T Nation

Ronnie Colemaster


Every time I read an article or post about bodybuilding it's somebody putting down the size of Ronnie Coleman, and the sport in general from 95-2005.

Where were all these people when he was winning? and where are all the people who did vote for him and fans that supported him? It's not like he won 1 trophy, he was on top for 8 years.

Or is this a product of the economy? Maybe when the economy is down people support diligence and thriftyness (hybrids and versa's), and when the economy is up everybody supports over indulgance (Navigators and Hummers)? Where as other sports it's about whatever it takes to win at all times, is bodybuilding a sport that reflects society's general attitude towards life?


I don't think it reflects anything social, economic, or political. It's just trends that come and go. The Frank Zane era followed the Arnold era, etc.

Sometimes the pendulum must swing to the extreme before finding center (balance).

I admire Coleman's achievements, but I'm very happy to see bodybuilding get refined again. I predict we're coming into a new Golden Age. The new crop of pros are all spectacular.


I agree and with Ronnie I just think we all got caught up in the "wow" factor and that's what enabled him to catapult to the top and stay there for a bit. He was being rewarded for being so much freakier and bigger than everyone else then he kept getting rewarded for taken it even further. It took a while for people to finally step back and say it's time to look at the whole package of the contestant again...


Also from what I've gathered just about every generation of bodybuilders is "too big" and "no longer aesthetic" compared to the outgoing generation.


Big Ron is the fucking man.

He is why I started lifting heavy. I get fired up every time I watch that video of him squatting 800.


Attitudes and preferences shift constantly, and certain periods of time are always looked at as either 'the good ol' days', or 'the dark ages'. Thing is, at the time, it was usually pretty good.

Personally, I'm more of a fan of Ron's personality than his physique.

But who gives a shit what I think?


I mean, shit Ronnie's awesome.
But so is Dexter/Melvin/Freeman etc.

Ronnie had his day in the sun, and (thankfully) he realized his best days were behind him, and he moved way for the new breed. Very gracious and classy winner. His physique may not have been my favorite, but I could not help but be impressed by it each and every time I witnessed it.

In the same breath, I'm overwelmed by the new breed too. It's all relative, and they all inspire me to do better things.


we all have different tastes in what a physique should look like...so do the judges.

What is aesthetic? It is one thing to me and another thing to you.

Bodybuilding is constantly changing what they want out of competitors.

The one thing I am glad to change is the 'freak' look.

I do not believe that body's should morph into something that doesn't look human.

Again this is my opinion...Ronnie was the man...size + conditioning is amazing...Markus Ruhl also had that WOW factor...both of them started to no longer look like male physiques in the end, but something different, or something more.

Nothing against them as that WOW factor is there, but the distended guts, freaky veins, etc kind of kills it for most no matter what their preference is for the human physique.

Imo Dennis Wolf is a big SOB and is a freak in his own...but he looks like a VERY LARGE and muscular normal person...he doesn't look like a science experiment whereas Ruhl started to look like a chemical experiment in the end.

did that make sense?

Ronnie was amazing tho...especially in the beginning of his Reign...he was UNTOUCHABLE. Save 98 when I thought Flex won :stuck_out_tongue: lol



let me be the first to say that i have dreams about ronnie and me hanging out and bodybuilding together. when he says, "everyone wanna be a bodybuilder but nobody wanna do these lunges" i say to ronnie in my dreams "I DO RONNIE I WANNA DO THESE LUNGES"


I understand ideas and opinions change thats fine, but out of 7 people I see one that said "Big Ron is the man" without mentioning that they are not a fan of the huge look that these guys brought.

My question is where are the people who are a fan of this look, or were YOU guys fans of it too and just recently changed your minds?



ronnie definitely has some of the most popular quotes out there. lol



You did have people who were literal "fans" of the freak look, but I would guess most of those people didn't actually train seriously or stand out enough for people to look at them and think they were also bodybuilders. Bodybuilding tends to attract voyeurs unlikes any other activity.

I was a fan of Ronnie himself. I did not want to look like him. His videos, however, are some of the most inspiring footage out there for those of us who lift weights like we mean it. I also liked his attitude, along with the fact that he continued to work his "real" job even though he admitted himself that it paid way less than the money he got from winning his shows and sponsorships.

I am GLAD bodybuilding is now rewarding more aesthetic physiques. The Gh guts and complete lack of symmetry had gone too far by the early 00's. There were guys who had to get hernia surgery on their belly buttons because they were now sporting massive "outies" when they used to have an "innie".

Markus Rhul had a literal "belly button blow out" that needed surgery which, as funny as it is, happens to be just as pathetic.

I hope those days are gone.

Ronnie achieved what people didn't think was possible. The man was doing splits on stage at over 300lbs. He was lifting insane weights while in contest shape (something few humans can pull off at all).

While you may not want to look like him, you had to fucking respect shit like that.


i have to say i was always a fan of the 'mass monsters'. a ruhl most-muscular is one of the most impressive sights in bbing history. and ronnie, well he was proportionate, as well, really no flaws in the physique until the later years.

i like seeing a variety of physiques on the stage. its dull if everyone is in the 220-240 range and 'aesthetic', just as much as a stage full of bloated guts is 'ugly'. the competition and comparison between the variety of physiques is what makes the shows interesting, imho.

i think many people are doing an about face. the monsters always got the biggest cheers from crowds - far louder than the 'aesthetic' guys. so unless everyone who cheered them no longer follows the sport, it seems like a recent change of heart by fickle fans.


I think i'm split on this and my early post probably sums up what I respect most about Ronnie.

I think because of my height and my own struggle to really put on alot of weight I always admired the work of guys like Shawn Ray and
Dexter Jackson but the pictures that motivate me more are those of Ronnie Coleman and about 1 or 2 week out Dennis James who always seems to look real good then but not so good contest time...


I admire the physiques of bodybuilders up to any weight, so long as they are proportionate. No distended guts, no wide waists, none of that stuff that ruins the look. Even, and especially, the "freaks" I have plenty of respect for, and their bodies are amazing in sheer size and conditioning.

Besides, in some cases The only difference between an outcast and mr. olympia is insertion points, genetics for certain body parts, muscle shape, etc. Some people are just hard pressed to look "symmetrical".


Couldn't have said it better.