For eight years, Ronnie Coleman dominated bodybuilding. From1998 to 2005, he won not just a record-tying eight Mr. Olympias but also virtually every other contest he entered, including a tally of 23 out of 24.He earned his unprecedented muscle mass the old-school way: with heavy-metal work-outs in the hardcore haven of Metroflex Gym in Arlington, TX. Eight-hundred-pound squats, 600-pound T-bar rows, 500-pound bench presses – Coleman was as strong as he looked.

The lunge was mostly relegated to aerobics classes until the world’s No. 1 body-builder made it his signature lift. When it became known that Coleman did walking lunges along the gravel lane in front of Metroflex with as much as 365 pounds during triple-digit heat and even rainstorms, the previously soft-core lunge got a hardcore makeover. It’s now viewed as essential for building functional strength and muscle. Because many gyms lack adequate space for Ronnie’s weighted walk, the exercise has even adopted an alternative name: the parking-lot lunge.

Can you measure up to his legendary workout?

Coleman’s Lunge Routines


Lunges, which focus more on the hamstrings and glutes than the quadriceps, are a good segue between quad work and ham work.

■ Take long strides, getting a deep stretch on each rep so your trailing knee nearly touches the floor.

■ You can balance a barbell behind your neck, hold dumbbells at your sides, or wear a weighted vest.

■ If neither your gym nor its parking lot have a lunging lane, lunge in place. Stride forward and then return to the start position and alternate legs on each rep.

Coleman’s Career Highs

■ Record-tying eight Mr. Olympia wins

■ Record 26 IFBB pro contest wins

■ Record 16 consecutive IFBB pro wins

Coleman’s Leg Routine


Squat                     5            10

Leg Press             4           12–10

Walking Lunge     3           100 feet

Leg Extension      3           20

One-leg Curl        4           15–10

Lying Leg Curl     4            5–8

Pro Tip: You don’t have to drop your back knee to the ground, but you do want to get as low as possible to get the most out of the exercise.