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Bodybuilder Whose Strength Wasn’t Human Is Now Barely Able To Walk


Bodybuilder Whose Strength Wasn’t Human Is Now Barely Able To Walk

Quick recovery, Ronnie.

The title ‘best bodybuilder of all time’ is Ronnie Coleman. The fitness icon has since 1998 dominated the international bodybuilding scene, holding Mr. Olympia’s title for eight consecutive years. His unbeatable run had even earned him the nickname “The King.”

Sadly, the former 21st man-mountain can now barely walk as his grueling career has left him in a wheelchair.

As a result of Ronnie’s condition, the fitness world has been left stunned and sad, especially as Ronnie, now in his 50s, revealed he might never walk unaided again. This news specifically emerged from a documentary titled: “Ronnie Coleman: The King, currently showing on Netflix. 

In the docu-series, the Ex-world champ cuts a sad figure as he’s seen with his three and four-year-old children around the house on crutches and unable to stand. 


Ronnie says his health problems result from numerous surgeries on his back and hips. Accordingly, doctors say it’s also due to the degenerative wear and tear from the years and years of training. In one scene, Ronnie says: “I just get up on a morning, and you know, takes a minute for me to get going. I just got to get used to it.”

The Louisiana native had been suffering from his back from a young age, but he refused to let the pain stop him from becoming a world champion.


Ronnie, born in 1964, confessed he worked out and won many consecutive contests while battling a herniated disc. His subsequent surgeries and nerve damage left him with numbness in his legs which plagues him to this day. Notably, an operation had to be carried out after four screws in his back broke, causing his bones to shatter. 

The pain in recovery was huge, leaving the ex-world champ needing the highest potency of oxycodone, a strong opiate painkiller used by cancer patients.

“I’ve been in pain for so long now I’m just used to it. I take the pills, too, which helps a little bit. Out of 10, he said the pain level is “usually a nine or a 10. When I do appearances, my pain level goes up to 12 or 13. Some were unbearable. If I’m in a lot of pain, I just sit when I do appearances, and people take pictures. For the most part, I always try to stand up,” Ronnie explained. 

In 2020, the champion shared the huge cost of his last three surgeries, which amounted to about $2million.


“Every surgery I’ve had done was like $300,000 (£244k) to $500,000 (£407k), so the last three surgeries I had almost spent $2m,” Ronnie had told Muscular Development’s, Ron Harris. Despite it all, he remained thankful at the time and even continued to receive treatment. In an Instagram video, Ronnie even showed working his legs in the Metroflex gym where he started.

At Ronnie’s peak, his fellow weightlifting champion Kevin Levrone had claimed his body and strength weren’t human. “You don’t have a chance of looking like him. It’s a gift from God. It’s a gift of genetics.”

However, following Ronnie’s retirement, he launched a supplement company that turns over $15million yearly. He’s happily married with four children and maintains his bubbly personality despite his health condition. He has since insisted that he would do it all over again if given a chance. Reacting to Ronnie’s inability to walk, bodybuilder Jay Culter said: “I feel sorry that it happened.”

Culter added: “I don’t think Ronnie feels bad about it because he did what he had to do to be the greatest bodybuilder of all time. And he’ll go down in history as the greatest bodybuilder of all time.”


On the other hand, Ronnie graduated with an accountancy degree from Grambling State University in 1984. After reading an advert in a local newspaper, he moved to Texas and became a police officer in Arlington. During this period, a fellow officer persuaded him to join MetroFlex gym, and in exchange for participating in the Mr. Texas competition, Coleman was offered a free gym membership.

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