This interview discussing Ronnie Coleman's steroid cycle was recorded by Tom Platz in the 90's.
I don't think a lot of people know it exists to be honest.
Tom Platz basically “anonymously” interviewed 6 top tier IFBB pro bodybuilders who compete at the Olympia level.
He had them elaborately detail their performance-enhancing drug use, including specific dosages, cycle durations, and more.
Of course, them staying anonymous was promised as part of this.
Lee Priest was the only one of them who didn't care if the interview was anonymous or not.
In this post I'm going to be reacting to and analyzing Ronnie Coleman’s steroid cycle.
Tom Platz Backstage Secrets of Pros
While their voices are altered and their faces are blurred to prevent us from recognizing who each person is, it's pretty obvious to make out who's who.
I'm not going to say definitively that it's Ronnie Coleman in this interview.
My best guess is that it's probably him though.
I'm going to be reacting to and commenting on what “perhaps” could be Ronnie Coleman's steroid cycle, the compounds that he used, and the dosages.
This is a good insight into what you can expect very likely at the Olympia level with guys with top 0.00001% genetics.
Or at least the top pros in the 90's.
What Prompted Ronnie Coleman To Use Steroids
Tom Platz: “First question, I'd like to ask you, what prompted you to utilize steroids in the first place for the sport?”
Ronnie Coleman: “First, it's like any other type sport, in order to compete and compete with the best guys in the world, you kind of like have to do what it takes to get to the level that they're on.
So, I figured that, in order for me to get on the same level that they're on and be on the same ground that they were on, I had to be doing the same thing that they were doing.
So, that's pretty much how I made my decision to go to the next level.”
Tom Platz: “These are very sensitive issues, and I realized that.
Please think about them as long as you need to.
But I'd like to talk about steroids, of course, that we just mentioned of.
But what specific steroids have you used?
And what do you find most effective and also dosage?”
Ronnie Coleman: “For me, going back to how I got into it, I didn't know anything about it when I got into the sport.
So, I figured out and see what they were doing, see what he was doing, and then try to do the same thing.
So, the guy I went to told me some of the things that he was doing.
Some of the things that he was doing was Primobolan, Winstrol, Growth Hormone, his regular Testosterone, Anadrol
And I think it's what he told me, and I kind of like took it upon myself to go ahead and get the same thing that he was doing.
Like I said, when I told you first, I want to be on the same playing ground that they were on.
As far as the dosages go, I kind of got with another guy.
A newer in depth about how to take certain dosages.”
Tom Platz: “Endocrinologist or … ?”
Ronnie Coleman: “No, just another guy that was on — they were doing —
I didn't want to go to the top guy and say, “Hey, tell me exactly what you're doing and how you're doing it?” and all that kind of stuff, because it's probably kind of make me feel threatened somehow.
I don't want to put him on the spot like that.
So, I just went to another guy that kind of like knew what the top guys were doing.
Ronnie Coleman's Primobolan and Anadrol Use
So he just told me just take Primobolan, like three a week.”
Tom Platz: “3 cc's or three vials?”
Ronnie Coleman: “3 cc's a week.
Maybe through the [INAUDIBLE] Anadrol, I might want to take one or two a day.
So, I kind of like when I start taking like…”
[04:44] That might be 300 mg of Primobolan per week, depending how its dosed, but I'm assuming the concentration was likely 100 mg/mL.
It quickly becomes apparent in these interviews that there were no concrete set out protocols.
This is more or less what these videos get into too.
Basically, whatever they could get their hands on is basically what they ran.
If they had access to certain things, then there would be some preference over certain things.
But for the most part, pros would just take steroids, and the compounds chosen were more or less based on whatever they could get.
So far, 300 mg of Primobolan per week, 50 mg Anadrol per day it sounds like.
Ronnie Coleman: “Two a day. And I was [INAUDIBLE] without getting headaches.
So, I had to back off and do like one a day because he kind of told me, if you get headaches, you should learn how to back off.”
[05:46] Depending on what the dose was, maybe if they were 50 mg, he was doing 100 mg per day, and he dropped down to 50 mg, or he dropped from 50 mg to 25 mg of Anadrol per day.
Ronnie Coleman's GH Use
Ronnie Coleman: “As far as the GH goes, I just went to the same guy.”
Tom Platz: “I want to progress to the GH most definitely, but staying with the steroid discussion, do you — steroids in the offseason and before an event?”
Ronnie Coleman: “I only did for an event, and that was it. I never …”
Tom Platz: “Even right now, just before an event?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah. Just — even up to this date, I'll do it [INAUDIBLE]”
Tom Platz: “How many weeks up?”
Ronnie Coleman: “12, I always started 12 weeks out, which is same time I do a [INAUDIBLE] with my diet.”
Ronnie Coleman: “With the GH and of course the other steroids that go along with it.”
Tom Platz: “You mentioned a lot of different steroids.
The androgenic steroids, which have more secondary male characteristics.
And I'm clarifying some of these things just for our viewers.
The anabolic steroids, which were more enhancement to the cellular level and less water retention, and maybe you might think less toxic, possibly.
But would you use the same kind of steroids prior to —
Oh, you don't take steroids, I'm sorry.
You just mentioned you don't take steroids in the offseason, only three months prior.
So, you would take a mixture of anabolic and androgenic compounds prior to an event?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Exactly.”
Tom Platz: “Three months out.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Three months out.”
