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Even relaxed, as shown in this moment caught by Kevin Horton from a real-time workout at Metrofex Gym, it’s easy to see that Ronnie Coleman was different from other bodybuilders. There’s big and then there’s “Ronnie big.” Just how big was that? Off-season, Coleman tipped the scales at 330-plus pounds; one almost expected to see moons orbiting planet Ronnie.

In 2004 the world shook when Big Ron stepped on the Olympia stage at 297 pounds, setting a record as the heaviest Mr. Olympia in history. It was also his seventh O, tying him with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The next year, he tied Lee Haney’s total of eight.

Coleman’s reign linked two decades (1998–2005) and two generations of bodybuilding greats: Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Chris Cormier, and Shawn Ray from the fabled ’90s and the new breed, Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, Victor Martinez, Gustavo Badell, and Dennis James. He beat them all.

It wasn’t until 2006, when Cutler, aided by Father Time, did what no other bodybuilder was able to do for eight years: stop Coleman at the Olympia.

Coleman remains active in the industry, promoting his Ronnie Coleman Signature Series supplement line. His popularity with fans remains high, as evidenced by the long lines waiting for a chance to meet the former king at one of several appearances he makes at both NPC and IFBB Pro League contests around the world. – FLEX