioning the night before he might have held on to his title. To sum it up, Ronnie mistimed his peak - really mistimed it - and Cutler capitalized on that.


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Ronnie At The 2006 Olympia Finals.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

Having the contest spread out between two days most likely had an impact on Ronnie's conditioning also. Yes, the other competitors had to deal with the same timeframe, but I'm only analyzing Ronnie here.

Normally he prepares for a prejudging that occurs early in the day and the finals are at night (I'm always tighter when I get up in the morning than later on in the day maybe Coleman is like me). Little details add up. Last year was a different set of circumstances, but Ronnie and Chad should have learned a thing or two prepping for a two-day event.

-> Is Coleman Washed Up?

    Is Coleman washed up? From talk around the industry, you'd think Coleman was a one-time fluke or something. He's too old. He should retire. His time has come. It's all politics. The statements go on and on. Coleman won the biggest title in bodybuilding eight years in a row.

    Only Haney has matched that. Sure, Arnold won seven, but since he was the only competitor in the 1971 Mr. Olympia, that means he only competed against guys in six contests and many times there were only three in his class.

    Coleman has successfully defended his title seven times against the likes of Ray, Wheeler, Levrone, and Cutler. That puts Coleman's current accomplishment in a better perspective. Coleman isn't washed up. All he needs to do is hit his peak and come in a little lighter.

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-> The Mysterious Injuries:

    Coleman won't admit he's injured. He's even said he can't tell from photos of the event. It's really obvious to everyone else that something is messed up in his lat and triceps.

    At the 2005 Mr. Olympia it was very evident that his left triceps seemed to vanish when hitting comparisons in the infamous Challenge Round (I can't help but say it again; I'm glad they gave that thing the axe!). Granted, Coleman has never been known for the side triceps being his signature pose, but it seems to have really atrophied in the past few years and it was even more evident in 2006.


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Culter & Coleman In The 2005 Challenge Round.
View More Pics Of The 2005 Olympia Here.

    His left lat seemed much smaller than usual in 2006 too. And no it's not because he's twisting in the pose like some guys have pointed out on message boards out there. If you look at photos of Ronnie's back double-biceps pose over the years, it can be seen that the two sides of his back muscles do not match.


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Ronnie At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

    The right lat has always been a little bigger and a little fuller. On the back of Ronnie's book Hardcore, his back lat looks lopsided and I believe that photo was taken at the 2001 Arnold Classic, which is arguably Coleman's best career package. At the 2006 Mr. Olympia, however, his left lat was much smaller and very noticeable. It was actually shocking when Ronnie hit his back poses next to Cutler and he didn't dominate.

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8-Time Mr. Olympia & BSN-Sponsored Athlete.
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    So what caused Coleman's symmetry problem and what's the underlying issue? A torn triceps? A torn lat? No one really knows for sure. There's been speculation. Chad Nichols stated it was a nerve issue. Ronnie denied that. Some theorize that it's an arthritic shoulder joint that doesn't allow full mobility (Hmm... remember in the Cost of Redemption where he rubbed ointment on his left shoulder?).

    Personally I had to laugh at one theory that stated Ronnie injured his triceps when he fell to the floor after he was declared the winner in 2005. That triceps injury was evident during the competition, which was before the famous belly-flop victory pose.


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Ronnie At The 2005 Olympia.
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What Must Ronnie Do To Win?

He started training earlier this season without taking his customary several-month break from the weights - That was step number one. A little rest is okay, but Ronnie needs to make up for lost time and utilize every minute he can to improve and he is improving.

A recent guest posing photo from the 2007 NPC Pittsburgh Championships showed he was looking HUGE and his triceps looking better, not 100%, but it is improved.

Ronnie cannot try to come in at 300 pounds this year. Everyone knows that Ronnie's got size, but we need to see that famous, freaky conditioning combined with his size.


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Culter & Coleman At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

So if Ronnie was indeed 300 pounds at prejudging last year, then he needs to come in at a dry, grainy 280-285 pounds (If Coleman actually weighed 285-290 last year, then he needs to come in around 270). He cannot have any water-logging going on. He and Chad need to re-evaluate his drying-out process to peak for Friday evening.


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Culter & Coleman At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

Coming in lighter will, of course, also help his waist size. A trimmer waist and sharper abs could give him the nod in the front ab pose against Jay also. This is important because Ronnie needs to grab every mandatory he can get against Jay. Every pose counts in this showdown.

Some posing strategy will help Coleman out also. He has a sign in front of his treadmill that states, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Ronnie always show his left side triceps. Well, if Coleman can't match Cutler's right side triceps with his own left side triceps pose, then Ronnie should just turn to the other side. Do the pose from the other side.


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Culter & Coleman At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

His right triceps seems to be okay, right? Well, why not show that one instead? It's not the AAU where you had to show both sides. It's the IFBB and you get to pick which side you show the judges. This ain't rocket science. The right side pose might not "feel" as comfy, but it's worth a shot.


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Culter & Coleman At The 2006 Olympia Finals.
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A full-on back pose, be it either a lat spread or a double-bicep, is more difficult to hide weaknesses. If Coleman hasn't brought up the weak side, then his best bet is to be completely shredded and show off the detail that Cutler still hasn't acquired. The detail might give him the edge over Cutler's size and the judges could possibly give Ronnie the nod on one or both of the back poses, which he'll definitely need to be able to notch first-place scores to pull off a victory.


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2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
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Conclusion

Coleman's age and injuries will no doubt play a huge role in his comeback at the 2007 Mr. Olympia. He doesn't have time on his side and winning 10 Mr. Olympias could be impossible, but he still has a chance with winning his ninth. His best bet is to concentrate on conditioning.

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If his back shows the detail it once did, he might steal one of the back mandatory poses. If he can do that and win the abdominal-thigh pose, Coleman will have a very good chance of winning. He beat Jay on several poses last year and probably will this year too.


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Culter & Coleman At The 2006 Olympia Pre-Judging.
View More Pics From The 2006 Olympia Here.

He needs to win just a couple poses back from Jay to squeak by (Who knows? Maybe all Ronnie needed to do last year was hit the side triceps from the other side and he might have won. Well, it was just a thought... ). In any event, the 2007 Mr. Olympia is gearing up to be the biggest and most exciting battle in its history. I can't wait.