The Ronnie Coleman Mr. Olympia Victory Seminar
By Dennis B. Weis "The Yukon Hercules"
Lights, camera, action its Joe Weiders
IFBB Mr. Olympia-Finals held in the Events Center at the Mandalay
Resort and Casino on Saturday evening on October 23, 1999 and I
was there with my pal Paul Becker (of www.trulyhuge.com)
to take in the big show. The competition was intense and as many
of you know, Ronnie Coleman prevailed to win his second consecutive
The morning after (Sunday October 24th) Ronnie
Coleman was conducting an Olympia Victory Seminar in the Trade Winds
Ballroom at the Mandalay Bay. I tape recorded his seminar and with
the full intent of coming back home to write it up as a feature
length article for Muscle Mag. Somehow I managed to lose the audio
seminar in the archives of my vast bodybuilding library and it wasnt
until recently (nearly 2.5 years later) that I rediscovered it.
Upon listening to it 2.5 years later I find the information to be
as fresh as the day I recorded it.
This lost seminar contains the exact insights
and expressions from Ronnie Coleman, a man who is deeply involved
in the trenches of pro bodybuilding warfare.
If you have every had the opportunity to hear
Ronnie speak, you may recall his speech patterns and recognize his
training and nutritional strategies as it is represented in this
Ronnie: First of all, good morning. I hope everyone
enjoyed the show ( Joe Weiders 1999 IFBB Mr. Olympia-Finals
at the Mandalay Events Center) last night. Thats two in a
row for me. To start out, Id like to say, thank God!
Basically, to be a two-time Mr. Olympia, Ive
had to put in a big part of my workouts and what I did to win the
first time. And the reason why is I know what it took to win one.
So it gave me that much of an edge going into the show. Knowing
exactly what I had to do to get number two. So I was very determined,
and very motivated to do this two times in a row.
I thought I had worked real had for that first
one, but it wasnt really nothing compared to what I would
do to get number two! I basically took it to another level.I think
right after the Olympia last year, I took a couple months off to
rest my body, basically first of all, my mind second of all. And
I said when I started this thing off, it would be a nine or ten
month preparation for the Olympia this year. I was highly determined
and motivated to repeat. There wasnt nothing else on my mind
from day one.
I quit working out in February, I think I took
off a couple of months. Like I said, just to let my body rest and
let my mind rest. I had to take care of the duties placed on me
by the police department and everything. I had to do a little extra
traveling and this type of stuff because of that (1998) Mr. Olympia
I think I was the first one to get a photo
shoot in Amsterdam. It was something that was different, to say
the least. But we went over there and we had a lot of fun. You never
realize how generous and how nice these people are, until you really
meet them. But we had a lot of fun at that photo shoot. And it was
something different for the sport of bodybuilding and something
different for them too. Because theyd never had somebody that
theyd did photo shoots with that had twice the muscle mass
as the guys they normally shoot.
I think there were some positive things (at
the Amsterdam photo shoot) that took bodybuilding to another level.
But I think one of the major changes which weve probable seen
in the sport of bodybuilding is that it just give it a little bit
more awareness in another field in another area. It brings it out
into the public into a different light, a different perspective.
It gives it a little bit different view than what some people were
used to seeing, especially in that style of modeling type project.
Once I got started back to working out I basically was determined
to work out just about every workout session. And never miss a workout
session regardless of wherever I went, whatever I did, how much
traveling I had to do. Because of all the overtime and all the late
hour I put in at work I was determined not to let anything come
between my training. And I did quite a bit of traveling. I think
the most important thing to me was my training. I can still remember
taking a 17 hour flight, 17 or 18 hour flight from Dallas to Australia
and getting off the plane and going straight to the gym. Not getting
any rest so that I wouldnt miss any day of working out. I
took quite a few flights like that, but none of them were much over
10 hours. Places like Germany or Paris or places like that. The
most important part, like I said, was for me not to miss the workout.
I kept my training the same, which is to work every body part, twice
a week. Basically I dont do a training split because I have
to work a full-time job. So I have to do all my workouts at one
And its done, 3 on one day off. I basically
work out six days a week and I take Sundays off. I pretty much fit
my body parts like everyone else does. Big with small. Like back/
biceps, chest/triceps. Normally on leg day, I do all my leg work
pretty much on that same day. A typical workout day for me is in
the off season, I get up at like 10 in the morning, eat breakfast
and go straight to the gym. Probably get done working out about
1 or 1:30. Come home and take a shower. I have to be at work at
3:00 every day. I work from 3:00 to 11:00. And when I get off I
basically go home and just chill out and get ready for the next
I do all this up until I get ready to start
my pre-contest. Ive been working with the police department
for 10 years now. Matter of fact they gave me my 10-year anniversary
back in March or April. They gave me a little celebration, kind
of embarrass you in front of the troops. Bring you in front of everybody
and give you a little ol security bond and a ribbon and letter
from the Mayor and Chief and people like that. It was certainly
something exciting for me.
