“I Heard Like a Little Pop”: Ronnie Coleman Once Confessed His First Injury Occurred Way Before He Stepped Into Bodybuilding Career

Published 10/04/2022, 10:30 AM EDT

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‘The King’ Ronnie Coleman- a Monroe-born Arlington police officer, has had one of the most glorious bodybuilding careers of all time. An 8-time Mr. Olympia champ, Ronnie equaled Lee Haney’s record for the most Mr. Olympia titles in history. Of all the bodybuilders who have graced the competition, only Coleman and Haney have achieved such marvelous feat.

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But as time went by, the glorious stature of The King has taken major hits. Owing mainly to botched surgeries and related complications, Coleman is now reduced to walking with crutches. While the aforementioned remains a major contributing aspect to Coleman’s current state, the origin of his injuries lies elsewhere.

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Ronnie Coleman reveals the first injury to his back

No one could have foretold what would go down in the 1998 Mr. Olympia competition. Kenneth Wheeler was the favorite to win the title, but Ronnie Coleman had other plans. The 9th-place finisher in the previous year’s competition took the world (including himself) by surprise.

Over two decades later, Coleman now walks with the help of crutches and admits to being in constant pain. In his podcast titled, ‘Nothin but a podcast,’ Ronnie once addressed the origin of his back problems. He said many people think it happened because of “some other dumb reason.” But Coleman revealed, “It was heavy lifting in high school.” He added, “Well, I injured my back in a meet.” He was in the 181-pound category as a 16-year-old and was having a hard time competing. Whilst trying to do the best he could, Ronnie attempted deadlifting 450 pounds. “And I remember it like it was yesterday. I was coming up with it, and I heard like a little pop.”

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“And like, you know, in high school, you kind of try, like, play it off. But you know, actually, you kind of hurt bad.” Ronnie said he played it off and paid little attention. “Just kept doing what I was doing.” In the following weeks, the bodybuilding GOAT was in a lot of pain and was hurting. But he told no one about it and never got it checked. Years later, the injury now serves as the base of some major complications in his physique.

But there’s no stopping the Coleman train

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Even with all the pain and problems, the one thing Ronnie never left was his workout ethic. He pushes through all the shortcomings and still goes to the famed Metroflex gym to work out.

Coleman never believed in training a separate body part each day. He would go to the gym, work out all of his body parts and go back home, only to come back the next day and repeat the process. Even today, when the King goes to the gym for a workout, he trains his body from top to bottom. As is shown in the Netflix documentary ‘Ronnie Coleman: The King,’ he even trains his legs and back despite all the pain. He pops in a painkiller that keeps the pain at bay for three or four hours and gets to work.

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

While the bodybuilding fraternity has a soft spot for the legend’s current state, he has no regrets. The man who set out to become the Mr. Olympia champion once, ended up reigning over the throne for eight consecutive years. The King and his legacy shall forever remain unmatched.

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Written by:

Naman Gopal Srivastava

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Naman Gopal is a US Sports Writer at EssentiallySports. Naman is an Undergraduate in Journalism and Mass Communication, with a minor’s degree in Cinematography from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology. An ardent fan of basketball and soccer, Naman was once a national level soccer player himself.
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Edited by:

Gurjyot Singh Dadial

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