Wondering who’s the biggest of the big? If you tune in every year to check out the biggest bodybuilders out there, wondering who will take the crown, you may wonder, ‘Who’s the biggest bodybuilder of all time?’
Who managed to pack on the most muscle and how did they do it? What secrets did they use? And, where are they now?
No matter what stage you’re at in your bodybuilding journey, you can’t fail to be inspired by these guys.
Let’s take a look at them all, from position No.3 to No.1;
3 Markus Ruhl
One bodybuilder that definitely garnered plenty of attention was Markus Ruhl. While this professional bodybuilder, born in 1972, is no longer active on the scene, his nickname back in the day was ‘The German Nightmare’. He was big. Weighing in at 273-282 lbs depending on where he was in the season and standing 5’11”, there was no missing this guy.
His claim to fame was coming in 3rd place in the 2016 IFBB Austria Pro Grand Prix and another 3rd place finish in the 2003 Arnold Classic. Sprinkled in throughout his history were many Mr. Olympia contests, A Joe Wielder’s World Pro Cup, as well as a many Night of Champions, which in 2002, he took home the crown.
Starting at a tender age of 19 when he had his first training program, he used to train every body part, every day, four days per week. After a short stint on that program, he realized there was a much better way. He then adjusted his training and by the age of 23, he competed at 231 pounds. From there, he went on a six-day program and hit one body part per day, always having Sunday’s off. Everything intensified for him and the results showed it.
In the present day, he trains smarter and more instinctively. He knows his body and when a muscle group is crying to be trained. On some days, he’ll go very heavy and others, he lightens up the weight and does more reps. This allows him to give his body variety when it needs it.
2. Phil Heath
Even if you’re new to the bodybuilding scene, chances are, you’ve heard of Phil Heath before. This guy is greatly talked about thanks to the fact he’s Mr. Olympia for 7 years running. You’ll hate to wait and see if adds an 8th title to his belt.
Born in 1979, Heath is huge for his size with a contest weight of 240 lbs. and an off-season weight of 275 lbs, while standing at just 5 feet 9.
Nicknamed ‘The Gift’, Heath credits much of his success to his early years of playing basketball. He had an innate athletic drive that had to be satisfied and once he was able to scratch basketball player off his list, he had his eyes set on being a pro bodybuilder next. Clearly, he’s succeeded.
When asked about his Olympia training program, Phil Heath notes that he trains Quads, hamstrings and calves on Sunday, chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, quads, hamstrings and calves on Wednesday (split over two workouts), shoulders on Thursday, back on Friday, and chest and arms on Saturday.
There’s no rest for this competitor. However, he does know to listen to his body and give himself downtime when he needs it.
1. Ronnie Coleman
And finally, for the biggest bodybuilder of all time, we turn to Ronnie Coleman, a guy that even non-fitness enthusiasts know of. Ronnie Coleman has become a household name, known for the tank that he is.
As the winner of Mr. Olympia 8 years in a row before retirement, he’s often been called one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Born in 1964, he stands at 5 ft 11 and weighed in at a high of 300 lbs for his contest weight. This is more than most bodybuilders reach in their off-season weight. Off-season, he puts another 20 pounds on top of that.
Bodybuilders are often known as ‘meatheads’, but Ronnie Coleman proves this isn’t the case. He graduated from Grambling State University with a BSc in Accounting. He’s also a devout Christian and was married to a personal trainer in 2007.
Now, as he’s no longer training, Coleman makes his way around doing product endorsements, speaking events, and guest appearances at gym openings. You might even see him appearing in training movies including The Cost Of Redemption and The Unbelievable.
When looking at his training program, he hits Quads, hams and calves on day 1, back and triceps on day two, shoulders on day three, chest and biceps on day four, quads, hamstrings, and calves on day five, and then takes the weekend off to rest and recover.
How Much Does The Biggest Bodybuilder Weigh?
As noted above, the biggest bodybuilder, Ronnie Coleman, tops the scales at over 300 pounds in his off-season and sheds those to a mean 300 during his contest season.
Standing at 5’11, he’s a very typical height for most men. Obviously, if you are shorter or taller, you may weigh more or less but one needs to factor in pound for pound density when considering the ‘biggest bodybuilder’ category.
Who’s up next?
Wondering who to watch in the coming years ahead? It’s always fun to see new talent rising in the bodybuilding world. Some of the up and coming guys to keep an eye out for include William Bonac, Shawn Rhoden, Steve Kuclo, and Lukas Osladil.
One of these men may just take the crown soon enough.
Who’s your favourite celebrity bodybuilder? Tell us in the comments below.