I graduated from Grambling State University, back in 1986, with
a BS degree in Accounting. I thought I was going to be an accountant
for the rest of my life. God sure changed all that.
Ive been with the police department now
for 10 years and I can truly, honestly say that I really love working
that job. And the best part about it is that your personality determined
the kind of person that you are. And for me, Ive always been
a real kind-hearted type personality. Ive always liked to
help people out and thats pretty much the satisfaction I get
out of working that job, is knowing I can help people out every
day. Of course, you know, it comes with some bad things too. Theres
a lot of bad people out there, a lot of bad people. But theres
a lot of good things that happen at this job, too, it makes up for
all the bad stuff that Ive seen over the years. So I can truly
and honestly say that I love working with the police department.
And all those 10 years seem like one year basically.
We have a twenty-year retirement, but I can
truly and honestly say after twenty years, that next day Ill
be outta there real fast, real quick! And I wont have to worry
about working for the rest of my life. Cause I have basically
like four retirement plans going. So Ill have a whole lot
of money saved up! So Ill be a great fisherman one day! And
a great hunter! Doing lots of things that interest me.
Basically my pre-contest is a whole different type of workout. Instead
of being able to get up at 10:00 I have to go back three hours earlier,
and get up at 7 a.m. in the morning. And of course I still have
to work for the police department. It kinda interrupts my sleep
but not for long.
I start with getting up at 7 a.m., because
thats best when the day starts with me and I only do it for
12 weeks. A long, long, long, very hard 12 weeks. Probably the hardest
part about it is getting up at 7 a.m.! Because after a long, hard
days work, the last thing you want to do is cut your sleep
short! When you live in a two-bedroom house, its a long walk
upstairs and a long walk downstairs sometimes!
I start out at 7 a.m., I get up, I eat my breakfast,
I go do my food intake. It takes me about an hour. Then I go straight
back to bed and sleep from 8 to 11. As soon as I get outta bed,
I have a treadmill in my bedroom thats the first thing I do
sometimes! I get straight on that treadmill and I do an hour of
cardio. But I dont start out with an hour, I do about 30 minutes
for a week to get used to doing it like that and then I do 45 minutes
to an hour. And I get to an hour about eight weeks out. So I take
about the first three weeks to build up to that hour. Cause
thats a long, hard hour. Especially when youre on the
kinda diet I do.
After that hour of cardio or whatever, I go
back downstairs and eat again. After I finish eating, I go straight
to the gym, do my workout. Sometimes thats a long, hard workout
when youre on low carbs, which is basically how my diet is
most of the time. Soon as I leave the gym, I run home as fast as
I possible can, speeding, getting pulled over by some of my fellow
officers! Wonderin why Im drivin so fast, wonderin
where Im goin! Like they dont know!
I go home and sometimes I take a shower, sometimes
something else depending on how much time I got. I will take my
food with me and ride to work and eating on my way to work. Sometimes
Im in such a big hurry, I dont even get a chance to
eat until I get to work. We have to check in and as soon as I check
in I eat. And I work, like I said, until 11, of course I go home
at 11:00, well, I get home about 11:30. Another hour of cardio,
go eat again. Take a shower and then go to bed. Ill get in
bed, if Im lucky, at 3 a.m. If you can calculate that til
7 a.m., thats a very short time, short amount of sleep!
I dont get a full eight hours of sleep during this 12-week
period. If I get six or seven, Im real happy! Real, real happy!
So I do that for 12 long, long, hard weeks.
Basically, as for my food goes, off-season is the best time of the
year! Best time in my life, ever! Because I get a chance to eat
whatever I want to eat! I like McDonalds. One of my hangouts!
Jack-in-the-Box! Another of my hangouts! And its free! So
thats my favorite hangout! But dont tell anybody that
its free. I wasnt supposed to tell anybody about that!
