The Dynamic Duo: How Chad Nicholls Helped Ronnie Coleman Conquer Bodybuilding

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In bodybuilding, one name shines brighter than the rest—Ronnie Coleman. With eight Mr. Olympia victories to his name, many hailed him as the greatest bodybuilder of all time. 

However, behind every great athlete stands an exceptional coach, and for Ronnie Coleman, that guiding force was none other than Chad Nicholls. 

This article delves into the remarkable partnership between bodybuilding legend Ronnie Coleman and iconic trainer Chad Nicholls. Together, they forged a legacy to be etched in bodybuilding’s annals.

The Road to Greatness

ronnie coleman now and then
via ronnie coleman instagram

Before we explore the pivotal role Chad Nicholls played in Ronnie Coleman’s career, it’s essential to understand the context of their journey. Ronnie’s Coleman path to bodybuilding stardom had its challenges. 

In fact, before his first Olympia win in 1998, he had experienced setbacks, with his best showing being a 6th place finish in 1996 and a 9th place finish the year before.

The turning point came when Chad Nicholls entered the picture. Fellow bodybuilder Flex Lewis facilitated their introduction, and it began a partnership that would change the bodybuilding landscape.

The Moment of Revelation

Chad Nicholls vividly recalls the pivotal moment when he knew Ronnie Coleman was destined for greatness. 

Just a few weeks before the Mr. Olympia competition, Ronnie Coleman would meticulously capture his physique in photographs and send them to Chad. 

It was a time when digital communication was not as prevalent as it is today, and pictures had to be physically mailed. Chad Nicholls shared that it was approximately four weeks from the Olympia when he received a batch of photos from Ronnie Coleman

He was at the airport, about to pick up fellow bodybuilders, and decided to show them these images discreetly. The reactions were unanimous—Ronnie Coleman looked nothing short of spectacular.

At this juncture, Tom Prince, a fellow bodybuilder and friend, inquired about the condition of other contenders like Flex Wheeler and Nasser El Sonbaty. 

ronnie coleman age
via ronnie coleman instagram

Chad’s response was emphatic although they were in excellent shape, Ronnie Coleman was on an entirely different level. The consensus was that nobody could stop him.

Chad Nicholls described receiving these crucial pictures as a delicate dance of timing and precision. Back then, the inability to instantly transmit images meant that any changes to Ronnie’s Coleman regimen had to be meticulously planned and executed. 

Communication was predominantly via telephone, with daily or near-daily calls to ensure Ronnie’s preparation was on point.

Fueling the Transformation

The pivotal question arises: what exactly caused such a dramatic transformation in Ronnie Coleman’s physique, taking him from 9th place one year to Mr. Olympia’s champion the next? 

Chad Nicholls sheds light on the critical element—nutrition. Together, they meticulously fine-tuned Ronnie’s diet, resulting in a significant increase in caloric intake.

The diet became a well-structured machine, especially during the off-season. 

Ronnie Coleman maintained consistency in every aspect of his training and nutrition, but the most noticeable change was the substantial increase in food consumption. 

This was the pivotal factor that fueled Ronnie’s Coleman incredible transformation.

ronnie coleman height and weight
via ronnie coleman instagram

Ronnie Coleman recalled the adjustment period, emphasizing that it was no small feat to transition from his previous diet to the new regimen. He went from consuming 10 ounces of chicken, steak, and turkey to 16 ounces. 

Initially, it was a daunting challenge, as his body needed time to adapt to this substantial increase in food. As Ronnie Coleman grew and his physique evolved, his nutritional requirements also increased. 

Chad Nicholls emphasized that this was a continuous process. Ronnie’s Coleman body demanded more sustenance as he made remarkable gains, necessitating constant adjustments to his diet.

The Takeaways

The partnership between Ronnie Coleman and Chad Nicholls remains a shining example of the synergy between an athlete and a coach. 

Together, they overcame obstacles, perfected Ronnie’s Coleman physique, and wrote a chapter of bodybuilding history that inspires generations of aspiring athletes.

Ronnie Coleman’s journey from 9th place to eight-time Mr. Olympia champion is a testament to the power of dedication, expert guidance, and unwavering commitment to excellence. 

In bodybuilding, their collaboration will forever be celebrated as one of the most iconic alliances, showcasing the immense potential that can be unlocked when a legendary athlete finds the perfect coach.

As we reflect on this remarkable partnership, we are reminded that greatness is not achieved alone—it often requires the guiding hand of a coach like Chad Nicholls to help a talented athlete like Ronnie Coleman become a legend in bodybuilding.

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Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali
Maqsood Ali is a freelance writer, proofreader, English tutor, editor, and content strategist. He has over 06 years of experience, specializing in health, fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Before becoming a freelancer, Maqsood held part-time staff positions at various companies and agencies, including Faizi Homeopathic clinic. Maqsood became heavily involved in CrossFit and fitness after finishing his Master's degree in English at the University of Okara. You can find his work at Tikkaykhan, GetSixpackab, and other fitness and nutrition companies and media outlets.

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