Bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman is one of the standout athletes of the 21st century, and when you consider that his early success came when he was a police officer, it's an even more inspiring story.
But for a famous bodybuilder, there are a lot of distractions at a commercial gym, and Coleman decided that he needed a secret weapon to stay competitive.
And that weapon was his home gym.
So, our team spent a day going through social media posts and interviews to see what the former bodybuilder had set up at home.
- Coleman's gym features an extensive range of equipment, including a wide selection of dumbbells, weight training machines, and advanced gym gear.
- His intense training regime lasted many hours each day, and having a gym at home gave him peace from the public as well as being able to always play his own music.
- A study by the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) indicates that the average investment in home gym equipment can range from $1000 to $2000, which is significantly less than Coleman invested.
- From my own journey in setting up a home gym, I found it's a significant investment in both money and space.
What Does Ronnie Colemen's Home Gym Look Like?
Coleman's home gym looks more like a huge commercial gym than anything you would find in even elite athletes' homes.
He has said in a few interviews that the house was about $75,000 cheaper than his gym.
Imagine spending that much on your own gym.
His dumbbells start with light weights at 5 pounds and go all the way up to 200 pounds.
Having trained with a similar variety, I know the importance of this range for targeting different muscle groups and progressing in strength.
Looking at videos, there must be over 50 dumbbells for him to choose from.
And he has as many weight training machines as you'd find in any typical gym.
The eight-time Mr. Olympia winner also likes that he can choose his own music for motivation.
How Much Did He Spend?
Coleman has said that he spent over $200K on his gym equipment.
To put that in perspective, his house was about $125,000, and the gym cost him $200,000.
He has said that he based his design on the Metroflex gym he trained in before he became famous.
"This is my sanctuary for when I was winning all my Olympias when I couldn't go to Metroflex because people would bother me so much."
- Ronnie Coleman
Ronnie's Advanced Gym Equipment
You don't win eight Mr. Olympia titles by having just some dumbbells for your bench press workouts and a simple squat rack.
What Coleman did was look for the most versatile equipment. According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, this approach gives him the ability to add as much variety to his training plans as possible for optimum muscle growth .
While his favorite piece of equipment is a full-size power rack, he also has a table crossover and multiple leg-press and leg-curl machines.
There are multiple flat and adjustable benches and such a variety of cable machines that I wonder how a single bodybuilder could need them all.
Oh, and he has a big sound system to play his favorite tunes to motivate him during training.
My clients say they can relate to Coleman's need for music during training. The ability to blast their own playlist adds that extra boost of motivation.
Take a look at our guide to best home gym equipment to help you get set up in a much more professional-looking way.
Nutrition and Supplement Station
In the home gym of Ronnie Coleman, an eight-time Mr. Olympia champion, nutrition and supplements are given paramount importance.
The station is equipped with:
- Pre-prepared meals: Given Coleman's rigorous training schedule, the station includes a refrigerator stocked with pre-prepared meals. These meals are balanced with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, all portioned to meet his specific dietary needs.
- Cooking essentials: A small kitchenette area with essentials like a microwave, blender, and perhaps a grill for quick, healthy cooking. This allows for fresh meal preparation, which is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and recovery.
- Supplement essentials: Supplements are integral to any bodybuilder's regimen, and Coleman's choices in this area are likely to be as meticulous as his workouts.
- Protein powders: A variety of protein powders, including whey for post-workout recovery and casein for sustained protein release, are especially useful before bed.
I can vouch for the critical role of nutrition and supplements, just as in Coleman's gym. My personal nutrition station, much like his, is a cornerstone of my daily routine, underscoring the synergy between diet, supplements, and rigorous training.
Other celebrity home gym we reviewed:
What Gym Did Ronnie Coleman Train At?
Ronnie Coleman trained at the Metroflex gym in Arlington, Texas. This gym has been the home of many amateur and professional bodybuilders over the years, and Coleman used its design as inspiration for the gym in his own house.
How Many Hours A Day Did Ronnie Coleman Work Out?
Ronnie Coleman worked out about four hours a day and six days a week. He typically planned for two sessions of two hours each, and those could include up to 40 sets depending on how close he was to a bodybuilding event.
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