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Ronnie Coleman is wheelchair bound
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sgb2112

7 Surgeries Later, Ronnie Can?t Walk, but He?s Fighting

by Jonathan Leonard

This is indeed very sad to hear. The man who was once at the pinnacle of the most prestigious bodybuilding show in the world, has now been reduced to a wheelchair. One can?t help but wonder the kind of thoughts that would go through your mind; you were the top bodybuilder for eight consecutive years, your combination of mass and muscle quality has not yet been equaled, nor the feats of doing 1-ton leg presses in preparation for a show.



All that is past now, and the consequences of such aggressive methods of packing on literal slabs of muscle is evident. No one man should have to endure numerous strings of surgery because of how hard and heavy he trained. But in this instance, I am proved otherwise.



?So you guy?s still wanna be like me, you still want to have the same work ethic as I had? Well as you can see I?m 8 X Mr Olympia and I can?t walk. I endured an 11 hour major back surgery last Tuesday.? said Coleman on his Instagram account.

It?s only normal that you would have some form of regret after having to endure seven operations?including this 11 hour-long back surgery?and the frustration of having to go through rehab in order to walk again. Yes, Ronnie has his regrets, but it?s not what you would think it to be. In fact, he regrets not going harder than he already did during his years as 8x Mr. Olympia. If he could do it all over again, he would ? and then some.

?Do I have any regrets? If I had a chance to do it all over again would I change anything? Yes if I had a chance to do it all over again I would change one thing. That is when I squatted that 800lbs I would do 4 reps instead of 2, that is my only regret in my career. Those 2 reps I did still haunts me today because I know I had 4 in me but the coward in me only did 2. That is my only regret.?
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Bastion

I thought it was body building. Not body destroying!
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parker1

Sadly, this is the case of most of these guys...they end up orthopedic disasters and/or suffer from the aftermath of the drugs, hormones along with the ridiculous diets.

It was evident from their training film both Mentzers weren't moving well from back issues, Zane had multiple surgeries over the years for his back and shoulders, Ken Waller and on & on.

There's a former NPC competitor who I know through his wife and he's told me his back, hips and knees are a disaster, despite multiple surgeries. I asked if it was worth it? He admitted he wasn't sure, as he's limited in his mobility and has what to show for it? A few trophies.

I'll probably get flamed for making this statement, but the human physiology is simply not designed to maintain artificially generated mass while pushing enormous weights around in an even more artificial environments.
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perrymk

While I don't doubt that pharmaceutically enhanced training can exacerbate problems, a lot of couch potatoes also end up wheelchair bound. Didn't Paul Anderson and John Grimek get hip replacements? I think they both claimed to be natural but maybe I'm wrong.

I try to keep things in perspective. Excess weight, whether from pharmaceutical muscle or simple obesity, has got to be hard on the heart. Excessive training has got to be hard on the joints. While the line between acceptable and excessive may be blurred and vary for different people, I think it is often clear when one is way over that line.
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Crotalus

parker1 wrote:
Sadly, this is the case of most of these guys...they end up orthopedic disasters and/or suffer from the aftermath of the drugs, hormones along with the ridiculous diets.


Most ??? .... So thousands of BBers are now in wheel chairs or bed ridden ? Name 100 of them for me.

This shit happens in all sports and like the other poster said, more couch potatoes end up like that than bodybuilders.

One thing about bodybuilding is how many jump on the bad story yet seldom it's like that with other sports.

Never hear someone saying he didn't become a pitcher because he didn't want to tear a rotator cuff , a boxer because of the dangers or go after a football career because he didn't want to wreck his knees.

In other sports when a star gets hurt or career ends it's , " Gee, that's too bad but that's the risks you take playing football ..."

In bodybuilding it's " ... see, that's why I'm not doing that. "

In bodybuilding there are always the sour grape stories.

Why are you on a BB site ? Maybe you should check out the checkers or bowling sites . But fuck bowling ... you know how many bowlers drop balls on their feet ... thousands.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

===Scott==
If Colemans only real regret is not trying 4 reps instead of two of squats then he's way ahead of most of us. A friend at work who has never touched a weight and rarely does any exercise just had to undergo a massive many hour operation to fuse vertebra in his back ( going in from the stomachs side) and fix his knee and other issues. Coleman is lucky that's all the issues he's had. Worth it to be 8 times Mr. Olympia? I'd say hell yes.
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NewYorker

New York, USA

I wonder if injuries, such as Ronnie's could have been avoided.