I tried to argue with them once (about getting
the free food). But they insisted, and sometimes you cant
win a losing battle! You just accept certain things! Go on about
your business and be happy about it. Sometimes, its good to
do that, and thats certainly one of those times that you dont
My next favorite place is a restaurant called
Black-Eyed Peas. Its not free, but its half-price! Those
are my three major places to eat. Black-Eyed Peas is a restaurant,
they serve everything, I mean, fried fish, fried everything. You
can get anything you want there, hamburgers. Basically, my first
meal of the day cause its so fast and so quick and doesnt
take a lot of time. Cause Im basically rushing the morning
when I get up. Normally like pancakes or something like that. Grits
or something like that, something real quick basically. Rest of
the meals of the day are basically what I told you, McDonalds,
I go to just about every day. Jack-in-the-Box for sure is a given!
I hit it when Im off work and not in uniform, they freak!
Black-Eyed Peas restaurant is another favorite.
I eat lots of hamburgers, I eat lots of cheeseburgers.
A lot of pizza. Like I said, I live well in the off season, I eat
whatever I want to eat. I like to eat! Its the best time of
my life! It dont get no simpler than that. To know you can
eat a nice juicy hamburger right before you go to bed sometimes.
You dont have to be worried about it.
But you know what? That only lasts so long!
And you really dread getting off that off season diet. It seems
like it last about a week, it goes by so fast! Being a carefree
person, doing what you want, enjoying life. But you know, this is
whats chosen for me
I have to deal with it.
Question: Do you eat sweets?
Ronnie: Not really, Im more of a cheeseburger,
meat-type person. I eat ice cream, but Im not really into
that. Show me a cheeseburger or a pizza, forget ice cream! Im
a happy person! To me a cheeseburger is like eating ice cream for
some people. But I do love cheesecake. So Ill eat my cheesecake
just about every day too. I guess Im like the cheese freak!
Cheese lover. Im one for cheese, man.
I have my favorite meal which I call my meal
of the day: steak and rice! Its the best meal in the world.
My diet basically starts out first thing in the morning, I drink
me a protein shake. Then I have an iced tea. Its one of those
country things. Iced tea every mornin. My second meal of the
day, when I get off of the treadmill, is chicken and a potato, baked
potato. My portions are basically what I can assimilate in like
three hours. I will eat anything and everything until one meal ceases.
And I eat six times a day! Meal two, like I said, chicken breast,
a baked potato normally like 12 oz. Meal three is like the best
meal of the day, like I was saying, steak and rice. Meal is four
is chicken, potato. Meal five, turkey, potato. Meal six is just
a protein shake basically (a no carb meal).
The trick to my diet is the manipulation of
carbs. Thats the hard part. I get a chance to eat carbs with
meals one, two, three, and four. Meals five and six, no carbs. I
do that for five days and sometimes six. Then I go back to my basic
diet. My basic diet is what I gave you the first time. Sometimes
we manipulate it where I just have half the carbs in meals one,
two, three, four, and five. I do that for like 10 weeks. Thats
where it gets hard, when youre used to having full carbs.
Matter of fact, I ran into some major stomach problems with an ulcer
because we backed off my carbs so much that my body had a very negative
reaction from it. We were really dialing in, doing something different,
trying to change my body up. I think thats part of what changed
it also this year, I was able to out without having a break from
my training which allowed me to basically stay strong for the whole
ten months. I didnt have a break where I went down in weight
like I did last year, when I did Night of Champions, and that Canadian
show, I had to do all that dieting. When youre dieting youre
not as strong as you are because youre not taking in as much
carbs. Youre not eating as much fat and stuff, which is what
I love and enjoy doing.
Those hard sessions allowed me to pack on some
extra muscle mass. I was almost 15 pounds heavier than last year,
with a little bit better conditioning than last year. That was basically
from not having the interruption, changing my workout, changing
That basically is how we did this thing two
times. I dont know about yall, but Im getting
hungry already! Im going to try to answer some questions so
we can get on outta here and eat!
Question: What supplements were you taking?
Ronnie: Everything! You name it, I was taking
a lot of Vitamin C. 4000 milligrams. I took a lot of Chromium, a
lot of Glutamine, I took a lot of multi-vitamins every day. It was
basically just multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, vitamin C. That type
of stuff. It was every day. So I took in a lot of vitamins, a lot!
Question: What was the harder training, first
Mr. O, or second?
Ronnie: I would say second. I dont know
if I could do that another six or seven times I really and truly
dont think my body would allow me to do that.
Ronnie: I work for the police department and
every day people will ask me Do you work out? Every day! Every day!
I wear long sleeves, short sleeves at work and people see me and
they still ask me!
I get a lot of coverage with the police department.
Im known by the general public. I get a lot of requests to
do stories because people hear about there is a police officer in
Arlington, who is also a bodybuilder and has won this great title.
