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#BBGOAT: Ronnie Coleman vs. Franco Columbu

The #BBGOAT (BodyBuilding Greatest of All Time) is MAXS.COM.AU’s knockout competition to determine who the fans think is the greatest bodybuilder of all time. We started with our top 16 of the Greatest Bodybuilders of all time and now we’re asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each week you’ll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 16, we’ll go to 8, to 4, and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest bodybuilder in history!

We’re talking Coleman vs. Columbo; Phil vs. Flex, Arnie vs. Jay – It’s time for the fans to have their say! You’ll be able to cast your vote below.

Round 1 continues with an epic battle – Ronnie Coleman vs. Franco Columbu!.

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Ronnie Coleman

  • Nickname: The Big Ron
  • Born: May 13, 1964
  • Height: 5’11” (180cm)
  • Weight:: 300lb (140kg) (Contest), 315lb (143kg) (Off season)
  • Pro Debut: IFBB World Amateur Championships 1992
  • Best Win: FBB Mr. Olympia 1998–2005
  • Predecessor: Dorian Yates
  • Successor: Jay Cutler

By The Numbers: Pro Comps: 46 | 1st Places: 18 | 2nd Places: 4 | 3rd Places: 5 | Arnold Classic Wins: 1 | Mr. Olympia Wins: 8.

The man who got the bodybuilding world screaming “Yeah Buddy!” and “Ain’t nothing but a peanut!” needs little introduction. Big Ronnie Coleman’s introduction to bodybuilding came when follow police officer Gustavo Arlotta suggested he attend the Metroflex gym, owned by amateur bodybuilder Brian Dobson. Seeing the potential in Colemen, Dobson offered him a free lifetime membership if he allowed Dobson to train him for the upcoming Mr. Texas bodybuilding competition that year. After training for Mr. Texas, Coleman won first place in both the heavyweight and overall categories, in the process defeating Dobson himself.

After turning pro in 1992 Coleman gave himself a few years of solid training before winning his first pro show, the Canada Pro Cup, in 1995. The following year, he won the contest again, followed by a first place win in the 1997 Russian Grand Prix. From here the success continued with Big Ron taking out 8 Mr Olympia titles. The last of the wins in 2005. He went on to compete for another two years before injury and lack of preparation lead to eventual retirement.

In 2011, he launched Ronnie Coleman Nutrition, a company that provides sports nutrition and wellness products for bodybuilders and other athletes.

Coleman won the Mr. Olympia title eight years in a row (1998–2005) and is regarded as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Alongside his eight Mr. Olympia wins as a professional bodybuilder, he held the record for most wins as an IFBB professional with 26.

Franco Columbu

  • Nickname: The Sardinian Samson
  • Born: August 7, 1941
  • Height: 5’5″ (165cm)
  • Weight: 194lb (88kg) (Contest)
  • Pro Debut: 1968 Mr. Universe, 1968
  • Best Win: IFBB Mr. Olympia 1976, 1981
  • Predecessor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Successor: Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson

By The Numbers: Pro Comps: 16 | 1st Places: 15 | 2nd Places: 0 | 3rd Places: 0 | Arnold Classic Wins: n/a | Mr. Olympia Wins: 4.

Columbu was born in Ollolai, Sardinia (Italy), starting his athletic career as a boxer. Columbu then progressed into Olympic Weightlifting, powerlifting, and later bodybuilding. At only 164 centimeters, Franco stood much shorter than most of his competitors, however his height did not prevent him from achieving widespread success. Winning the title of Mr. Olympia in 1976 and again 1981.

Columbu is a longtime friend of Schwarzenegger, who he met in Munich in 1965 and against whom he competed in several international-level bodybuilding competitions. The most famous being the Mr. Olympia contest filmed for the documentary Pumping Iron.

Since 1969, Franco Columbu was considered one of the world’s strongest men. He held a number of powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting world records. Some of his best known strongman acts being bursting a hot water bottle by inflating it orally, lifting vehicles onstage while another performer changed a tire, and deadlifting over 320 kg.

Post bodybuilding and competitive weight lifting Franco designed a comprehensive men’s workout to flatten the stomach, narrow the waist, and eliminate love handles. As a chiropractor and a weightlifter, using chiropractic therapy to train for competitions.

#BBGOAT First Round

#BBGOAT Second Round

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