Ronnie Coleman's Testosterone And Oral Dosages
Tom Platz: ” Okay. You mentioned some dosages, of course, of the various Testosterones, and Anadrol.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Basically, what we're trying to do is trying to get, like, 1,000 to 1500 mg per week.”
Tom Platz: “Is there a formula then?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, what we do is combine like Primobolan, which like — they call it, Testex.
It's like 250 mg and Deca which is another 200 mg.
And another one is called Heptylate it's another 250 mg.
And what we do is like Heptylate 250 and 250 is 500, two a week.
Testex three a week, which is 250, 250, and 250.
That's like 750.
So we are we up to like 1000, Primobolan which is about 100.
Another 300 on that, so we close to 1500 already.
and we throw in stuff, you know, like the tablets.
We throw in like Primo tabs and like Dbol tabs.
So, that would pretty much be a cycle that we stay on our way up to about eight weeks.
No, we do it for like 10 weeks.
And like the last two weeks, you know, do nothing.”
Tom Platz: “Okay. The weekly dosaging is 1500 mg of combined …”
Ronnie Coleman: “1500 mg combined with GH.”
Tom Platz: “OK. And the last two weeks, nothing — no drugs whatsoever.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Nothing. None whatsoever.”
Tom Platz: “Drop it — there's no descending dosages, just drop it?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Just drop the drug, drop to cold turkey pretty much.
And the GH was the same way.
We're getting in like 4 IUs a day.
It was the same way.
It was all [INAUDIBLE] we took everything.”
Genetic Response To Steroids
[09:40] You can already see how guys with top genetic response, they still used what objectively is high dosages to a normal person.
To a lot of guys who think the pros must be taking 10 times more than everyone else just because they're bigger than everyone else, it's probably more likely because they have an insane genetic response.
And then, a lot of guys are going to say, “Oh, well, the steroid quality was better back then it was all pharma grade.”
It's stupidly easy to get good gear now.
If you can't get it, then you're not well connected.
Even getting pharma-grade stuff, it's not super difficult, even if you had to go that route.
I think that's just a dumb excuse when people say the steroids were way better back then.
Obviously, if you have Parabolan amps from France, it's going to be accurately dosed Trenbolone (Tren), for example.
Trenbolone is Trenbolone, people can make accurately dosed Tren in underground labs with high quality too.
If you use a crappy lab's gear, then obviously your results will reflect that, but it's really not hard to find high quality product nowadays.
The entire androgen load per week of 1500 mg plus orals probably Ronnie Coleman at a total dosage of approximately 2000 mg per week, which is quite a bit objectively.
But for a guy who's one of the top bodybuilders in the world, is it really that much compared to what some guys are doing that are at regional levels nowadays that are using twice or three times as much?
It just goes to show how much genetics plays into this.
4 IUs of GH, too.
Dropping Everything Two Weeks Prior To A Competition
Tom Platz: “Prior to the event, you stopped the GH, too?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Stop the GH, stopped everything.”
Tom Platz: “Oh, I see.”
Ronnie Coleman: “And other things we might use for our appetite stimulant and we took two of those a day.
There's another appetite to emulate
Another one we took — can't think of the name. My bad.
So now, the appetite stimulant, I'll think of it probably later on.”
Tom Platz: “So, you have a problem with appetite, really?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Well, no, no, I just took it just to keep it going.
Keep it fast and you stay hungry all the time.”
Tom Platz: “So, this enhance your metabolism?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, just to enhance your metabolism.
Everything you ate, you went right through you real, real quick.
Your body digesting food, so that way you wouldn't hold any fat.”
Tom Platz: Okay. So, this is like a thyroid preparation.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, exactly.
So, that kind of kept burning, kept it going so you wouldn't hold any fat in.”
Tom Platz: “Does that stop the last two weeks though?”
Ronnie Coleman: “That's stopped also.
Everything is stopped like the last two weeks.
I mean, you just stop, cold turkey, and just pretty much finished a workout.
You know, do a little cardio, stuff like that.
[13:27] So, Ronnie claims he cut out everything two weeks out, which is really interesting, too.
Ronnie Coleman's Insulin Use
Tom Platz: “Okay, now, how about insulin?
Is that something you utilize also?”
Ronnie Coleman: “No, only time we did that was carb-up phase.
It was incorporated like being carb depleted for like, you know, I'll get like 600 g protein Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
On Wednesday we carb back up with insulin Wednesday and Thursday, just two days.”
Tom Platz: “So, the insulin would help.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Slowly fill you back out.”
Tom Platz: “I see.”
[14:05] As you can see, he's talking about using insulin in a carb up context in terms of glycogen loading the muscle as opposed to using it all through the offseason to build tissue.
The 90's is known as the beginning of the era of insulin abuse.
It's kind of interesting to hear him delve into that.
Ronnie Coleman: “Kind of sugar and carbohydrates [INAUDIBLE]
Probably took in anywhere from, I say, 600 to 700 g of carbs.
We're trying to do — trying to get to a point where we can't like over carb
And we use [INAUDIBLE] to come back down off of.”
Tom Platz: “Friday to come back down, what do you mean exactly?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Bring it back down to normalcy?
On Friday, I went — I went out and be like 600 a day like on a Wednesday and Thursday.
And I went back real down — real low on Friday.
So, we'll come back down and not over carb.
Yes, that kind of way.”
Tom Platz: “I see. Okay.
I guess the next thing we should discuss which comes to my mind would be the use of diuretics.”
Ronnie Coleman: “As far as diuretics go, what we do starting on Sunday and take like 100 mg of Aldactone.
Did 100 Sunday, 100 Monday, 100 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
It'd be probably about 125, 150 Aldactone, Thursday, about 150.
Friday, we cut Aldactone out and went to Aldactazide and probably went back 75 mg.”
Tom Platz: “What's the difference between Aldactone and Aldactazide?”
[15:54] It's interesting, that protocol that he's describing from the 90s, I'm still seeing it nowadays being passed around.
When I was into hardcore bodybuilding years back, I remember I was given a diuretic protocol by a high level bodybuilder locally.
It was pretty much identical to what he just said, except it started around Tuesday of peak week as opposed to the weekend before, which I feel like is pretty far out to be depleting yourself of water.
This goes to show that these things are more so passed down the grapevine as opposed to being based on scientific reasoning.
The guy who's better than you or placing better than you, “What's he doing?” “He does this?” “Well, I guess that's what we should do,” kind of thing.
These protocols aren't anything next level or extraordinary.
You've already heard the dosages aren't obscenely sky high like you would expect.
That Aldactone leading into Aldactazide diuretic protocol, it's very standard and still passed around to this day, except most will use Dyazide on the Friday instead of Aldactazide.
Ronnie Coleman: “Aldactone was pretty much to get your body used to taking the water out of it.
Aldactazide drys you out.”
It gives the harshest diuretic of them all.
So, we used that to just completely dry out.”
Tom Platz: “That was at the very end?”
Ronnie Coleman: “At the every — that was at Friday.”
Tom Platz: “Friday, okay.”
Ronnie Coleman: “You had to be real careful with that one.
It would get you to the point where you'd like be dehydrated if you didn't do it right.
I almost screwed up with it one time.
Tom Platz: “As far as too many diuretics?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah.”
GH + Insulin Usage
Tom Platz: “Did we discuss insulin?
Did we talk about …”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah. Only time I did that (insulin) was just to carb up.”
Tom Platz: “To carb up only.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yes, only. That's it.”
Tom Platz: “Because you don't think the GH and insulin …”
Ronnie Coleman: “I didn't do the GH and insulin thing together.”
Tom Platz: “I see. It's very interesting.”
Ronnie Coleman: “I didn't think I needed that much [INAUDIBLE]
And I was kind of scared of it, too.
I didn't want to become like insulin-dependent.”
Tom Platz: “Do you think some of the guys experienced that?”
Ronnie Coleman: “That was one of the reasons why I don't want to do it because I've heard a lot of stories about some guys had become like that.
I was like, Oh, no, that's the last thing I need.”
[18:22] He's basically saying here he didn't use a ton of insulin, he just used it for carb loading because he didn't want to become a type two diabetic.
At least, that's what I gather from what he's saying.
Tom Platz: “Precautions and all your concerns about the risks.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Oh, yeah. But as far as my health goes, I have my blood work done.
I have it done every year.
Didn't have any problem with liver, kidney.
None of that stuff.
I'll [INAUDIBLE] because you know going in to it, I thought that the dosages would, you know, like screw up my liver and kidney. Just stuff that I've heard.
But when he told me then, you know, the year before that and the year before that I had it tested and they were all kind of normal like.”
Tom Platz: “So, you approach it pretty much from a systematic point of view.
And not that — the long durations not for a year.”
Ronnie Coleman: “No, I try not to abuse it and, you know, get hooked on it.
I just have to take it, bring my body up and back down, and that kind of stuff.
So that's why I just periodically use it just for contest only.
I've never had to use it off-season.
That's a period for my body to get back to normal, basically.
I think it's good to like shock your body like that.
And, you know, when it comes time to take it in, it's something new to your body.
So, it reacts better, I think.
Because that's when that would work for me.
I think everybody is different, though.”
Ronnie Coleman's Scariest Experiences With Diuretics
Tom Platz: “Has anything ever happened?
And of course your identity is disguised here.
None of the viewers will know who you are.
But is anything ever happened that really scared you, or any that …”
Ronnie Coleman: “Oh, yeah, a couple times.
The first time it happened, I was taking diuretics.
And I was going from one city to another.
And I had missed the airplane.
So I was on schedule like be at the contest the day that I was in the air.
And so I was up in the air, and all of the sudden, I just got real week.
I started sweating real bad, and I was there by myself.
I was in a foreign country.
Nobody didn't know what was going on.
I thought I'm going to die in this airplane, and that scared me to death.
The flight attendant just happened to be walking through at the same time that that was happening.
And she had some food, and I just grabbed it, [INAUDIBLE] and I just started eating and drinking.
And that kind of brought my body back to where it needed to be.
Because I stopped sweating, you know, the weakness [INAUDIBLE] went away, but it's a real, real scary feeling.
Especially when nobody see — I was all alone, nobody was with me.
Nobody [INAUDIBLE] nobody spoke English, nothing.
So I just knew that this was it.
That was one time.
There's been another time.
Another time I had to — I was drying out.
And I was in bed.
I've been going to the bathroom for about, say, about once every 30 minutes.
I probably just, you know, just took in too many diuretics.
It was kind of hard to get the exact science down.
Tom Platz: “So, it's sort of thing you have to play it by ear almost.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yes, play it by ear almost.
And I was lying in bed, I was getting ready to get up to go use the bathroom because I was going every 30 minutes.
I didn't get any sleep.
I was getting ready to get up and I cramp, the worst cramp ever in my life hit me in my stomach.
I've never had a cramp there before.
I go [INAUDIBLE] but I had somebody with me so I wasn't scared.
As soon as I moved to grab that cramp, another cramp hit me on my leg.
I'm like, oh, no.
I could've ruined my life for this was — this was a big show.
[INAUDIBLE] ruin my life [INAUDIBLE] I'm not doing this contest.
I'm going to the doctor right now.
And that's the first thing I thought, you know, I don't want to get on stage now that happened.
Because that was the worst cramp I ever had in my whole entire life.
I said, I'm not doing this show, I'm going to do the doctor right now.
But I had to have a friend in the room with me.
And he said, Hey, just start eating and he —
I grabbed a bottle of water and I drunk the whole like half a gallon of water.
And it went away.
But that was the — those are the two scariest moments in my life.”
Tom Platz: “Mostly from diuretics.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Diuretics. So, I say diuretics is the most dangerous thing.
That's dangerous than steroid.
I've never had [INAUDIBLE]
[23:16] That's something to note, too, is diuretics are something that can screw with your electrolyte balance so severely, you can cause instant death if you really screw it up.
While steroids progressively over the years are going to exacerbate cardiovascular disease and cause a myriad of issues, things in the short term, diuretics are going to really f*ck people up.
Be careful with that.
I actually have a friend personally who had a cardiac event.
He had a heart attack and borderline renal failure as a result of a stupid coach who gave him a bad diuretic protocol.
Fortunately, he's fine now, but it scared him so bad and almost killed him that he stopped bodybuilding entirely.
He was a pro-caliber classic physique competitor.
You have to be really careful with that stuff, especially if you don't know exactly what you're doing.
Drug Testing In The IFBB In The 90's
Tom Platz: “I understand in the top shows, nowadays, it wasn't this way when I was competing, that they test only for steroids — I mean, only for diuretics.
Is that to the event, how to get around the test?”
Ronnie Coleman: “They test for diuretics.
If you look at the list of diuretics, there's like maybe 100 diuretics on there.
There are probably like maybe 120, 130 diuretics out there, you know, in the world.”
[24:59] This is so ridiculous, those tests.
I don't know if it was just a marketing thing to make it seem like they test bodybuilders to make it seem like it's not such a drug abuse-ridden sport.
They tested guys in the 90s for diuretics, but they wouldn't test them for steroids, or for anything else, it was just diuretic use.
Potentially, it was just to persuade bodybuilders to not do something really dangerous that could put their health in jeopardy in pre-contest scenario, where they're trying to get as dry as possible.
I'm surprised they wouldn't test for Aldactone and Dyazide because, in this era, that's the only diuretics we really know of that are used for bodybuilding.
Hydrochlorothiazide is one of them.
That might even be the active ingredient of Dyazide.
Dyazide, Aldactone, Lasix, those are pretty much the only ones I can name off the top my head.
Dandelion root and over the counter things that some people use as well.
If they're testing for over 100 diuretics, and they don't have the two main ones that guys use, I don't know what the point of that was, but interesting to hear nonetheless.
Ronnie Coleman: “If you look at the list, of course, they're testing for a whole bunch of diuretics.
But you can look at the one that they're not testing for.
And those are ones that you can use.
It's just like with anything else, you know, if you design a test for something, there's always going to be a way around it.
It's like for steroid.
If they're testing for steroids, there's always going to be some way that you can get around.
Because they've done that before, too.
And the same thing with diuretics.”
Ronnie Coleman's Scariest Experience With Insulin
Tom Platz: “Now, we mentioned before — I'm going to step back slightly to where we spoke about or you spoke about using insulin on during the loading up phase, the carbing phase prior to an event.
You ever had any ill experiences or negative experience with insulin?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that one.
Yeah, first time I ever did it, you know, you have to eat, like a ton of carbs and a ton of sugar all at one time.
And so, that's what I did, I ate [INAUDIBLE] apple pie filling, about three or four bananas, a whole bunch of dates and raisins, a whole bunch of oatmeal with a lot of sugar in it.
So, I knew what I was supposed to do.
And all of a sudden …”
[27:35] Here I am talking about insulin and blood sugar management, in general.
As you can tell, he's a genetic phenom by the lack of his understanding of this concept, but what he looks like, irrespective of that.
Ronnie Coleman: “You know, like, three hours later, I'm driving down the street, and all of a sudden I started sweating real bad.
And my appetite just started right back up.
Like I hadn't eaten in the whole day.
I'm like, here we go again.”
Tom Platz: “Describe the feeling a little bit to us.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Okay, the problem I had with the insulin, I took it, like early in the morning.
And I took, you know, probably about 500 or 600 grams — no, about 200 grams of carbs at the same time.
And it was supposed to, like, make up for the insulin that I just put inside my body.
I didn't know anything about, you know, a reaction that was going to happen afterwards.
And I was riding down the street, and all of a sudden, I started sweating real bad.
I started getting real, real weak.
And it was almost the exact same feeling that I had with the diuretics, except I didn't catch any cramps.
I was sweating real bad, I was getting real warm.
Just so happen, I just had — I don't know — I just happened to have some food in my car with me.
