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.
- Ronnie is one of the most legendary bodybuilders because of his eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles that nobody else has ever achieved.
- He designed his own gym to provide more than what a typical commercial gym has, and this ended up costing him more than he paid for his house.
- 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.
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.
The main reason he spent so much is that fame stopped Coleman from training as efficiently as he was used to due to all the people coming to talk to him.
So, he designed a gym that would allow him to remain competitive.
His dumbbells start with light weights at 5 pounds and go all the way up to 200 pounds.
And 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 that would give him the ability to add as much variety to his training plans as possible for optimum muscle growth .
While his favorite piece of equipment apparently 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.
It almost seems like he built redundancy into his setup with the ability to adjust multiple machines to his preferred settings to save time between sets.
Oh, and he has a big sound system to play his favorite tunes to motivate him during training.
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.
Start Your Home Gym Like Bodybuilding Legend Ronnie Coleman
You don't need goals of becoming a legend like Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler to plan out your home gym to be more than just one cable machine and a few dumbbells.
If you're serious about bodybuilding and becoming as fit as possible, then consider making space for a few machines, a power rack, and some cardio equipment. You'll need all of these for bulking and cutting phases to succeed.
Take a look at our guide to best home gym equipment to help you get set up in a much more professional-looking way.
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