T Nation

What Caused Ronnie Coleman’s Back Injury?

Hello :slight_smile:

I’ve been reading this book Starting Strength for the past couple of days. Got me thinking… How come Ronnie Coleman injured his back doing squats? Surely the guy knows the proper form and everything… Or is there a point at certain weight the back will give in regardless of the technique?


Stuff happens man.

Ronnie was very strong, and most people who have lifted the weights he has lifted have better form than he did.

Ronnie was pretty hard on his body. His training was crazy. He had the most impressive physique of all time IMO, but he paid the price for it. IMO, he would not have looked as good if he did not train like he did.

Even with really good form you can get hurt.


This is something a lot of trainees don’t want to be at peace with. There’s no insurance policy.


I think the best you can do is try to keep improving form and train smart. I have never had anything major. I have tweaked my back and neck, and have had shoulder and elbow issues several times. I am okay with some risk. IIRC, powerlifting has a lower injury rate than something like basketball. Most people don’t even think about risk before playing a game of hoops. I guess most people are not playing 4 games a week either though. Strongman I think has a bit higher injury rate, but IMO it is worth the risk. I am thinking I might do an amateur strongman comp some time soon (if there are any comps with corona). Sounds like a fun change from powerlifting.

Realistically, over time, the body will break down under the pressure of such heavy weight, solid form or not. There may be fewer injuries in powerlifting initially due to a renewed focus of strengthening the shit out of the posterior chain, but the dangers remain. I know several powerlifters who have both hips and shoulders replaced. The use of steroids, which I am neither for or against, can only further exacerbate the problems because of how strong certain compounds work. Take Chuck Vogelphol for example, one of my favorite powerlifters and regarded as one of the greats. Squatting 1000lbs+ regularly will ultimately guarantee fucked up hips, groins, and more.

BUT…I will say this. When I was powerlifting, it was DAMN fun!

1 Like

I don’t think I could go back to doing BBing style training. It is just so boring for me. Strongman I could do, and I do currently incorporate some strongman into my training (just don’t compete).

Hell yeah man, go for it. I loved powerlifting while I was doing it. Just hammer your posterior chain and always get in additional accessory work for chest/triceps/back/shoulders. If you do that, not only will you developed a strong body with a decent physique, but you’ll mitigate your chance of injury.

1 Like

if you ask this question its because you never push some PR and Heavy weight for a couple a years…

Coleman must have had bad genetics.


And I thought powerlifting and strongman were the same thing… I think I’ll stick to isolation exercises thankyouverymuch hehe

I think you should do that too.


Preacher curls, flies and upright rows are all Notorious for danger.


Please dont ever get in a gym again. Thanks

1 Like

For sure. Why would you want to emulate all those big strong people?

Wait what, really?

A) As other basically said getting to deadlifiting 800 for reps etc is a long journey and you’re going to get beat up

B) AFTER his first major injury he continued to train very loose/sloppy on assistance work and made things 10X worse


That just ruined 95% of kids between 14-55 y.o. upper body days. Every day. :slight_smile:


Oh why, thank you for the encouragement.

I’m gonna spend more time reading books/researching and practicing for now to avoid making a fool of myself on the forums. Speak to you guys later :slight_smile: