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Ronnie Coleman's Gut
Hopefully the title of this article got your attention.
Let it be known that I'm no hater of bodybuilders in general or Ronnie Coleman in particular. In fact, I am one of his biggest fans, and he is without question, the #1 bodybuilder in the world in my mind. And that is exactly why I feel the need to write an article about his problematic midsection which has been flame bait for so long on bodybuilding message boards throughout the net.
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF RONNIE COLEMAN AT THE 2004 MR. OLYMPIA CONTEST!
Before I begin, let's take a look at how incredibly huge and conditioned Ronnie is when he comes into shows:
And probably the sickest picture of all:
Talk about raw size...
It's pretty obvious that Ronnie is the clear winner the moment he steps on stage. After all, all of his mandatory bodybuilding poses are top notch, except for his abs and thigh, but that is only because his abs have a poor genetic shape (i.e., Ronnie has a "four pack"). Other than that, he has huge hanging lats and huge thighs.
Forty pounds ago, people were saying that Ronnie had already packed so much muscle mass onto his frame that any more would be impossible to support. Even in the 1998 Mr. Olympia, it looked that way - but he just keeps growing and growing, as shown in the picture below:
And let's be honest, no matter how much you hate Ronnie, you simply can't deny that photos like the one above and the one below make his flaws so hard to spot:
Can you even BELIEVE that that back belongs to a 40 year old man (41 as of May, 2005), who is 296 pounds and shredded to the bone? To have so much back detail is simply mind blowing at any weight, let alone being one healthy dump away from three bills. Not only that, Ronnie is GOOD at keeping his stomach in check. Have you noticed any major problems from the photographs above? I haven't. But wait...
Why, oh WHY does Ronnie feel the need to do this? I might e-mail him about this to ask him exactly that. I swear it makes no sense to me. The guy does a great posing routine, highlighting his strengths while minimizing his weaknesses, and then for NO REASON WHATSOEVER, he starts prancing around the stage from side to side exploiting his gut - almost as though he's trying to give the haters fuel. The first time I noticed him pulling this stunt was during the 2001 Mr. Olympia Contest, and it looks like he's been doing it ever since...but why? He doesn't NEED to jump around from side to side like that. Is he doing it to show off? Show off what? His stomach hanging over his posing trunks? If I were him and I wanted to show off, I would turn around and stay that way, hitting as many back shots as possible. The man has the greatest back in the history of bodybuilding. Admittedly, he looks huge and thick from the side, but it simply puts his stomach at an unfavourable position - it gives fuel for the haters as I pointed out above, and I don't see how the judges can like it.
Maybe Ronnie knows that he's so good that nothing will prevent him from losing his title - in which case I would be inclined to agree with him. His nearest competition, Jay Cutler would probably need at least three years to get in the size and condition that Ronnie was in 2004, and even then I think that would be unlikely. Plus in three years time, one can only imagine the gains that Ronnie will make, since the guy never stops improving - he gains muscle opening the gym door and removing plates from the bar (then again, when you need to remove hundreds of pounds worth of plates, you probably would too). But just because Ronnie is guaranteed a Mr. Olympia win, does that mean he should exploit his one week point? Granted, his calves lack the diamond shape of other competitors like Jay Cutler, and the shape Dorian Yates showed when he was competiting, but they are massive, and barely worth whining about. His only MAJOR flaw would be his stomach...and on top of this the guy can control it!
So my question is: why on earth does Ronnie feel the need to prance back and forth and exploit his one major weakness? And Ronnie - if you're reading this, stop feeding the haters. You can do this if you stop prancing. At the 2003 Mr. Olympia Contest, you managed to keep your stomach in check much better, so why not keep doing it? Exactly what is the benefit of prancing around? And this is coming from a huge fan of yours who is awed by your dominance. I just don't see the point in the prancing back and forth.
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