“Delivering Pizzas Wasn’t Cutting It”: Legend Ronnie Coleman, Who Hardly Survived Through Humble Jobs, Once Opened Up on His Journey to Becoming a Police Officer

Published 09/12/2022, 10:15 AM EDT

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Ronnie Coleman is one of the greatest bodybuilders the sport has ever seen. He became the face of modern-day bodybuilding by winning 8 Mr. Olympia titles. By winning 8 titles consecutively, he holds the record for the most number of Mr. Olympia wins, along with Lee Haney. However, his journey to greatness was very challenging.

Ronnie was not associated with bodybuilding until he became a police officer. As a college student, Ronnie would play football for the GSU Tigers. He played in the position of a middle linebacker. However, his journey as a football player was restricted to college days only.


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Ronnie Coleman Opens up on his decision to become a police officer

Ronnie Coleman graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. However, he could not find employment as an accountant due to his lack of experience. All accountancy jobs demanded experience which he did not have at that moment. So, Ronnie started working at domino’s pizza. Ronnie worked as a pizza delivery boy.


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However, after delivering pizzas for two years, Ronnie felt the need to take up another job. Speaking on that, he said,” I’m about two years into this and I’m like, man, I don’t think this is going to work out. Two years into it, you know I’m not making that much money. I got to the point where you know delivering pizzas wasn’t cutting it, so I got myself a job throwing newspapers. I’m like this ain’t cutting it.”

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Post that, Ronnie started interviewing for police jobs. Previously, he had seen advertisements about police jobs requiring no prior experience. That is what escalated him to try becoming a police officer. Ronnie could not clear the first two interviews. But he aced through the third interview, which was a three-month process.

Ronnie’s rise as a bodybuilder


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Ronnie began serving as a police officer in the Arlington Police in 1989. Coleman was hardly surviving with the jobs he did before becoming a police officer. His colleague suggested that he train at the Metroflex gym, as he already had a bulky body. His fellow officer, Gustavo Arlotta, got him acquainted with the owner of the Metroflex gym, Brian Dobson. Dobson trained him for the Mr. Texas contest in 1990.

Ronnie won his first bodybuilding contest in 1990 and defeated his trainer Dobson too. But his rise as a bodybuilding professional was relatively slow compared to other champion bodybuilders. Ronnie participated in the Mr. Olympia contest in 1992 for the first time but failed to make it to the rankings. ‘The King’ won his first international competition as a professional in 1995. After several attempts at Mr. Olympia from 1992 to 1997, he failed to achieve a top 5 finish. He rose to fame in 1998 when he won the Mr. Olympia title, defeating Kenneth Wheeler by three points.


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WATCH THIS STORY: Mr. Olympia Legends Arnold Schwarzenegger vs Ronnie Coleman Body Comparison

Coleman was undefeated for the next seven seasons of Mr. Olympia. Taking his title count to 8, Ronnie became a legend in the sport.


Written by:

Adityan Pillai


One take at a time

Adityan Pillai is a US Sports Author for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Science. When it comes to track and field, Adityan is a national-level athlete, participating in the 400 and 800m events.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa