Watch the full uncut GI Exclusive interview with Gunter Schlierkamp

Gunter Schlierkamp is a former pro bodybuilder who was known for his mass monster size. In fact, his size was so enormous it challenged Ronnie Coleman… and even beat him in one rare occasion after Ronnie was already Olympia champ. Now retired and dropped down in size – we reconnected with Schlierkamp to get his thoughts on modern bodybuilding and dive into his career.

Gunter Schlierkamp has been rather quiet and less engaged with the bodybuilding world. That’s why we were excited to land a video interview to get his opinion on how things have changed over the years and an first person account of his greatest accomplishments.

Over the past few months we’ve released multiple GI Exclusive segments from our interview with Gunter Schlierkamp. Now we’re releasing the full length interview including topics such as how he beat Ronnie Coleman, his critique on modern bodybuilding physiques, and his thoughts on Phil Heath’s Olympia reign – among other topics.

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Gunter Schlierkamp Answers: How He Beat Ronnie Coleman In His Mr. Olympia Prime

Gunter Schlierkamp is a bodybuilder who is beloved by many fans in the history of the sport. He may not have earned an Olympia win – but his mass monster physique was impressive and earned him a spot as an icon in bodybuilding. But there is one fact that might be shocking to fans who don’t know Schlierkamp’s career in detail. In 2002, just three weeks after Ronnie Coleman won his fifth Mr. Olympia title, Schlierkamp defeated Ronnie Coleman.

Of course, Ronnie Coleman had been defeated before. It’s well known that Coleman struggled to place high initially before dominating the field. That being said, after he started winning the Mr. Olympia year after year – Gunter Schlierkamp is the only bodybuilder to have defeated him during his reign. How did he do it?

We asked this very question to Gunter Schlierkamp during our latest video interview. His answer has little to do with some sort of mysterious trick – and more to do with continued hard work mixed with a boost of extreme confidence.

Gunter Schlierkamp faced off against Ronnie Coleman at a pro show in New Orleans three weeks after the Mr. Olympia. During the Olympia show – Schlierkamp placed fifth. This his first time making it into the top five at Mr. Olympia. Afterwards, famous bodybuilding journalist Peter McGough came up to him backstage. With extreme excitement, McGough stated that Schlierkamp should have placed in the top five the previous year. His placing in 2002 was vindication of the mistake that the judges made sleeping on him last year.


This news from such a trusted voice in bodybuilding made Gunter Schlierkamp ecstatic. So when he went into the New Orleans show just three weeks later – he had extreme confidence in his own ability going into the show. Not only that but he felt the energy of the fans. Any self doubt was thrown out the window. Mix that with continued hard work – and Schlierkamp found himself with the best conditioned physique he ever had.

Contest timing is always important as well. We asked Schlierkamp if he felt that Ronnie might have peaked at the Olympia only to be off three weeks later. Gunter Schlierkamp dismissed this idea. In his opinion, Ronnie Coleman looked better at the New Orleans show compared to the Mr. Olympia. By that notion, Schlierkamp believes to not have won by luck – but by pure hard work and will power. He didn’t defeat Ronnie on an off day. He defeated Ronnie at the top of his game.

Gunter Schlierkamp: It’s Dangerous For Young Bodybuilders To Get Too Big, Too Fast

We asked Gunter Schlierkamp about his thoughts on Big Ramy’s win and if it will push forward the trend of increasing the average size of pro bodybuilders. Gunter is unsure at the moment whether or not Big Ramy will reign as Mr. Olympia long-term. But he is a bit worried about the growing trend he’s seeing in modern bodybuilding. Less so about mass monster physiques in general and more about how its influencing younger athletes.

Gunter Schlierkamp understands that pushing the limits of size is part of bodybuilding – but he thinks that younger athletes are now rushing too fast to get there. Reaching a weight of near 300 pounds should be a slow process over many years. It shouldn’t be achieved short term. It seems, at least to Schlierkamp, that in today’s society of instant gratification – some young athletes want to reach the pinnacle faster than ever before.

Schlierkamp fears that this will lead to serious health issues. Again, he understands that mass monster physiques are a part of bodybuilding in the big picture. He knows all athletes take some risk to achieve it. But he’s convinced that rushing too fast at too young of an age almost guarantees serious health issues that could be avoided.


Gunter Schlierkamp reflects on Dallas McCarver, who passed away too soon at the age of 26. While it’s impossible to directly connect his cause of death to his mass monster size – Schlierkamp worries that this was the underlying cause.

He recounts a moment just before McCarver died – where he was asked on his opinion of the athlete. He admitted that his physique and size was astounding and impressive. But he also worried that he achieved it at such a young age that something bad would happen. Shortly afterwards, he heard the news of Dallas McCarver’s death. He was deeply saddened by not only the untimely death but the timing of his statement. Was he right? He worries so – and hopes that incoming bodybuilders take their time to build mass monster muscle rather than rush it.

Wrap Up

Gunter Schleirkamp discusses many more topics than what we can cover in this single article. He shares his thoughts on Women’s Bodybuilding and it’s return, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallon – among many other topics. That’s why you should check out the full GI Exclusive interview above! He shares his personal experience and tips for training, nutrition, and more.

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