The more stuff that I can do, the more chance the public will get
a chance to learn about the sport. They know Im a police officer
and they see me on the cover of a magazine. The Dallas Morning News,
which is a huge newspaper, did a big story on me. And some other
people saw it and they did a story on me, too. Hopefully we can
get a lot more stories like that.
Question: Has your life changed much since you
have become Mr. Olympia?
Ronnie: Not really. Im just well aware
of why Im here and what my purpose is in life. And who is
scripting my life, and who is in control of my life. Its just basically
an awareness that God put me on this earth for reason. And hes
gonna use me to do certain things while Im here.
Question: How much did you weight when you walked on stage?
Ronnie: I was 257 that morning before I left
to go on stage. I weighted myself right before I walked out the
door. Last year I was 247. So it was like a 10-pound gain increase.
Question: Did you go into this Mr. Olympia knowing in your mind
you were a winner?
Ronnie: Basically, I did go in with a champions
attitude. I knew I was a champion, I knew that it was my show to
lose or win. So I was coming in with that attitude that it was gonna
be my show to win. And so of course I had an attitude when I went
on stage that Im the champ and nobodys gonna take this
away from me. Basically and through the posedown, Flex was right
there beside me, and he was number one on my list, to show that
you aint gettin me this year, you were close last year
but Im layin it to ya this year like I did last year,
because last year you ran from me. So after that it was a free-for-all.
Question: ? (Authors note: Couldnt understand
Ronnie: They basically come to my house and
they record what I say. Of course they probably change some of the
words. Those are my training, the exercises and everything I do.
Question: ? (Authors note: Couldnt understand
Ronnie: I only do that for like five days and
then I go back for maybe one day on full carbs. And then back, sometimes
two days. For the most part it was one day this year and for a couple
times it was no days!
Question: How heavy did you get in the off season?
Ronnie: This year I was 308! I was eating everything!
Id eat 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 calories a day maybe, which is
about twice what I eat during contest preparation.
Question: How much more money did you make this
year compared to years past?
Ronnie: It tripled, quadrupled something like
that. I lost count after taxes. I made 50K in 98, in 1999
it was 100K, so it like doubled, tripled roughly. After they take
the taxes out, who cares?
Question: How did you feel at the pre-judging?
Ronnie: At the pre-judging? I was exhausted
first of all. Once I finally got back to the room, I tried to eat
one meal. We only had like an hour or so, maybe an hour and a half
or something. So I basically went back to the room and ate one meal,
which was steak and baked potatoes, which was what I ate the whole
time I was here for this show.
Question: Did you take Creatine?
Ronnie: No. I didnt take too much Creatine
this year for some reason. I guess cause I was usin
all that Glutamine. So I just didnt use a lot of Creatine
for some reason, but I did the year before that. So it all depends.
Question: How long did you use Glutamine?
Ronnie: Glutamine all the way up til the
Question: How did you flush all the water out?
Ronnie: Basically just quit drinkin water.
Maybe a glass or two a day. Like maybe just the water I used to
take my vitamins, I still drank those. When I got really, really
dry I had that craving.
Question: What about reps and sets for like
chest, arms and legs?
Ronnie: For me, Ive always used 10 to
15 reps and the number of exercises big ones like chest I always
do four, and for arms and triceps I always do three. The legs is
four and the rep range is always 10 to 15. I never do less than
Question: Is there every any trash-talk going
on out on the stage? Anyone try to psyche you out?
Question: What did Flex say to you right at
Ronnie: He said that the things he did wasnt
nothin against me and the things he did was just for his fans.
I dont hold nothin against him.
Question: How about when you switched supplement
companies, was it hard on you? Did you notice any difference?
Ronnie: I hate to tell you this, but basically
all that stuff uses the same stuff. They have the same formula.
It wasnt a big change for me at all. Some of the same products
Weider had, Met-Rx had. And some of the same stuff Met-Rx had, Weider
had., vise versa and all that kind of stuff. Basically, its
all the same formula. They just have different ways of advertising
their product. It wouldnt have made a change.
Question: Is there any problems when you and
your girlfriend Vicky Gates go to the gym to train and youre
training for a show and shes not?
Ronnie: We work out together and we go to the
same gym. So its the perfect fit! Its no problem at
Question: What kind of carbs do you eat?
Ronnie: I eat baked potatoes and sweet potatoes.