And I just started shoving it down, shoving it down real, real fast.
I had rice and meat and some bananas and stuff.
And after I got that in my system, I got my level back up to where it needs to be.
I stopped sweating and weak —
And then, and the feeling weak all went away.
So, that's another thing you got to be careful with the insulin.”
Tom Platz: “Do you find the insulin and then the diuretics being the most sensitive things to utilize?”
Ronnie Coleman: “The most sensitive things are those two things.
And not only that, they're the most dangerous, they're the one that can kill you quicker than anything than any kind of steroid out there, the insulin and diuretics.”
Tom Platz: “How much insulin would you take then a day? I think we've covered …”
Ronnie Coleman: I'd probably do like — we use one called Humulin R and we take like 15 units twice a day.
And we're not doing that …”
Yes, the last week cycle.”
[30:06] 30 units for carb-loading during peak week, I guess.
Ronnie Coleman: “I wanted to do that I could say you have to take about 200 grams of carbs and sugars altogether.
And like I said, sometimes like to — insulin shock, it could hit you and you have to take in a whole bunch more and get over that to keep you from going into a coma.”
Tom Platz: “That's scary?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, real scary.”
Ronnie Coleman's Yearly Steroid Cycle In Relation To Bodybuilding Events
Tom Platz: “Well, another question I have for you would be, if you're entering more than one show a year. And I understand you do enter more than one show a year.
So, this — if you're entering, I don't know, up to 10 shows a year, would you be on steroids more than just prior to the event?
Was a lot of event — multiple events.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah. So, like the season starts in February, late February, early March.
And you — what we probably do is start like in December and get, you know, those three months in December, January, February.
The show will probably last maybe — I'll probably go back to back, maybe three shows [INAUDIBLE] the two weeks out from the first show.
So, you just do it at that point.
And for me, I'd rest for like late March into the next three months for the next year.
So, you probably do like two cycles a year, two three-month cycles.”
[31:41] He's saying he's only on steroids for six months of the year and the rest of it he's natural.
Of those cycles, they only top out about two grams per week.
Granted a lot of guys, when they're using three grams, they'll tell people they only run one.
When people are using a gram, they'll say they're on 500 mg just to make it not seem like they're such abusers.
I think he's probably an honest dude and he thinks he's anonymous right now, so I think he's probably telling the truth.
It just goes to show what a lot of guys nowadays are doing themselves and how heavy the abuse is now, in contrast to what was considered extreme back in the 90's.
Tom Platz: “Too many cycles that [INAUDIBLE] be in more than two shows, would you be on longer duration?”
Ronnie Coleman: “No, because basically, you just use what you had in your system now to go on for another show, unless they were like, three, four months apart.
Most of the shows are like as one this week and there's another next week, and there's another one a week after that.
You do the same stuff that you took for the last three months for all those three shows.”
Ronnie Coleman's Take On Aromatase Inhibitors (AI's)
Tom Platz: “Another question I would have would be, are there problems you've ever experienced with enhanced estrogen levels?
In other words, do you have blocking agents you might utilize during the course of your yearly training protocol?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah. When I was coming up, they always told me that Nolvadex was the best blocking agent out there.
And so, that's what I took.
But we did some studies.
Another guy that had his own lab and was doing studies on a whole bunch of guys.
And we found out that if you took Nolvadex it negated the effects of GH.
So, what we did, we did a blood test, urine test.
And he told us Testosterone level.
What's it called?
GH level, but it's not called GH, it's called …”
Tom Platz: “IGF”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yup, yup.
And we found out that Nolvadex negated the effects of the IGF-1.
And so Nolvadex was a no, no.”
[34:25] That's the reason why you don't use SERMs and AI‘s if you don't need them, as they can inhibit IGF-1.
Ronnie Coleman Talks About Gynecomastia (Gyno)
Ronnie Coleman: “Thing that we found out didn't even work.
It probably blocked a little Estrogen but it didn't do the job.
So, they did some more studies, this laboratory did, and they came up with another drug that worked.
That drug was called Teslac.”
Tom Platz: “How do you spell that, do you know?”
Ronnie Coleman: “T-E-S-L-A-C. I think I forget what it's used for, but the study that they did were on adolescent kids.
That had, I can't think of what they had.”
Tom Platz: “Adolescent children with some kind of an illness growth problem?”
Ronnie Coleman: “From the chest area.”
Tom Platz: “I think they were cardiac problems?”
Ronnie Coleman: “No, it was called — they call it gyno.”
[35:34] It's funny, saying this term like it's foreign.
Gynecomastia or gyno, that's perhaps one of the first times it was brought up in public.
Funny because I'm pretty sure everyone here knows what gyno is.
Here we have literally Mr. Olympia, trying to figure out what the word is for something you would think he would know off the top of his head.
To me, it's just baffling and crazy how there was so much limited knowledge.
It was all just passed through the grapevine.
There were only a few credible sources back then that you could even refer to for some information.
Genetics trumps all, that's what I'm getting out of this.
That's what you guys should get out of this, too.
Teslac Vs Nolvadex Usage
Ronnie Coleman: “Test on the kids, see how it affected gyno and it made the lumps in the chest go down.
This is the drug that we found out after all the studies that worked.
Nolvadex was pretty much just a myth.
Number one, it didn't work.
Number two, it negated the effects of GH.
