Ronnie Coleman vs Arnold


Video analysis of Ronnie Coleman vs Arnold Schwarzenegger


This is a photo comparison that was published in a forum. Someone commented “Ronnie is a bit bigger, Arnold is so much better” which relates to quality over quantity, suggesting that Coleman was bigger in some ways in the photo, but that that didn’t matter because of Schwarzenegger’s quality.

Then, someone asked the person that commented regarding ‘Coleman being a bit bigger but Arnold being so much better’ if they’d care to explain why they believed it. Someone else chimed in and said “that’s easy, in this pose Arnold has a smaller waist, a thicker chest, a better taper, and a lot more separations in his quads, better arms, although some might disagree with that, but look at the triceps development, Arnold takes that one, they both have great biceps, although I prefer Arnold’s, and better calves”.

If you look at the thighs in general, Ronnie Coleman has more developed adductor muscles, the inner thigh muscles, but it’s to what end? I mean, if you look at the quads, the muscle shape on Schwarzenegger is much better. The muscles go all the way up to the hip- the quadriceps muscles, and they’re much more pronounced. The quadricep muscles that are the highest, the rectus femoris muscles, show a lot more detail on Arnold, whereas on Coleman they kind of blur together.

People are kind of getting used to bodybuilders having big guts and giant ridiculous looking thighs, but if you could look outside of bodybuilding, what Coleman displays thigh-wise looks ridiculous. If you develop a body part too much it starts paralleling fat development and it just looks like a big blob, just big giant thighs like a fat person’s size, and if you’re going to have thighs that big you have to balance it off with calf development that’s on that same level. I mean, how big would your calves have to be to match 32 inch thighs?

Coleman doesn’t have control of the stomach. Schwarzenegger probably has a wider natural stomach than Coleman but Coleman’s abdominal development and his lack of muscle control in the abdominal area it makes it look like he has a larger stomach than Schwarzenegger. Just at a glimpse of the photograph and you’d say that Coleman weighs more, but to what end? So what? A fat person weighs more and the showcase muscles of the arms look similar. In fact, Arnold’s looks like he might have bigger biceps and triceps even though I’ve seen different photographs of Coleman’s biceps looking spectacular.

Forget the sport of bodybuilding, just in general, it’s not just a matter of making each body part as big as possible but also making a conscious decision, even though you have potential to make your thighs 10 inches bigger, not to do it because it won’t look as good. You can add an additional 10 pounds to your body weight by having tremendous oblique development and having your stomach stick out another 2inches in front like a muscular potbelly but no one’s gonna judge you by your body weight and make those calculations in their mind that “oh well, that’s really muscle even though it kind of has a fat look to it because the stomach bulges out, and in the thighs, the thighs chafe together and stick out. That’s really muscle, oh, I’m supposed to think this way”. People just have visceral instinctive reactions to it and it doesn’t matter that Joe Weider created a sport where you’re supposed to think this way just on an automatic level.

Schwarzenegger looks better in that photograph even though that’s 20 years later and Coleman has beaten Schwarzenegger’s record eight wins versus seven wins. Not that Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t have gone on to additional wins after retirement. He could have beaten Columbu in 76 and Zane in 77, 78, and 79. That would have given Schwarzenegger 11 wins, and it’s not that Coleman doesn’t have tremendous potential or wasn’t the best for eight years straight. Maybe this isn’t the best photo. There are photos that Coleman looks a lot better and maybe within the rules of bodybuilding you have to conform to bodybuilding trends to get the trophy or title a person wants, but that look not doesn’t crossover into the real world. What might be good for a bodybuilding win might look stupid in real life and that’s why the bodybuilding federation’s have created new divisions with limited body weight so that you have to be more creative on how you use those pounds. So, if the limit for a tall person is 230 pounds you’ve got to think, “Well, do I want some of some of these pounds on my thighs or on my calves? Do I want all these pounds on my waist? I mean, because I’ve got an additional 10 pounds of abdominal and oblique muscles but then this person next to me has bigger arms, so I’d better trim down my waist and develop my arms.”

So what do you think? Does Schwarzenegger looked better than Coleman’s in this photograph?

Did the Open Mr. Olympia go the way of woman’s bodybuilding years ago:

About Yegor Khzokhlachev 820 Articles
Gorilla at Large


  1. Yes Arnold the best ever, of all time as long as humans exist on this planet. He simply had the most tremendous physical genetics that surpassed all others in the sport. Imagine if the movie industry didn’t pull him away from competition with his hundreds of millions of dollars movie career ! He could have continued to win The Olympia title in 1976,77,78,79,80 which he did win; he would have beaten Franco in 1981, beaten Dickerson in 1982, Bannout in 1983, and certainly a few more beyond that if he had wanted to…that needs to be mentioned and would have been amazing to see. But Arnold moved on to bigger and better more massive adventures. Arnold the Victor. CASE CLOSED

  2. i’ll always go for Arnold. he has it aesthetically all the way. Ronnie just pumped until, in the words of one of bb mates ‘the flesh was just hanging off him’. Ronnie pumped for size, weight and mass, no matter how ridiculous he looked in real life beyond the gym. You see Ronnie in his police uniform he’s too wide to fit into/through anything. But Arnold can wear a normal suit with style and dignity. Ronnie just looked ridiculous in anything other than a gym outfit. He outmassed the mass monsters and is now paying the price with his health. Arnie by contrast is and looks the perfect well built gentleman.

    • Absolutely Arnold looks better. Much more aesthetically pleasing. Its also interesting that, despite being 50 lbs less, Arnold has better pecs & arms (and way better midsection!) Of course in today’s world of mass monsters, Arnold couldn’t even stand on the same stage as Ronnie. That may be true, but he looks far better and I believe most men would take Arnold’s body over Ronnie’s…women, too!!

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