Eight-time Mr. Olympia and International Sports Hall of Famer Ronnie Coleman was a guest on the June 10th episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. The renowned podcaster and UFC commentator has spoken about his admiration for bodybuilding in past episodes, including a previous one with six-time Olympia champion Dorian Yates.
On this episode, which spans around 90 minutes, Rogan and Coleman discuss several topics including the bodybuilding legend’s past before he entered bodybuilding, his size and training as the world champion of his sport, and the numerous surgeries he has had to endure upon his retirement.
Early on in the interview, Coleman discussed his powerlifting days in college and why he initially got into bodybuilding. Unlike most who enter the sport, Coleman didn’t pursue bodybuilding as a personal goal.
“I did it because the guy gave me a free membership to the gym. (laughs) I never had a dream. I just wanted a free membership because I was poor back then and, you know, I couldn’t afford to pay for a gym membership. I had just go on there (with the local police) and I just came from working at Domino’s and, you know, I had to eat pizza every day to survive because I wasn’t making that much money.”
Later on, Rogan spoke about watching videos of Coleman training and he went on to ask about Coleman’s philosophy about his training throughout his onstage career including his eight year reign as Mr. Olympia.
“To each his own, you know, I lifted heavy because that was what I liked to do. That was what I was able to do. It was kind of like…in a way I was kind of gifted to be strong like that and it was something I always was.”
Coleman and Rogan go on to discuss his 13 surgeries on his hips, back, and neck since he retired in 2007, which includes both hips being replaced, the addition of 14 screws as well as two cages, two rods, and almost his entire back being fused. He describes his ability to walk and his need for crutches.
Coleman: “I can walk, maybe from here to that wall unassisted but after being up for so long, my legs get real weak.”
Rogan: “And is it because of your back?”
Coleman: “Yeah. Because of my back.”
When Rogan notes how Coleman appears to simply accept his circumstances, he responds with a simple statement.
“I look at it like ‘hey, I’m still alive and I can still work out every day and I’m still normal’, so I’m good.”
The conversation eventually shifts to the recent protests and issues with police brutality. Rogan went on to ask the former Texas police officer what he felt the biggest issue was when it comes to abuse in law enforcement.
“Hiring the wrong people for the job. That job is so stressful. You have to be real confident in your abilities to protect yourself and I was very, very confident. I never even had to use my nightstick on anybody…That job isn’t for everybody.”
Near the end of the interview, the two men talk about aging and regrets. Coleman explains that he felt he could’ve went even heavier and referenced his famous 800 pound squat for 2 reps as an example.
“When I went down for the first rep, I was like ‘is this 800?’ So I came back up and thought ‘I’m gonna do another one’ (moves his hand down). Still easy but I had in my mind two because I had already done two on the deadlift. And I put it up and was like ‘oh, man, I had another three or four more.”
Featured Image: Joe Rogan Experience on YouTube