I think the best information I can pass along to up and coming guys is don't take Nolvadex.”
Tom Platz: “How about Clomid?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Clomid works. Clomid, Nolvadex — Clomid and Teslacs.
I think there's one other …”
[37:07] Ronnie Coleman doesn't think you should use Nolvadex.
I'm assuming on cycle as opposed to off, but I don't even know if they did PCT back then.
Ronnie Coleman: “I just can't think of it, but the one I [INAUDIBLE] I thought that would work, but really didn't was Nolvadex.
It negated the effects of GH.”
Does Insulin Makes You Fat?
Tom Platz: “Okay. You don't feel there's any significance to insulin making you hold more body fat. That's not a problem?”
Ronnie Coleman: “I think it's probably going to depend on — a lot has — a lot has probably do with genetics as far as making you hold a lot of body fat.
But for the most part, every bodybuilder has real good genetics so it's not going to make him hold that much body fat.
Apparently, it works really good on bodybuilders because it worked really good on me as far as pushing, you know, glycogen in the muscle.
So, I don't think it makes you —
That's why you probably have us it with GH.”
[38:10] He's pretty much saying he doesn't think insulin makes you fat.
I've done an article on this and a video on this.
“Insulin & Body Fat Gain, The Number 1 Reason Why 90% Of Bodybuilders Just Get Fat.”
First off, if you're Ronnie Coleman and you're 300 pounds shredded, you could eat whatever you want, and you have so much muscle on your body that's just going to rip through calories.
Your metabolism is so fast it doesn't matter what you eat pretty much.
For the average guy, insulin is going to potentially overspill.
With the way a lot of guys take it where they just smash tons of high glycemic carbs with it and eat in a stupid high surplus and don't use it intelligently, you're going to get fat as hell using insulin if you don't very carefully calculate your use of it.
Ronnie Coleman: “And it kind of like negates to the fat amount that your body would hold.”
Tom Platz: “Negates the fat amount in terms of insulin.”
Ronnie Coleman: “As far as your body fat percentage. You know, you're probably …”
[39:21] He's implying that using GH concurrently with insulin is what mitigates the fat storage effects of it.
Yeah, GH has some lipolysis benefits that go along with it, but the reality is the synergy between GH and insulin has more to do with the IGF-1 pathway and less to do with the GH inherently melting fat off.
GH And Insulin Synergy
Ronnie Coleman: “A lot more body fat if you didn't take the GH with the insulin.”
Tom Platz: “I see, I see.”
Ronnie Coleman: “It will probably help. That's why the two work so good together.
But if you just took it by itself, it'll probably just make you fat.
If you get the GH working with it to help lean you out, it's going to make you hold more lean body mass”
[40:16] I agree with that.
I would never use insulin by itself unless I was diabetic and needed it.
I more or less agree with what he's saying here, I just think the mechanism of action is a bit different than what he is asserting.
Tom Platz: “I guess there's no particular masking agents you use based upon the fact that there's so many — as you indicated, there's so many different diuretics to select from.”
Ronnie Coleman: “There's no masking agents out as far as I know of.
And I've been around for quite a while.
I've talked to all the top guys, all the top trainers.
There are no masking agents.”
Site Enhancing Oil (SEO), Esiclene and Nolotil
Tom Platz: “How about compounds like Esiclene, or things that are injected directly into the muscle?
Is there anything like that you found to be effective.”
[41:50] He's talking about things like site enhancing oil.
Back then, Esiclene and Nolotil were the two things used to inflame the muscle.
When you jab it right before a show, it will blow it up with inflammation and can give the illusion of a bigger and fuller muscle belly.
It's less widely used now (as far as I know), but back then it was really popular.
It was like an instant way to bring up a lagging body part before a show.
Ronnie Coleman: “I've found Esiclene to be effective for about maybe four or five hours, at the most.
And that's about it.
They're supposed to have a new one out, called “Pump And Pose” with a lot of fat.
I think that's all its probably going to do because I know some friend of mine who took it.”
[42:44] Pump And Pose, I'm pretty sure is just first-generation Synthol consisting of MCT oil with some alcohol in it essentially.
Ronnie Coleman: “It made them fat. It didn't make your muscle no bigger or nothing.
I guess its a myth, sort of like Nolvadex.
It supposed to work all these wonders, but it really — and it actually, it didn't do a whole lot for you.
Tom Platz: “So do you ever utilize …”
Ronnie Coleman: “It hurts you more, it works for you.”
Tom Platz: “In terms of these injection directly injecting into the muscle and temporarily increasing the size.
You don't you don't follow that regimen?”
Ronnie Coleman: “I don't follow that one.”
Tom Platz: “Is there any concerns — I mean, you've talked about a few of the situations you've encountered from diuretics or from insulin that scared you.
Are there any concerns or advice you would give to the up and coming guy who looks at the top guys and says I want to go there?”
Ronnie Coleman: Yeah, I have some real good advice.
If you're going to take diuretics, get with somebody that knows exactly what they're doing.
And when you do take, make sure you're always around people that know what's going on.
Insulin, the same way, don't go and read some magazine that says, take this amount.
To do this, go with somebody that has experienced it, is trained to be — has trained people to do it.
And knows exactly how it's going to work.
And when you take it, never be alone.
If you're alone, make sure you have plenty of food and water with you at all times.
Ronnie Coleman's Steroid Cycle Cost Per Contest
Tom Platz: Very interesting.