Most of his injuries seem to be related to squats and their variations.
This particular exercise becomes increasingly dangerous as the weight is increased. Even with perfect form

I have always maintained that while the squat is a great exercise, for some it is not worth the risk.

Nautilus and other companies were developing machines that provided alternatives:
Duo Squat
Hip and back
Low Back
Hip Extension

Note that none are being produced. There are low back machines, but they do not work the low back and hip in the same way.

Of course it isn't just squats. Most highly effective free weight exercises are less safe than machines.

The industry has been pushing free weights as superior to machines. This is misguided. Both have a place.

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Lioncourt

Ronnie was also famous for some monster training weights. All of this stuff takes a toll on the body and training that heavy for that long may not be good.

Look at some of the other champs like Arnold, Draper, and even Ellington they are all getting around fine, but were not known for using massive weights in training. Dorian for that matter seems to be ok these days and he wasn't a light trainer by any means.
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HeavyHitter32

I agree about the dangers of squats (they did my lower back no favors) and general style of their training. Heavy low rep work has a much greater potential to take its toll not to mention these guys are not just using one or two sets, but many more than that. All of that "stress" is likely to have an impact at some point.

Steroids play an impact too. While your muscle strength and size jumps on them, your tendons, ligaments, and joints have to bear artificially heavier loads which causes more issues too.

Proper training is going to help keep you out of a wheelchair especially as you get older, but done wrong you can certainly wind up like Coleman.
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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

parker1 wrote:
Sadly, this is the case of most of these guys...they end up orthopedic disasters and/or suffer from the aftermath of the drugs, hormones along with the ridiculous diets.


Crotalus wrote:
Most ??? .... So thousands of BBers are now in wheel chairs or bed ridden ? Name 100 of them for me.

This shit happens in all sports and like the other poster said, more couch potatoes end up like that than bodybuilders.


Agreed. Even BBers that have undergone adversity, are now in better health than most their age:

* Dave Draper and his excesses, survived a triple (quadruple?) bypass several years ago and still hits the gym 2-3 times/week.

* Zane recovered from his surgeries and still appears in fighting form today.

* Despite his REALLY idiotic muscle tear issues, Dorian looks to be in fantastic shape these days.

I will look at guys like these rather than your Chem-Monsters like Coleman, Matarazzo, or Cutler for what the future holds for those that lift.
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backtrack

Look at Robby Robinson at 70.
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hit4me

Florida, USA

I saw him at the Arnold classic this year and he was wheelchair bound, guess it was his choice to abuse his body the way he did.

I agree that years of extreme heavy weight training along with being muscularly obese and along with the heavy dosages of whatever drugs he was taking did not help.

dorian was injured in his later years of bodybuilding, I also blame the extreme heavy weight along with carrying around so much weight and the drugs he took were factors.

I don't recall any of the guys from the 70's having these issues in their later years, I could be wrong.

and yes, this happens in all sports, i.e. boxing, football, etc

it also happens with people who injured themselves at work or were just plain lazy.

therefore, the reason I try to train smart and leave me ego at home...as I have had back problems from heavy squats and deadlifts in my younger years along with digging ditches for a living. now at 52, I am doing whatever I can to stay out of the wheelchair and be healthy as I age.
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sgb2112

On the road to recovery.

https://youtu.be/oJZ9ZzbF3i0

He needs to get off the juice for the sake of his health! He would be doing his back& joints a great service.
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Crotalus

Always got a kick out of Ronnies training clips ... seemed like a guy you'd like hanging around with. Loved the one where he handled 200 lb. dumbells in the bench press for 12 reps ... which seemed like a warm up for him. Rolled back with them, knocked out the reps and rolled back up like they were 40 pounders, LOL.

Something I liked about him was I never remember him having a bad word to say about another competitor.

I saw an interview of Ronnie when Jay finally beat him and the interviewer pushed and pushed Ronnie to say something derogatory about the loss and he wouldn't bite, no excuses , only praise for Jay saying it was his time and deserved the win all the way.

He never had that Hollywood Superstar attitude that's all too common. I wish him all the best.
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parker1

Crotalus wrote:
parker1 wrote:
Sadly, this is the case of most of these guys...they end up orthopedic disasters and/or suffer from the aftermath of the drugs, hormones along with the ridiculous diets.


Most ??? .... So thousands of BBers are now in wheel chairs or bed ridden ? Name 100 of them for me.

This shit happens in all sports and like the other poster said, more couch potatoes end up like that than bodybuilders.

One thing about bodybuilding is how many jump on the bad story yet seldom it's like that with other sports.

Never hear someone saying he didn't become a pitcher because he didn't want to tear a rotator cuff , a boxer because of the dangers or go after a football career because he didn't want to wreck his knees.

In other sports when a star gets hurt or career ends it's , " Gee, that's too bad but that's the risks you take playing football ..."

In bodybuilding it's " ... see, that's why I'm not doing that. "

In bodybuilding there are always the sour grape stories.

Why are you on a BB site ? Maybe you should check out the checkers or bowling sites . But fuck bowling ... you know how many bowlers drop balls on their feet ... thousands.


First, I've benched over 400 pounds for reps and pulled 600 deadlifting. Don't need crap from some little man hiding behind a keyboard and throwing out f-bombs? Chicken@#$...

And if you want a list of severely injuried bodybuilders, its out there. Go find it. You seem to know it all.

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Average Al

I'm under the impression that Dave Draper is also paying a price for his glory years. I think he can barely walk, with the use of a cane. I believe he has issues with nerve damage from spinal stenosis. This is based on a couple of comments he posted a couple of years back on his blog - something to the effect that into his 60's he could still put up some decent numbers on the big lifts, but then things went South pretty fast.
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

Crotalus wrote:
parker1 wrote:
Sadly, this is the case of most of these guys...they end up orthopedic disasters and/or suffer from the aftermath of the drugs, hormones along with the ridiculous diets.


Most ??? .... So thousands of BBers are now in wheel chairs or bed ridden ? Name 100 of them for me.

This shit happens in all sports and like the other poster said, more couch potatoes end up like that than bodybuilders.

One thing about bodybuilding is how many jump on the bad story yet seldom it's like that with other sports.

Never hear someone saying he didn't become a pitcher because he didn't want to tear a rotator cuff , a boxer because of the dangers or go after a football career because he didn't want to wreck his knees.

In other sports when a star gets hurt or career ends it's , " Gee, that's too bad but that's the risks you take playing football ..."

In bodybuilding it's " ... see, that's why I'm not doing that. "

In bodybuilding there are always the sour grape stories.

Why are you on a BB site ? Maybe you should check out the checkers or bowling sites . But fuck bowling ... you know how many bowlers drop balls on their feet ... thousands.


Right, so deliberately taking drugs that you know can kill you or destroy your kidneys,liver or heart is what ? A good idea? I guess I could ask the guy's who died because they used to much diuretics in order to get more " cut " for a show but I don't know any " mediums ".
If you want me to name some I'll look them up, including some who literally died on stage.
Risking chronic shoulder pain in order to make millions of dollars pitching a baseball is something some people can live with. The key word being " live ". Risking your life for a trophy is insane.
Wait, a name is coming to me, Muntzer ? If I remember correctly a guy with the last name of Munzer or Muntzer died on stage from diuretics on stage. He had a great physique with incredible definition but in my opinion the price was too high.
It's not just diuretics either,the list of pharmaceutical is long and abusing any of them for bodybuilding is just not a good idea.
Especially when all of the guys who are capable of competing would look unbelievable even without the drugs and just trained ; due to the genetic lottery jackpot they've all hit as far as musculature and/or strength is concerned.
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Bill Sekerak

California, USA

NewYorker wrote:
I wonder if injuries, such as Ronnie's could have been avoided.

Most of his injuries seem to be related to squats and their variations.
This particular exercise becomes increasingly dangerous as the weight is increased. Even with perfect form

I have always maintained that while the squat is a great exercise, for some it is not worth the risk.

Nautilus and other companies were developing machines that provided alternatives:
Duo Squat
Hip and back
Low Back
Hip Extension

Note that none are being produced. There are low back machines, but they do not work the low back and hip in the same way.

