In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about Ronnie Coleman’s bicep workouts and how he built some of the biggest, strongest arms of all time!
Ronnie Coleman is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won the Mr. Olympia competition 8 times in a row beating many bodybuilding legends including Flex Wheeler and Jay Cutler.
Ronnie Coleman had many standout body parts such as his back and his chest. However, one of Ronnie’s iconic body parts was his biceps. Ronnie’s biceps were so big that they looked like small mountain peaks sitting on top of his arms!
Just take a look for yourself:
23.5 inch arms? Are you freaking kidding me Ronnie!?
The biceps are a complex muscle group to train. You have to use exercises to train the short head AND the long head of the biceps. You also have to use exercises to train the brachialis, the upper arm muscle that sits underneath the biceps muscle.
So how did Ronnie build up his mountainous biceps? He trained his biceps twice per week using two completely different workouts to hit the muscle from many different angles.
Here is what Ronnie’s first weekly biceps workout looked like. Check it out:
Ronnie Coleman’s Bicep Workout #1
- A1: Unilateral preacher DB curl (supinated grip), 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
- B1: Standing ez-bar curl (wide / supinated grip), 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
- C1: Seated alternating DB hammer curl, 3-5 x 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
Here are the exercise videos for all three bicep exercises:
Ronnie Coleman’s first weekly workout features a wide variety of exercises. Personally I love his decision to start with preacher DB curls.
The preacher curl was a favourite of the first-ever Mr. Olympia winner Larry Scott. Larry used the preacher curl almost exclusively to build his world-famous 20-inch biceps in the 1960s. Larry used the preacher curl station so much that many strength coaches call it the “Scott bench!”
Preacher curls are probably the best exercise you can do to target the short head of the biceps. EMG studies show that they are superior to almost every other exercise for maximizing muscle fiber recruitment in the biceps.
Ronnie finishes his biceps workout with standing ez-bar curls and seated DB hammer curls. The hammer curls are especially important because they have been shown to recruit the stubborn brachialis muscle.
Now let’s look at Ronnie’s second weekly bicep workout. Check it out:
Ronnie Coleman’s Bicep Workout #2
- A1: Machine preacher curls, 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
- B1: Standing alternating DB curls , 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
- C1: Standing cable ez-bar curl, 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps
Here are the training videos for all three bicep exercises:
Ronnie uses a wide variety of exercises in his second weekly biceps workout. Once again Ronnie starts off the workout with a preacher curl variation. Preacher curls really are one of the best biceps exercises that you can perform and it shows in Ronnie’s physique.
One of the things that I find really interesting about Ronnie’s training style is he doesn’t worry about his sets and reps. He just picks a weight that is reasonably challenging and bangs out a few sets with perfect form.
This is similar to what the world-class bodybuilder / powerlifter Stan Efferding used to say about training. Stan believed that the exact exercises, sets and reps that you perform don’t matter. What really matters is that you are training hard and busting your ass in the gym.
Finally let’s talk about how Ronnie Coleman organized his weekly training schedule. Ronnie trained 6 days per week using a classic push / pull / legs split. If you have never heard of the push / pull / legs training split then you must be living under a rock!
The idea is to train your entire body on three separate training days. You have a “push” day where you train your chest / shoulders / triceps, a “pull” day where you train your back / biceps and a “legs” day where you train your quads / hamstrings / calves.
Here is what Ronnie’s weekly training split looked like:
Ronnie Coleman’s Training Split
- Monday: Pull Workout #1
- Tuesday: Legs Workout #1
- Wednesday: Push Workout #1
- Thursday: Pull Workout #2
- Friday: Legs Workout #2
- Saturday: Push Workout #2
- Sunday: Off
As you can see Ronnie trained his biceps twice per week on Monday and Thursday right after training his upper back. This is an awesome training split if you are an advanced bodybuilder with above-average recovery ability.
If you are looking for someone to model your bicep training after then Ronnie Coleman is a perfect choice. His biceps were like skyscrapers towering over his arms and he built them with two extremely well-rounded bicep routines.
“We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There’s really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer.”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck with your strength training journey!
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