Ronnie Coleman Says 2001 Olympia Was ‘Hardest’ Of Career: “I Actually Thought I Was About To Pass Away”

Ronnie Coleman Instagram

Ronnie Coleman discussed his process during the 2001 Olympia.

Ronnie Coleman is considered one of the all-time greats on the bodybuilding stage. He holds the all-time record with eight Olympia victories, tied with Lee Haney, but the process was not always easy. Coleman recently discussed the 2001 Olympia, which he described as the hardest of his career.

Coleman held the record for most IFBB wins as well with 26 titles for many years. That record was broken by Dexter Jackson, but Coleman’s legacy remains even more intact as a legend. Coleman’s reign would end in 2006, but his place in history was already set in stone.

RELATED: Ronnie Coleman’s Complete Bodybuilding Workout

Coleman built a reputation as one of the strongest bodybuilders while in his prime and it is no surprise when he explained how he trained.

“Put on as much muscle as possible. That’s why you always saw me lifting those heavy ass weights because ain’t no better way to put on muscle than to lift some heavy ass weight.”

During a Q&A on YouTube, Coleman was asked about the most difficult Olympia victory of his career.

Ronnie Coleman put together a video of his heaviest lifts of all-time.
Ronnie Coleman YouTube

Ronnie Coleman Talks Hardest Olympia

Ronnie Coleman has plenty of Olympia wins to choose from but he pinpointed the 2001 competition specifically.

“I got to say, all of them, but the most hardest one was, probably, 2001 when I was thinking about at the last minute not entering because the morning of that show, I actually thought I was about to pass away.

At the last minute, I was talked out of it by my nutritionist. So for sure, by a long shot, that had to be the hardest Mr. Olympia ever.”


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Coleman recalls extreme dehydration when he woke up the morning of the competition.

“You have to be kind of a little dehydrated to get up there on stage but this morning, I felt awful, I felt real bad. I was to the point where I felt like I was kind of dying.”

This feeling almost caused the champ to pull out of the show because he thought he was going to die.

“It scared the living hell out of me. I called my nutritionist and said ‘hey dude, I feel awful. Forget this show, I’m going to the hospital, I’m not going to die for this sport.”

Ronnie Coleman continues to be considered among the all-time greats on stage. He has found new ways to interact with fans and share his knowledge and passion for bodybuilding on social media.

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.