When you saw the biggest bodybuilder on the planet a decade ago—5'11" and around three bills in contest shape—you’d figure there’s no way he could use all that cartoonish muscle. But unlike some others on our list, eight-time Mr. Olympia (1998–2005) Ronnie Coleman wasn’t especially strong in one thing: pushing or pulling or squatting. He was ridiculously strong in everything.

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There are videos of him squatting 765 for 4 reps and 800 for 2 and deadlifting (with straps) 800 for a relatively easy double. But low reps in the power lifts was something he did mainly for the cameras. Coleman generally stuck to moderate reps but never moderate weights. Name a lift and he probably cranked out 10–12 reps while a ludicrous collection of plates jangled. He bench-pressed 200-pound dumbbells for 12 and leg-pressed a ton (literally) for 10. I watched him T-bar-rowing 645 in August 2004 before the handle snapped. There are tales of his doing parking-lot lunges with 365. When it comes to the full spectrum of exercises, no one racked up more absurd-but-true numbers than the eight-time Mr. O.


  • Front or rear squats: 5 sets of 10 reps
  • Leg presses: 4 sets of 12-10 reps
  • Walking lunges: 2 sets of 100 yards
  • Leg extentions: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Standing 1-leg curls: 4 sets of 15-10 reps
  • Lying leg curls: 4 sets of 15-8 reps

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