Ronnie Coleman Workout Routine & Diet (Free 7-Day Plan)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: February 26, 2024
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There is one Mr. Olympia that stands out the most for me, and that’s Ronnie Coleman. There is the obvious fact that he is the co-record holder for winning Mr. Olympia 8 times.

But what I admire most about him is his workout routine and discipline.

His professional career went from being a poor pizza delivery guy to a police officer before he finally became a professional bodybuilder with a fantastic competitive record.

And here’s what we’ve been able to find out about his workouts and diet from numerous interviews.

The Ronnie Coleman Workout Routines

Let me start by saying that I know very few people who would be able and committed enough to do a Ronnie Coleman workout routine.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ronnie Coleman (@ronniecoleman8)

You May Also Like: Ronnie Coleman Workout Routine PDF

Here’s what’s involved:

Monday: Back, Biceps, Shoulders

  • Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6–12 reps (increasing load)
  • Barbell Row: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Bicep Curls: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Overhead Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 12 reps

Tuesday: Legs

  • Standard Squats: 6 sets of 2–12 reps (increasing load)
  • Leg Press: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Lunges: 2 sets over 30 yards

Wednesday: Chest, Triceps

  • Bench Press: 5 sets of 12 reps
  • Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Extension: 4 sets of 12 reps

Related: Ronnie Coleman's Chest and Tricep Workout

Thursday: Back, Biceps, Shoulders

Mix of Monday’s exercises plus these.

  • Barbell Row: 5 sets of 12 reps
  • Close-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Machine Bicep Curl:  3 sets of 12 reps

Friday: Legs

ronnie coleman body with gloves
  • Standing Leg Curl: 3 sets of 12–15 reps
  • Front Squat: 4 sets of 12–15 reps
  • Leg Extension: 4 sets of 30 reps
  • Hack Squat: 3 sets of  12 - 15 reps

Related: Best Leg Extension Machine

Saturday: Chest, Triceps, Calves, Abs

  • Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Dips on Parallel Bars: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • Decline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Decline Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Crunches: 3 sets to failure

Sunday: Rest Day

  • And it’ll be a well-deserved rest.

“Hard work and training. There’s no secret formula. I lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best.”

 

- Ronnie Coleman, Champion Bodybuilder

 

Workout Routines of Other Champions:

The Daily Ronnie Coleman Diet

ronnie coleman diet food

Ronnie Coleman has spoken a few times about how he structures the massive amount of 5,500 calories per day. That’s a lot of food, and in part, he gets it from supplements.

More on those shortly.

But here’s what he would commonly eat in a day.

Breakfast

  • 1 cup of grits with cheese
  • 2 cups of egg whites

Lunch:

  • 2 full chicken breasts
  • 1.5 cups of brown rice
  • 1.5 cups of beans

 

  • 2 slices of cornbread
  • Afternoon Snack:
  • 2 full chicken breasts
  • 1 large potato

Dinner:

  • 1 lean filet steak
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 large potato

From my perspective, it's clear that this diet emphasizes lean meat for its high protein content. It also includes a significant amount of carbohydrates to provide the necessary energy for intense physical activities.

Such a diet is typically suitable for individuals who engage in extensive exercise routines.

How Supplements Play A Role

Ronnie Coleman seems to rely a lot on his diet for all the nutrients his body needs. But there are some specialized supplements that he uses daily.

Ronnie starts his day with 5 grams of L-arginine. He also takes a second dose later in the afternoon.

L-arginine may provide you with faster muscle building and recovery, based on medical research [1].

He also takes pre and post-workout supplements in the form of BCAAs. These have been shown by a study from the National Institute of Health to play a role in muscle protein synthesis [2].

Rest And Recovery

rest and recovery

Ronnie Coleman takes one rest day per week, as you can see in the above workout routine.

Some people find that surprising, as there are bodybuilders and athletes out there who work non-stop. They might reduce sets and reps on a particular day but they don’t really take a day off.

Based on Ronnie’s success rate, it would seem that giving his body time to recover is key to being able to bulk up so much.

It’s certainly something that our team at Total Shape is in favor of.

FAQs

How Many Hours a Day Did Ronnie Coleman Workout?

Ronnie Coleman typically trained for about 2 to 4 hours a day, focusing intensely on rigorous and heavy weightlifting routines to build his remarkable physique.

How Much Cardio Did Ronnie Coleman Do?

Ronnie Coleman did minimal cardio during his prime. He focused more on heavy weightlifting and maintained a strict diet, only incorporating light cardio, like 20-30 minutes on the treadmill, closer to competition time.


References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/l-arginine
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6212987/

 

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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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