Joe Rogan Experience: Ronnie Coleman Podcast Notes


Ronnie Coleman (@ronniecoleman8) is an American Professional Bodybuilder considered as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He has won 8 Mr. Olympia titles, the highest number of title wins, tied only with Lee Haney. During his reign as Mr. Olympia, Coleman took the already extreme sport of bodybuilding to another level with a huge increase in size year after year.

Since his competing years, Ronnie Coleman has had several surgeries due to constant heavy lifting, including squats and deadlifts of 800 lbs for repetitions. The surgeries have taken a toll on Coleman’s back where almost all of his spine is fused due to herniated discs. Despite that, he is upbeat about life and has no regrets and continues to train whenever he can.

Ronnie Coleman was on The Joe Rogan Experience #1489 with Joe Rogan where he discussed bodybuilding, life as a police officer, injuries, surgeries, and more.

Here are our takeaways from the conversation.


  • Ronnie Coleman started lifting weights at 13 years old
  • He got his degree in accounting but couldn’t find a job for 2 years and hence joined as a police officer
  • His dream was to become a Professional Football Player
  • Coleman had no intention of competing in Bodybuilding shows and started competing only because he was promised a free membership to the gym
  • He had 21-inch arms even while starting to train for shows
  • Ronnie Coleman worked as security in the 1991 Mr. Olympia where people thought that he should be competing on stage
  • It was only when he won his first Mr. Olympia in 1998 that Coleman decided to focus entirely on bodybuilding
  • Ronnie Coleman was working as a police officer in the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, Texas. He was working full-time as a police officer during his first three Mr. Olympia wins, from 1998 to 2000.
  • He was the biggest on stage at Mr. Olympia in 2004 at 297 lbs
  • Ronnie Coleman attributes his success to hard work and genetics
  • He has had 13 surgeries and finds it difficult to walk and is on a wheelchair
  • He hopes to try Stem Cell Treatment to help him with his condition and be back on his feet


  • “I had some regret. I didn’t go heavy enough.”
  • “When you’re doing it, you’re always in the mindset of doing it. You’re not enjoying it. You can’t sit around and enjoy it. You gotta stay focused and dedicated. You gotta be always mindful. There’s no enjoying all that when you have success like that.”
  • “If I can’t do it, it can’t be done.”


Joe Rogan: Why would you lift so much weight?

Ronnie Coleman: Because I could.


  • Ronnie Coleman became a police officer because he could not find a job with his accounting degree for 2 years
  • As a police officer in Arlington, Texas, there were days when he was looking for fights but nobody would fight him due to his size
  • Coleman used to train at the gym in the Police Department facility
  • Since nobody would pick a fight with him, he would go to help his colleagues having problems with troublemakers


  • Ronnie Coleman started competing for a free gym membership to the Metroflex Gym
  • He was trained initially by Brian Dobson, the owner of the Metroflex Gym
  • Coleman was also doing powerlifting competitions during the time he was training to be a bodybuilder


  • Ronnie Coleman was tired of getting beat at top bodybuilding shows because he was not using enhancements
  • Flex Wheeler introduced Coleman to enhancements and the best coaches in the bodybuilding industry
  • Helped by his nutritionist, Chad Nicholls, Ronnie Coleman won his first Mr. Olympia title in 1998
  • He continued his run as Mr. Olympia for eight consecutive years till 2005
  • Ronnie Coleman was the biggest on stage in 2004, weighing in at 297 lbs


  • Ronnie Coleman constantly lifted heavy weights. He was squatting and deadlifting around 500 lbs while starting as a bodybuilder.
  • During his peak, Coleman was squatting and deadlifting 800 lbs while getting ready for Mr. Olympia competitions
  • He herniated a disc in his back in 1996 but still went on to complete the workout


  • Ronnie Coleman had regular chiropractic treatments throughout his competing years
  • Since 2007, he has had 13 surgeries and can hardly walk and is bound to a wheelchair
  • He hopes to try Stem Cell Treatment to help him get back on his feet
  • Joe Rogan has recommended Dr. Neil Riordan to help Coleman with his Stem Cell Treatment
  • Coleman has herniated all discs on his back and has screws, rods, and cages to keep his spine stable
  • The spinal fusion procedure has fused Coleman’s back and now he plans on getting the screws, rods, and cages out since they are pinching his nerves
  • Ronnie Coleman is on a wheelchair and can walk unassisted for a little distance after which he needs the support of crutches to walk
  • Coleman is planning to be back on his feet one day and walk unassisted
  • Even after all the surgeries, Ronnie Coleman is upbeat about life and has no regrets
  • If at all there is regret, he regrets not going for extra repetitions on his 800 lbs squats on which he did 2 repetitions


  • Zack Bitter
  • Evander Holyfield
  • Mel Gibson
  • Dr. Neil Riordan
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Peyton Manning
  • George Floyd
  • Stephen Seagal
  • Flex Wheeler
  • Lee Haney
  • Arnold Schwarzeneggar
  • Dorian Yates
  • Jay Cutler
  • Brian Dobson
  • Chad Nicholls

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