On a yearly basis, or annual basis, whether you're in one show a year or multiple shows, I guess it would vary, but how much money does it cost to get in shape?
Ronnie Coleman: ” A guesstimate, $15,000.00″
Tom Platz: “$15,000 for like one show?”
Ronnie Coleman: “For one show, one show, just for one show.
If you go into the show …”
[45:14] $15,000 for prep, supposedly.
The majority of that's probably for the growth hormone because back then it was pharma grade or nothing, pretty much.
I'm sure the kits back then have formidable prices to what they are now, even with all the inflation from what I've seen.
I watched this interview a while ago for the first time, but let's see what he says in terms of how he breaks down that cost.
Ronnie Coleman: “And the top five is just $10,000.
You're going to lose …”
Tom Platz: “Minus taxes or …?”
Ronnie Coleman: “You're going to lose money, either way, you look at it.
You may need to do the smaller show to build your status.
That's why it's good for them to put the small shows back-to-back.
You go — you get first, you're still in the hole.
If you do a second show, and you get first, you'll make some money?”
Tom Platz: “I see. That's …”
Ronnie Coleman: “It all depends on how well prepared you want to be.
The more prepared you are, the better you do.”
Tom Platz: “You think that the top pros in the sport make a good living?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, that's going to all depend on how well you do in contests.
If you're not placing the top five, you're going to lose in every show you go to point-blank, you'll never make any money.
So, if you're not placing top five in any show — in any post-show, you're losing money.”
The Struggles Of Pro-Level Bodybuilders Then And Now
[46:56] Times have changed.
You could be like a top 50 guy now, or you could not even be in the running at a local regional show and still get rich just by having great content online.
These guys are born 20 years too soon because they have just crazy, insane physiques.
Busting their ass to get on stage and look insane, spending all this money to look insane.
And they're basically depending on prize money and sponsorships, whereas nowadays, they could have social media and have their own thing going and start their own businesses.
It sucks to see how limited these guys were where only the top five of the guys were profitable.
Tom Platz: “That's too bad.
Are the exhibitions and the seminars as prominent as they were in the 80's?
I was competing in the 80's, and that's why I'm …”
Ronnie Coleman: “I'll say it like this.
You're only going to get small amount because there's so much competition between all the guys.
So that will make up for some of it, but not a whole lot it.
Over The Counter Drugs And Supplements
Tom Platz: “I see. Are there any things that aren't — you know, there are over the counter drugs like Andro. Is that something that — have you used or think it's effective?”
Ronnie Coleman: “I think the best over the counter drugs are Andro, HMB, and Creatine.
And of course, you know, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and all regular vitamins like magnesium and all that kind of stuff that your body kind of like needs to operate on a regular basis.
More work, but the most part, you know, the proteins work good for me.
Creatine works good for me.
HMB has worked good for me.
Andro — all the Andro products have worked good for me.”
Tom Platz: “Most of these products you just mentioned, are they used during the — prior to competitive time or when you're not really competing?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Probably competing.”
Tom Platz: “So, they actually enhance you think the effectiveness of the real drugs?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah, I think so.
And every probably is going to have their own opinion, because some people don't use them because they think they're going to get what they need from just the steroid, but I think they work good hand in hand. They've always worked good for me.”
Tom Platz: “I understand. Well, I sincerely appreciate you coming here today, and sharing these really rather sensitive subjects matter with our audience.
And, again, I want to assure you, your identity will be totally protected.
And no one will know who you are, except myself, which will never be told anyone. Okay?
But hopefully, by you know, one thing — by doing this, we can relay to our viewers and our audience that, you know, there are some negative connotations or some precautions you …”
Ronnie Coleman: “Definitely have to take.”
Tom Platz: “Okay. Most definitely.”
Do Steroids Create The Essence Of A Champion?
Tom Platz: “And I don't know how you feel about this, but do you really think that steroids create the essence of a champion?”
Ronnie Coleman: “It's just like with any other, well, sport, you have to have natural talent, you have to have genetics and of course with bodybuilding, steroids are just going to make it all that much better.
So, to be here, you have to have it.”
Tom Platz: “So, to compete on a level of pro-level …”
Ronnie Coleman: “You have to have it.”
Tom Platz: “Okay. You don't know any pros who don't use it?”
Ronnie Coleman: Yeah. You can't get — probably maybe a couple, but they're not doing top five in all the shows.
They'll probably do okay, but once you get to the Olympia level and all the bigger contests, you have to have it.
You have to have it to compete just for the game.”
Tom Platz: “Okay. So, what you're saying basically, is steroids do work, of course.”
Ronnie Coleman: “Do work, of course.”
Tom Platz: “Are they magic?”
Ronnie Coleman: “They're not magic, you have to train hard, you have to work hard, you have to be dedicated, you have to do what it takes to be the best.
I mean, you can't rely solely on one thing and be one dimensional.
You have to have good genetics, you can't be a top professional without it; you have to work out hard; you have to be dedicated; you have to adhere to a strict diet.
All those things combined makes you a great champion, along with steroids, but you can't have one and not the other.”
Tom Platz: “Regarding the Teslac and the Clomid and various blocking agents or natural testosterone enhancing agents, is that used in conjunction with the steroids, or is that used when you're off steroids?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Okay. As far as the Teslac goes, that is used in conjunction; and that start the same day that you start your cycle.
