It is no secret that bodybuilding is extremely taxing on your body over time. As one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time, Ronnie Coleman recently broke down exactly how much damage he has done to his body over the years.
Few people can claim the type of success that Coleman has had in bodybuilding. Having won the Olympia a record eight straight times, he reigned over the sport for the better part of three decades. You would find little detractors to the idea that he is the best to ever do it.
However this type of success, unfortunately comes with some serious sacrifice to the body. Speaking with Joe Rogan, Ronnie Coleman explained how bad things have been on his back and the rest of his body. These types of issues, which he said started in high school, led him to have 13 surgical procedures over the years, on his back, hips, and neck.
Coleman explained that he saw a chiropractor for much of his life. However he had a herniated disc that required surgery. He explained that it was a steady decline, starting with some back surgeries, before moving on to the neck, then getting both hips replaced.
“(I had to replace) both of them in like, 2014. I just had a hip surgery in January, it’s holding up a little bit better now. One went bad, the sockets broke and they had to replace both of them. I had the titanium ones, and the titanium ones are the hardest ones because they are rough and the titanium is hard on the body. Because of that, and me working out, it just kind of broke the sockets.”
Ronnie Coleman goes on to talk about he does not let being in pain from this stop him from doing the things he likes to do. Although he admits that he is in pain pretty constantly, he is able to get by.
From there, the conversation switched to the first time Coleman herniated a disc while squatting. He said he could hear the pop like a gunshot, but that the emergency room did not see anything wrong. He took a couple of weeks off, but when he went back to the gym he knew something was wrong. Nevertheless it still took him ten years before the pain was too unbearable and he got surgery.
“I couldn’t walk 25 feet without my leg being on fire. My feet were on fire, and now I’m in a whole lot of pain. So I knew it’s time to get something serious done.”
The first procedure saw them shaving off the disc, which eased Ronnie’s pain. However things began to slowly decline about a year later, and he needed another procedure. Coleman could not remember the specifics of what happened, but says things only went downhill from there.
“I think the first time you herniate a disc, it’s like you stack a bunch of cans on top of each other and you snap one out. After a while the other ones are going to start falling out of place too, and that’s kind of what happened. The other discs just started herniating on their own. Of course I was working out too,” Ronnie laughed.
Coleman goes on to explain that even now, he has a herniated disc. Unfortunately he says that this is the last remaining disc that he has not already had surgery on. The rest of his neck and back are fused.
Joe Rogan asked Ronnie Coleman if the doctors think this will be the last time he has issues. Despite the fact that his back is fused, the bodybuilder has accepted the fact that things are always going to get worse. He says that this is what happens as a professional athlete gets older.
Right now, Ronnie is having a ton of trouble walking without his legs getting weak. He says he wants to try stem cells next, which is something Joe is a big fan of. After that, he breaks down all the hardware he has in his body as a result of these surgeries.
“I’ve got 14 screws, two cages. I’ve got two rods. So it’s a lot of hardware, a lot of cages,” Coleman says. “I got that in my neck and back.”
Joe then has Jamie pull up the pictures of the cages in Ronnie’s spine. He explained that the screws are about two or three inches, and while they keep his back together, it hurts his nerves. He then discusses how he has plans to try stem cells, but he hopes to eventually find something that helps make things easier on him.
Watch the video below:
There is no denying that Ronnie Coleman is one of the greatest to ever do it. Nonetheless it is heartbreaking that he has these kinds of lingering issues with his neck and back.
Here are some pictures of King Coleman 1998-2005:
FitnessVolt is sending positive vibes his way, and wishing him a full speedy recovery.