Few people in the early 2000s were more known in the fitness industry than Ronnie Coleman, an eight-time Mr. Olympia winner who is considered one of the strongest bodybuilders ever. So it makes sense that Coleman would partner up with powerlifter and bodybuilder Larry “Wheels” Williams, who has amassed an online following for his ability to crank out personal record after personal record. Two generations of strength sports greatness collided when Coleman and Williams, multi-time world record holder in powerlifting, trained legs.
It’s not clear when the workout actually occurred, but Coleman was in Dubai, UAE, for an expo appearance when he trained with Wheels in Binous Gym. The workout was captured on video and shared on Coleman’s YouTube channel, which you can see below.
Coleman served more as a coach for Wheels during this particular session, with Wheels looking to replicate a version of one of Coleman’s most legendary workouts. In 2003, Coleman squatted 362.8 kilograms (800 pounds) for a double in a squat suit and then leg-pressed 1,043 kilograms (2,300 pounds) for eight reps.
Wheels started with the Safety Squat Bar for his squats, and he worked his way up to a reported 272 kilograms (600 pounds), which he got for 14 reps.
“That was real good,” Coleman said in the video above. Wheels retorted with a line he likely wanted to say in front of Coleman for years.
“Still warming up. Nothing but a peanut.”
The duo moved to the leg press next. Coleman had been recovering from numerous surgeries since his retirement, but he felt good enough to perform at least one set with Wheels.
Eventually, Wheels would work up to a set of 535 kilograms (1,180 pounds). The entire set wasn’t shown on camera, but Coleman was seen looking on approvingly at the end.
At one point in the video, Wheels and Coleman discussed his training and ability to do full splits when he competed. The famous videos of his squats and leg presses were in the same workout leading up to the 2003 Mr. Olympia, where Coleman won his sixth of eight titles. The workout was a part of his DVD, The Cost of Redemption. Coleman said he opted to do the heavy leg presses after shortchanging himself on the squats.
“I had about six in me. So, I was like, ‘I’m gonna make up for it.’”
At the end of the video, Coleman used one of his canes to “knight” Wheels as the new “strongest bodybuilder in the world.” Wheels shared that moment on Instagram.
There is no word as of this writing if or when Wheels will step on a bodybuilding stage again. If that doesn’t happen, that moment will likely be a career highlight for him.
As for Coleman, he’s been undergoing stem cell treatments in recent months, and reports to be training and in better health as well as less pain than he had been for the last several years.