Bodybuilding icon Jay Cutler believes Ronnie Coleman’s physique has stood the test of time. In a recent Don’t Be Sour podcast, Cutler discussed Coleman’s next-level physique, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the role of steroids in bodybuilding.
Ronnie Coleman cemented himself as an all-time great with eight Mr. Olympia titles from 1998-2005. Sharing the stage with legends like Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray, and Chris Cormier, many consider Coleman to be one of the greatest bodybuilders to ever compete.
In 2006, Ronnie Coleman was dethroned by his rival Jay Cutler, who managed to secure a total of four Mr. Olympia victories. However, Cutler was defeated by Dexter Jackson in 2008. Ultimately, Cutler would become the only Men’s Open pro to win back an Olympia title, which he accomplished in 2009 while delivering his iconic quad-stomp pose.
And while it’s been almost 15 years since Coleman stepped on stage, his successor, Cutler, believes no one in the IFBB Pro League has come close to matching the sheer size, volume, and conditioning he displayed throughout his prime.
Jay Cutler Compares Legacies of Ronnie Coleman & Arnold Schwarzenegger
Cutler believes bodybuilders today have more advantages than athletes who trained during Schwarzenegger’s era.
“At his point, where bodybuilding was, he was ahead of it, he won seven in a row, I mean some of them he didn’t really have a lot of competition, they weren’t necessarily paid to be bodybuilders on that level where today there’s great revenue to be a bodybuilder right? You get paid and win money.”
In Jay’s honest opinion, no one has ever come close to Coleman’s physique.
“By the physique and you know… the transition of time, just Ronnie pushed the physique level to just the crazy conditioning, muscle density quality right? Where, you know, he was like a powerlifter and a bodybuilder together; he broke all weight records and had a crazy physique. To be honest, I mean since Coleman stepped away, I don’t know if anyone has even come close to his physique,” said Jay Cutler.
There have been plenty of great champions, but Cutler believes Coleman separated himself from his peers with unmatched size.
“Phil Heath was really good, but not as big and balanced as Coleman was on a size scale, but Phil held his own. Not to say Dexter Jackson hasn’t been great or Big Ramy or Shawn Rhoden or Brandon Curry,” added Cutler.
Cutler conceded that Arnold Schwarzenegger has done more for the sport than Coleman given his ability to break boundaries and trailblaze.
“Arnold has done definitely was more on a total scale, I mean to be an actor, the politician, yeah, put the Olympia on the map, like that’s why you could really do this circular pattern of what a GOAT is. It just depends on your description of what the greatest of all time is.”
Cutler Opens Up on How Steroids Have Changed Since Schwarzenegger’s Era
According to Cutler, enhancements, training, and workout theories have changed substantially since Scwarzenegger’s time on stage. He added that bodybuilders are now afforded the opportunity to fund themselves better with social media.
“Definitely the enhancements changed, but the nutrition changed a lot. The equipment that we train on was way different. Yes, free weights and the training theories — like volume training, I think Arnold overtrained himself a lot, they would spend all day working out and not following a nutrition pattern that would fulfill that. Now, as you know, the rest and the growth is done out of the gym.
I think their perception was most of the growth was done inside the gym. I feel like the recovery process, remember, now, people are paid to do this so they can allow themselves not to go out and work a secondary job and instead fund themselves with a career.”
Back when he competed, Cutler mentioned there were times when he needed ‘exotic’ drugs which required him to go overseas.
“Preparing for each year’s contest, whether you needed exotics or whatever else and that was not legal to get. I mean, at certain times you could maybe buy things overseas, but you still need to bring them to the United States or whatever else,” said Cutler.
“People can get in trouble [for steroids] but remember, the manufacturing, you’re talking about compounding, steroids to whatever else, those seem to be the big reports but if you’re using for general use, I don’t know what the ramifications of that are. I just know it’s something that some people are willing to take to succeed in what they do.”
The bodybuilding icon stressed that protocols differ depending on the person. When asked if it was possible to win Mr. Olympia drug-free, Cutler dismissed it as a possibility.
“Every guy is not on the same protocol. Yes, certain guys have to take more or less and there’s certain protocols that people use. Is it necessary? You can do a contest without using and kinds of drugs, but you’ll be at a disadvantage because people ahead of you will use compounds that you’re not. Genetics can only take you so far if that makes sense. Yes [you have to use steroids to win] the current Mr. Olympia, yes.”
This isn’t the first time that Jay Cutler took a closer look at performance-enhancing drugs in bodybuilding. During a recent Cutler Cast podcast, the Massachusetts native revealed that he generally cycled on and off steroids every few months.
Cutler, who competed against Coleman, admires his rival’s physique for its perfect combination of mass, definition, and shape. Considering his overall package, Cutler is confident that no one has come close to what ‘The King’ presented in his prime years.