You can stay on the Teslac as long as you want to, but once your cycle over with, then you incorporate the other blocking agent, Clomid.
I guess because your body is so used to the Teslac, and, you know, build up a tolerance to it, so you want to add something else after the cycle.
And Clomid is the one to bring your natural testosterone back up, because once you get off cycle, it's going to take maybe like two to three months for your natural Testosterone to kick in.
Your girlfriends not going to be happy at all with that.
So, you use the Clomid, the HCG …”
Tom Platz: “Right. Together?”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yes, together to kick it back into the cycle.
And, of course, they have some drugs for the liver, also.
One is called Legalon.
It helps bring the liver back up to par.”
Tom Platz: “In terms of what function? Enzyme …”
Ronnie Coleman: “Yeah. Bring the — bring the enzyme level back down.
So, you know, to a normal level.”
Tom Platz: “This is, again, done with the — in the off — when you're off of …
Ronnie Coleman: “[INAUDIBLE] Legalon is one of them.
And Milk Thistle is the natural one that you can use.”
Tom Platz: “Milk Thistle? I see.”
Ronnie Coleman: “And I think that's basically it.”
Educating Teenagers on Bodybuilding And Steroid Abuse
Tom Platz: “One question I'd like you to respond to, which is not directly related to certain products or drugs.
What are you think feelings on about — I mean, granted, this is where the pros are, this is what the pros are doing.
And this is why we're here today to provide this education and insight.
But in terms of how the teenager or the young first [INAUDIBLE] in terms of bodybuilding views, the pros.
I mean, what is your advice or suggestions or do you have anything to address in terms of the younger person looking at you guys on stage?”
Ronnie Coleman: “It's the hardest thing in the world to accept as a teenager.
That steroids are not — are not going to make you grow like you want to grow.
Because when you young, you want to be as big as you possibly can be.
And you're thinking you want to be as big as you possibly can be as fast as possible can be, and that's when a mistake occurs.
You have to — it takes time.
Your body doesn't — I think it doesn't start maxing out until your late 30's, if you do it right.”
Tom Platz: “And again, I want our viewers to be aware of the fact that we're not recommending or prescribing any of these drugs mentioned or specific dosage patterns [INAUDIBLE].
We're not prescribing or recommending any specific dosages or specific drugs.
We're merely providing this information, and this insight is educational and informative, so we can really, for the first time as I see address the issues in terms of reality.
And I think as we address these issues for the first time, in terms of reality, hopefully, we can make a difference in terms of some of the abuse of drugs that we were speaking about in terms of the teenagers and the younger people, looking at the top pros in the world.
And maybe even amongst themselves, we can instill a healthier standard of competition, which is important to us all.”
Conclusion On Ronnie Coleman's Steroid Cycle
[56:07] In closing, it's pretty insightful to see what Ronnie Coleman's steroid cycle was in the 90's.
I'm not going to say 100% definitively, that's what he used, but it pretty much boiled down to about two grams of steroids a week, 4 IUs of GH, insulin for carb loading pre-contest, and only staying on steroids for six months out of 12 months of the year.
And that's top of the top tier of elite bodybuilders.
You have guys who are literally cruising on 500 mg of Testosterone year-round, and then blasting with like, five, six grams to compete at regional shows.
This goes back to my genetics discussion that I always go back to, and I've had in several of my past articles.
If you're going to be in this sport, just be aware of the risks.
The disclaimer that Tom Platz laid out at the end of that interview, I couldn't have said it better myself.
There comes a point where you have to realize pushing it more is just not going to yield any additional return above and beyond a certain point.
At that point, you're just playing with fire and pushing your body for no reason.
If you're pushing a few grams of steroids and you're still competing at regional shows and not placing well, and if you're not planning on dying within the next 10 years, then bodybuilding is probably not for you.
You should take a step back and reconsider some things.
I had some aspirations of potentially being a pro when I was obsessed with bodybuilding.
When I was 20 years old I literally thought I was going to blast steroids and get to 260 pounds lean with ease.
I was so oblivious to what actually occurs from using these hormones, especially for prolonged periods of time and what that's going to do to your body.
I'm not trying to fear monger steroid use or anything like that.
I'm just saying, take a step back and realize that the guys at the top probably aren't using 10 times more than you are like a lot of guys will lead you to believe.
Everyone seems to think they're using some secret compound and that's why they're so huge, or they have Increlex, or they used 20 grams of gear and 500 IUs of insulin.
It's probably not the case, they probably use the exact same stuff you do.
They just have insane genetics.
Just a reality check.
Ronnie Coleman's Steroid Cycle
After listening to the entire interview, at the peak of Ronnie Coleman's steroid cycle dosages pre-contest he claims his use broke down to the following:
- Testex (concentration of 250 mg/mL) – 750 mg per week split into one 250 mg injection three times per week
- Primobolan (concentration of 100 mg/mL) – 300 mg per week split into one 100 mg injection three times per week
- Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca) – 200 mg per week (unclear if he used more than 200 mg per week or not)
- Testosterone Heptylate (concentration of 250 mg/mL) – 500 mg per week split into one 250 mg injection twice per week
- Primobolan, Dbol or Anadrol tablets – Roughly 25-100 mg per day depending on the oral steroid chosen
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – 4 IU per day
- Humulin R Insulin – 30 IU split into two 15 IU injections only for the carb up phase before a competition