When Bodybuilding.com spoke to seven-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman in March, he predicted that this year would see him winning his eighth straight title. Nothing has changed on this count, as Ronnie is as determined as ever to equal the great Lee Haney's record, and when this is achieved, make history by becoming a ninth-time-winner the following year. As one can imagine, Ronnie has developed his physique to the point where progress nowadays comes primarily in the form of hardness and detail.
Indeed. Ronnie's physique is so far ahead of his closest rival that he could theoretically drop ten pounds and still come in looking like something from another planet to totally dominate the competition. In other words, Ronnie is currently unstoppable and will quit competing on his terms only. His success, however, cannot simply be attributed to great genetics.
On the contrary, Ronnie has a tremendous work ethic and plans his life meticulously, with few outside distractions and total focus on his bodybuilding endeavours. At the age of 41, when many guys are sporting abdominal fat and trying, in vain, to recapture their youthfulness, Ronnie looks fantastic and enjoys good health. Regular medicals and year-round attention to eating clean, ensure Ronnie looks the picture of health, while continuing to make stunning progress.
Ronnie's Christian faith also has a tremendous bearing on his ability to achieve what most only dream of. "We are all put on earth for a purpose" says Ronnie. "My purpose is to be Mr. Olympia, and I thank God for choosing me to serve him in this way". One suspects that Ronnie's competition will be praying for a miracle come October 15, as the big guy gears up to shock the world once more. Yeah buddy!!!
[ Q ] Hi Ronnie. In our last interview, you mentioned being on target for another Olympia win. Are you still confident of winning another title?
- I wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't confident about another title.
[ Q ] Are there any additional pressures for you, as you prepare for the 2005 Olympia?
- No, none at all.
[ Q ] Will you present a different package at this years Mr. Olympia?
- Absolutely. It will be different to last year. This is what I always try to aim for, to make the package better from year to year.
[ Q ] Is there anything in particular that you would like to improve on for this Olympia?
- I'm always trying to improve on my overall package. Just try to get a little bit harder, and maintain the same muscle quality.
[ Q ] You have been competing as a bodybuilder for quite some time now, and you seem to be getting better as you age. How would you explain your longevity in the sport?
- For the most part I would say that I have always had a great love for the sport, just doing what I do. I think my success could be greatly attributed to that. I don't look at it like it's a job or anything like that. Its more like a hobby, something I have fun doing. And of course me having the type of personality that I have, I've always wanted to be the best at whatever it is that I do.
A big part of my success is my ability to put my best foot forward and be totally determined, focused and dedicated to the sport of bodybuilding.
[ Q ] Have you had sufficient support going into the 2005 Olympia? I take it you would need quite a big support team.
- I haven't really had anyone new as far as support goes. For the most part just I've just been dealing with the same people day in and day out. There is nobody different behind me, my support has always been pretty much the same. Consistency.
[ Q ] Everybody wants to know. What sort of results have you seen whilst on BSN supplements. What distinguishes them from other supplement companies?
- I'm currently using Nitrix, Cell Mass, and NO Xplode right now.
I've just recently started taking Axis HT. Those are the main ones. It was almost like a miracle for me, because for the most part they have helped me to hold my size. I used to get a lot of aches and pains and these supplements have helped eliminate a lot of these.
As far as my pumps go, they have been really great. As far as testosterone goes, there have been some great results also. But the most important thing, I'm real excited about, is the overall effect these supplements have had, they have made me feel more energized during my workouts, made my pumps a lot better, and have helped me hold my size, that's the most important thing I've done.
I've never really had anything that has given me the edge before I train, but now before I work out I take NO Xplode really gives me that big dose of energy, something that I've never had before.
I've always been motivated and stuff, but this definitely makes it a lot easier. Now I don't have to worry about not being energized when I work out.
[ Q ] What exactly is your role as a BSN sponsored athlete?
- My role is to make BSN the biggest and best company out there. I have no doubt whatsoever that this will be accomplished.
[ Q ] It sounds like we will see a much bigger, and improved, Ronnie Coleman on stage this year. What weight do you intend to come in at this time around?
- I was at 296 last year. My thing is that I've been able to put on a little bit more muscle mass each year. The only thing I notice between last year and the year before was that in 2003 I was a little bit harder, so this year I will work on being a little bit harder as well as a bit bigger than last year. I don't know if I'm going to be exactly 300lbs.
What I'm going to do is try to come in between 287 and 296 with added hardness. Between those two weights is what I was most hardest, and biggest at. I was real hard at 287, but a lot bigger at 296 but I wasn't hard.
My thing this year is not to be real big and less hard like I was last year - my goal is to be both big and hard. I will definitely be much harder this year, but with the new judging criteria they're all talking about, whatever that's supposed to mean, but I've never had a problem with symmetry for the most part. I'll be having that in the back of my mind.
[ Q ] Describe your training philosophy. Have you changed anything this time around?
- No, my training has pretty much been the same for a long time. It's always just been real hard and real heavy. That's always been what's worked for me and that's what has gotten me to where I am today.
[ Q ] You're 41 years old now. How many more years do you feel you will train and compete for?
- I'm not really giving myself a time-table as far as that goes. My thing is as long as I can be competitive and win and everything, I'll be there. Its just that, you know, this is my hobby. It's what I love and enjoy doing.
