Eight-time (1998-2005) Mr. Olympia champion Ronnie Coleman was one of the freakiest and most complete bodybuilders of all time. He knew exactly what he was doing when it came to building his physique, and over the years, his champion-caliber workouts have been displayed for all to see.
And today, the Ronnie Coleman workout program we’ve put on display for your training progress is sure to elicit gains in both size and strength. Coleman was a big proponent of ‘power-building’ which utilizes heavy ass weight and higher reps than a typical strength routine! You’ll need access to gym equipment though, as there is a wide variety of exercises that you’ll be doing.
Let’s delve in, shall we…
The Ronnie Coleman workout program displayed below is for intermediate and advanced exercisers as it involves training 6 days (consecutive) per week and lots of volume. It’s based on how he’d train back in the day when he was destroying the competition. You should also be familiar with the exercises in the routine.
Below was a typical workout schedule/structure for Coleman:
Note: This routine is based on a spreadsheet by Gigasnutrition.com which we’ve also provided below.
Monday – Back, biceps, and shoulders
Tuesday – Legs (quads, hamstrings, and glutes)
Wednesday – Chest, and triceps
Thursday – Back biceps, and shoulders
Friday – Legs (quads, hamstrings, and glutes)
Saturday – Chest, triceps, and calves
Sunday – Rest
Here’s the workout spreadsheet with the exercises, sets, and reps.
Here are some training tips to ensure you get out of the program.
Don’t neglect the warm-up
If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter, then you likely know that warming up is an essential component of any workout routine. It’ll not only condition your joints for the loads you’ll be training with but you’ll prevent tears and be able to progress up in weight better.
Before you do the exercises that require using challenging weights, do at least two warm-up sets, progressing up in weight (e.g. use 30 and 60% of one-rep max before working sets).
Choosing the right weight
Do your best to choose a weight that’ll allow you to reach the provided rep ranges. If at first, you have to experiment with the weight, then that’s OK. Use the first few workouts to determine a good weight for you and write them down.
That way, you can have a better idea of which weights to use for the same and even the following training sessions. Of course, if you’re experienced in your training, you don’t need us to tell you how to determine the weights you should be using for this program.
But do make sure to use weights that’ll really push you up until you’ve completed all reps. This will ensure you avoid leaving gains on the table.
Do what you can at first
The most important piece of advice we could give for this program is to not try and force yourself to complete an entire workout if you cannot. Ronnie Coleman was the elite of the elite and an absolute savage (we’re not implying that you’re not or can’t/won’t be).
And not everyone will be able to complete the workouts at first. Do the best you can. The good thing about this program is that there’s room for improvement.
Related: Ronnie Coleman’s quad workout for massive gains
Frequently Asked Questions
Can beginners do the Ronnie Coleman workout program?
Because this workout program involves a lot of volume in addition to six straight training days with only one rest day, we’d recommend only intermediate and advanced lifters do it.
Beginners can easily overtrain from excessive volume and fewer rest days.
Intermediate and advanced lifters will benefit more from additional training volume.
Can this workout program result in overtraining?
If you’re not used to training with higher volume, then jumping straight into this workout program can likely result in overdoing it physically.
Overtraining does exist and the typical symptoms include fatigue, headaches, reduced strength/performance, mood changes, injuries, muscle and joint pain, sleep issues, etc.
Pay attention to your body and adjust your training as needed.
For how long should I do the Ronnie Coleman workout program?
The simple answer is to follow this program until you feel you’ve hit a plateau. Training six days a week with as much volume that’s in this workout plan, can also become tiring after a while.
“Listen to your body” is the best piece of advice we can give you. Because the workout program is best suited for intermediate and advanced lifters, you’re likely better to understand when you need to change up your routine.
How many times per week will I be training each major muscle group every week?
According to the program, you’ll train each major muscle (legs, chest, back, shoulders) group twice per week.
Twice per week is definitely the recommended upper limit for a workout program such as this one due to the overall training volume.
Time To Get Training!
It won’t be easy but if you were looking for an intense regime, the Ronnie Coleman workout program that we’ve provided will yield big gains. It’s not a plan for beginners due to the amount of volume and consecutive training days. But anyone who feels ready can surely take on this workout!
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