I take them with every meal. And my oatmeal is real heavy, so I
eat a lot of oatmeal. Its basically a potato carb thing that
Question: How do you determine your daily carb
Ronnie: Starting Sunday I have just half the
carbs with the first three or four meals. And I do that like Sunday,
Monday, Tuesday, and then on Wednesday I load up by eating a lot
of carbs with every meal. All the way up to the last one, cause
I dont have any carbs with that one cause Im going
to bed. The first five will be heavy carbs. Like two or three baked
Question: Do you have any weaknesses when it
comes to dialing in on your nutrition and training for the Mr. Olympia?
Ronnie: My weakness is just getting with Chad,
my nutritionist, and figuring out what we need to build on. And
I get feedback from people I know, my friends and some people who
are real heavy into bodybuilding. I just listen to basically what
the feedback is from the people. So I just use them after I go on
a break and then come back, well decide.
Question: Didnt Flex Wheeler lay some
smack down about your posing during one of the rounds of last years
Ronnie: Flex said that he really killed me in
that round. So I said, OK, you did. I hired somebody who really
knows how to pose and pose well. And had them put something together
for me and show you that I can do an original thing, too. And thats
what I basically did. So thats why it was like that.
Question: When and how did you get motivated
to start training seriously enough to enter bodybuilding shows?
Ronnie: I was lifting at the police station
and one of the guys I work with said you should go to a real gym,
youll like it a whole lot better than training at the station.
And I said OK. I was running out of weights anyways. And I went,
and this was like 10 years ago. And this guy walks in and says,Youre
looking pretty good! You gotta compete! And I said,You dont
understand. Im not interested in competing. I work at the
police department and you have to take a lot of drugs to be in bodybuilding.
And I love eating hamburgers! You cant eat that if you want
to be a great bodybuilder! Hes like,I think youd be
a great champion. You should really consider it. About once a week,
hed say Change your mind yet? And I would say, Naw, man, Im
gonna work with the police department and do my thing with them.
And eat what I want to eat and not have to diet. I think about the
second or third week he finally said,Ill tell you what, if
you do this contest,I think this contest was like three or four
months away. He said, If you do this contest and compete Ill
give you a free membership. Im like,Free! Ill do it
for a free membership. Ill be glad to do it. So I said OK
and this first contest was called the Mr. Texas. He taught me how
to pose and how to diet. And I went in and the rest is history and
I still work out at that gym with that free membership.
Question: Who would win if you and Dorian Yates
were competing at the same Mr. Olympia right now?
Ronnie: Its kinda hard to say cause
Dorian, when he won, took the sport to kinda like another level.
And at the time that he did that I dont think my bodybuilding
would have allowed me to do that. You have to take in age and determination
and all that kind of stuff. Its hard to say who would win
if he (Dorian) was still competing. I went to a different level
to just like he did. Since it didnt happen I would have to
say no. So you cant really compare. Its like trying to compare
a 1965 car to a 1995. You know, the technology they had back then
Question: Between 96 and 97 your
body changed. Was there anything particular you did?
Ronnie: Yeah. A nutritionist! Two more questions.
Question: What do you think is most important
to make you a winner?
Ronnie: Everything! Diet, work out, just from
eating like 12 oz. to 16 oz. of chicken and then from eating two
or three baked potatoes to one. Maybe eating rice from two times
a day to one time a day. Its small stuff like that that really
makes a difference.
Question: Is it hard to diet when two people
living in the same house are competing and winning bodybuilders?
Ronnie: Its not hard because we do the
same shows. Its no problem. Vicky is on a diet. We diet together.
When shes not on one she eats what she wants. And I have to
give her the same respect. Because when Im not on mine Im
gonna bring hamburgers in the house! So we have a great understanding.
Its not a problem at all.
That was the last question, so thank you all for coming out!
Authors closing comments: During the past 25
years I have been to a number of seminars conducted by some of the
top names in professional bodybuilding but none (up to this time)
have been as entertaining, humerous and informative as the Ronnie
Coleman 1999 Olympia Victory Seminar.
There was nothing dull or boring about this seminar and from the
very beginning Ronnie got and held the attention of all in attendance
and to its completion. Ronnie didnt try to put on airs (as
evidence of this, after the seminar he was asked to pose with a
Teddy Bear and did so obligingly) or impress the audience with his
accomplishments in professional bodybuilding. A thought that came
to my mind during this seminar was that it seemed like Ronnie was
a pal who was hanging out in my living room having a nice chat with
me about the "Insides and Outs" of the sport of bodybuilding.
Ronnie Coleman is definitely one bodybuilder who uses not only his
muscles but his mind to become a high achiever in the iron game.
As a result, he enjoys life and financial freedom as never before.
Ronnie Coleman is a stellar example that "all brawn and no
brain" is a MYTH.