Whether it be two or three years or whatever, as long as I'm enjoying it and winning I'll be around.
[ Q ] Assuming you win this year, you will have, in terms of Olympia wins, achieved equality with Lee Haney. Would you like to go on and win a ninth, tenth or even eleventh title?
- What I've always tried to do is pick short term goals. It would be great to do that (win several more Olympia's) but the way I look at it, I've got to get to eight before I get to nine. I never try to plan ahead to far.
For the most part, I'm just concentrating on winning this year. It would be good to be champion next year and the year after that, but if I can get by this year and win, I'll take it from there.
[ Q ] Heading into the 2005 Olympia, how are you feeling? How is your health?
- Yeah, everything's really good, I'm feeling good and I'm healthy. I don't have any problems with anything, you know. It's all good.
[ Q ] In terms of your diet, have you changed anything this year?
- Things haven't changed as far as that goes. If I change anything, I'll probably diet a couple weeks more, to try and get a little bit harder than I was last year. I will be the same food and all that kind of stuff. Maybe the length of time spent dieting will change, but that's about it.
[ Q ] So if you haven't changed your diet or training, to what do you attribute the amazing improvements you make from year to year?
- I think that has a lot to do with muscle maturity. Me, I've always taken really good care of my body and health. I eat healthy year round. I never get injured or nothing, like real serious such as tearing a muscle or breaking a bone. So I attribute that to just great muscle maturity, and me taking good care of myself, and doing that year round.
I'll never go off my diet and just totally eat hamburgers and a lot of greasy, fatty, food. I'll just never do that. Its just good quality foods and proteins year round, for the most part.
- Of course I'm always in and out to the doctors getting a lot of check-ups, I get about five or six check-ups a year. As far as blood tests and stuff like that goes, just to make sure my arteries are functioning properly and getting my heart checking at least once a year, to make sure everything is going good there.
I think having health check-ups have helped me a lot.
[ Q ] Is it correct that God, and a Christian faith, plays a big role in your life?
- That's something my mum started, from day one, as far back as I can remember. I've had a good Christian background. We've always believed in God, and for the most part I've always believed that we're all here for a purpose, and everybody has a purpose in life - a calling. My calling is to be Mr. Olympia.
There is only one reason why I'm here and that is to serve God, and to do pretty much what he wants me to do. God is the person that put us here, and he put us here for a reason, and that reason is to serve him. If we're doing what we're supposed to be doing by serving him, then we're all living a very good life.
[ Q ] What other ways does having a strong Christian faith influence you in your daily life?
- It reiterates and confirms the reason why I'm Mr. Olympia, and the reason why I'm Mr. Olympia is because God has chosen that destiny for me. That makes it real easy for me to train (laughs).
I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, what I was put here to do - serving God. So everything I do, I do for God. As long as you have that philosophy, then life will be real easy for you, for the most part.
[ Q ] How old are your children Ronnie, and do they follow bodybuilding? Do you think you will have any more?
- One is 20 and one's 19. If I don't have any more, I'm pretty sure I will be a grandfather. My kids follow my bodybuilding career, and have their own careers. I wouldn't want them to follow my steps in bodybuilding anyway. One in the family is enough.
[ Q ] Is there any one person, or experience that has had a positive effect on your bodybuilding career over the years.
- For the most part I had never really wanted to be a bodybuilder, that was something that was chosen for me. So my family have had no influence on my career in this regard. Nobody never really encouraged me to do bodybuilding, it was something God chose for me, and I accepted it.
[ Q ] What would you recommend for anyone wanting to pursue a bodybuilding career?
- I think its all about being knowledgeable, because knowledge is power. I would tell people getting into the sport to go out and get as much knowledge as you possibly can, reading
- on bodybuilding or going out and getting a personal trainer are good ideas - learning how to do it the proper way is very important.
Ronnie's Training Videos:
- Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman's first video. This video shows you the training secrets of this champion athlete. Witness the most phenomenal physique ever to possess the coveted Sandow trophy.
Ronnie Coleman: The Unbelievable Video.
Taped five and a half weeks prior to the 2000 Mr. Olympia. This video covers four different training sessions. You'll be in awe just looking at so much muscle.
Ronnie Coleman: The Cost Of Redemption.
Includes 4 days of his whole body workouts featuring 160 lbs shoulder press, 800 lbs squats, 2250 lbs leg press, 495 lbs bench press and 75 lbs arm curls!
[ Q ] Ronnie. Do you have any other business interests?
- (Laughs) Nothing, just bodybuilding, I don't have any other interests right now. I'm 100% committed to bodybuilding right now. I don't have any other things, because this takes up quite a bit of my time.
Travelling all over the world and all that kind of stuff, seminars and guest posing. That's enough for me now.
[ Q ] How often are you guest posing?
- I've been guest posing pretty regularly since the end of March, travelling all over the world. I'll be going all the way up to August the 6th, my last guest posing before getting ready for the Mr. Olympia.
[ Q ]I really appreciate your time Ronnie. Is there anything you would like to say in closing? Any advice for your competition?
- No, nothing whatsoever (laughs).
[ Q ] Many thanks Ronnie, have a great day.
- You too.