Of course it isn't just squats. Most highly effective free weight exercises are less safe than machines.

The industry has been pushing free weights as superior to machines. This is misguided. Both have a place.



As far as I know MedX is still producing several low back machines,a hip and torso extension as well as the best leg press I've ever used.
It's not the tools that are to blame it's the way they are used that causes or prevents injury.
Yes, proper resistance training can and does prevent athletes in many sports from being injured, but again it has to be done properly with respect for the potential dangers.
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Bastion

Crotalus wrote:
Always got a kick out of Ronnies training clips ... seemed like a guy you'd like hanging around with. Loved the one where he handled 200 lb. dumbells in the bench press for 12 reps ... which seemed like a warm up for him. Rolled back with them, knocked out the reps and rolled back up like they were 40 pounders, LOL.

Something I liked about him was I never remember him having a bad word to say about another competitor.

I saw an interview of Ronnie when Jay finally beat him and the interviewer pushed and pushed Ronnie to say something derogatory about the loss and he wouldn't bite, no excuses , only praise for Jay saying it was his time and deserved the win all the way.

He never had that Hollywood Superstar attitude that's all too common. I wish him all the best.


Ronnie always seems like a pretty easy going and upbeat guy. He always seems to be having fun throwing the monster weights around too. He was a powerlifter for years before switching over to bodybuilding. The Metroflex gym where Ronnie, Branch Warren and Johnny Jackson train, all seem to train with an old school hardcore powerbodybuilding style.

https://youtu.be/D3vO_ogtpUI

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

parker1 wrote:
First, I've benched over 400 pounds for reps and pulled 600 deadlifting. Don't need crap from some little man hiding behind a keyboard and throwing out f-bombs? Chicken@#$...

And if you want a list of severely injuried bodybuilders, its out there. Go find it. You seem to know it all.


Don't know if the post required that heated of a response. Maybe you should dial back your dosages?
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the_iron_goose

People get old, they die. It happens to lots of people. It's the way it is.

Personally, I've become a little suspicious that the fitness industry includes a subset of stars...who get to a certain point...and don't want to get old.
Dying is hard enough as it is. Being in shape is as good for dying as it is for living...just all goes better. Some want to say that people should suffer...but why? For what? When you've lived the glory of lifting great tonnage what could possibly be the attraction to live to the day to be so weak you can hardly walk. I really don't believe in pushing sacrifice of any form on someone...even an early death, but nor do I push the sacrifice that they must become old. What does it prove? Who am I to take away OR insist upon existence?
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the_iron_goose

Genius if you think about it. He's set for life now! "Ronnie go over there and fetch me that stool." Ronnie: "I would sah, but I'm injrued." First speaker: "Injun?" Ronnie: "No INJURED." First speaker: "Injured??? How dya do that? Vietnam?" Ronnie: "Yes Sag, inured, No Sah, not Vietnam"
First speaker: "You weren't no baby killer in 'nam."
Ronnie: "No sah. I done myself bad in da gym sah."
First speaker: "In the gym?" Ronnie: "Yes sah." First speaker, "You one of them gym fagots doing some fool thing with a few hundred pounds and dropped a plate on your toe, Ronnei?" Ronnie: "No sah, was squatting 800 pounds in the squat - did two reps...had 17 mo in me that day, I know it, but vittles were a cooking and I'z so hungry...that I dropped the weight...hurt myself...realized some years later...but it was due to that...and me not doing those other 17 reps." First speaker: "Oh My God!!!" Wheelbarrel of money follows...

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simon-hecubus

Texas, USA

Gooster:

Are there more than one person using your account? That first post was clear, concise, and dead-on.

The second post seemed to be the inane ramblings of an alcoholic racist. Leave the colloquial prosing to William Faulkner, will you?
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pharaoh1063

Before we go too far with this "Ronnie injured himself by training to heavy" thing, please listen to the man tell his story himself. He states that he did NOT injure himself by training, he has a genetic, family-wide degenerative condition with his hips that appear in many members of his family--even those who don't lift. Listen:

https://www.facebook.com/...184299248246920
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tompuderbaugh

I agree -- People should watch the video before they state a bunch of nonsense on this site.

Thanks for telling everyone about it.

Good training to all!
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