It’s been a few years since Ronnie Coleman oiled up for a Mr. Olympia competition — which he won eight times in a row — but he’s busier than ever.
Closing in on his 50th birthday, the imposing physique is still there and he still hits the gym five days a week, although with a little less intensity than in his training days, he admits.
Coleman last competed in Mr. Olympia in 2007, but his hour-long gym stints allow him to maintain a rock-solid 290 pounds (132 kg) of muscle on his five-foot 11 (1.8 m) frame.
“I never trained more than an hour a day even when I was competing,” he said during a Red Deer stop on Sunday. “The only thing different is when I was competing I did two hours of cardio a day.
“I don’t do no cardio no more because I don’t have to be as lean just walking around here as when I was on stage and competing against other guys and had to be as lean as possible.
“Now I just train to take it easy,” he said with a laugh.
Of course, taking it easy is relative when you’re talking about Coleman.
The genial bodybuilder, who still holds the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness record with 26 wins, now travels the world promoting his business.
He was at Red Deer’s Bond Nutrition, 6842 50th Ave., to meet throngs of fans and promote his line of Signature Series supplements.
The Signature Series line was started in 2012 and the sports and fitness products are now available in more than 120 countries. He also has his own line of apparel.
Coleman was in Australia earlier this year, and just in the last couple of days came to Red Deer from Montreal, will visit Leduc today, before heading to the Edmonton airport and on to India.
It will be his second time in India this year. Then on to Germany.
“Just about every single weekend I’m in a different place.
“I’m a whole lot busier now than when I was competing. When I was competing I couldn’t travel (as much) because I had to get ready for shows.
When he returns to his home in Arlington, Texas he’s got a young family waiting. He is married, with children aged three, two and eight months and a new baby on the way.
The gym has been a part of his routine since he was 12, he said.
“Everybody’s got hobbies. Mine has always been working out.”
Born and raised in a small town in Louisiana, Coleman went on to college and got a degree in accounting. After graduation, he became a police officer in Arlington, Texas for about 15 years.
He still calls it the most fun job he’s ever had. Mr. Olympia comes in second, although he admits it paid a lot more.
While he was a police officer he was encouraged to train at a local gym and he won Mr. Texas in 1990.
His career soon began to take off and his first win as a pro came in the Canada Pro Cup in 1995, which he also won the following year.
His eight-straight Mr. Olympia titles from 1998 to 2005 are his biggest achievement, a feat matched only by Lee Haney, who did it from 1983 to 1991.
Coleman said he gets asked all the time by budding bodybuilders about how to get big.
If you’re serious; get a personal trainer and a nutritionist.
He started winning big when he got help from a nutritionist.
Cody Hughes, 21, of Lacombe, won a chance to train with Coleman at Clearview Market The Body Garage on Sunday evening.
“I didn’t know what to think,” he said when he heard he won.
“Just the experience,” is how he summed up what he hoped to get out of his time with the bodybuilding legend.