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Ronnie Coleman’s First Powerlifting Meet

By January 10, 2014January 8th, 2019Powerlifting

You guys gotta see this – it’s Ronnie Coleman’s first powerlifting competition in 1994. You’ll like that Ronnie was yelling “light weight” long before his Mr. Olympia days. Now, what Ronnie does is indeed impressive, deadlifting 728 lbs. But on this day, Ronnie’s antics were outmatched by a whistling old man named Roy Mason. Roy was a traveling preacher and a truck driver. As you’ll see, he can barely walk over to the bar, but he then proceeds to pull 529 lbs at the ripe age of 76! Old man strength at its finest.

Click HERE to learn more about Roy and the meet.

ronnie coleman


  • Gregory says:

    What a freakshow.

  • Artjom says:

    How the heck is that even theoretically possible that Roy Mason’s tissues can handle that load ? I also wonder how often he had to pull heavy to stay in form and not to get unjured….. i am in awe :O

  • wickets says:

    geriatric pull was a million times better

  • Steve says:

    It’s unfortunate that the “impressiveness” of Roy’s pull is demonstrative of a pathology that I all too often witness among the elderly (most all lifters really, but to its deleterious extreme in the elderly especially): the subjugation of quality of movement to satisfy the aging ego’s need for quantity of weight moved-at the expense of all else. I can easily imagine that old Roy felt pretty damn good about himself and imagined himself as quite spry for being able to pull that heavy even though he presented more disfunction walking up to the bar than one would likely observe during an entire night of bingo at the local senior center. I would have been WAY more impressed to see him walk up with no disfunction, demonstrate good mobility behind the bar and only pull 225.

    • John says:

      When you’re a septuagenarian and pulling more than most people will ever be able to roll across the floor in a lifetime you might relax your views on this a bit. Isn’t it more impressive that a guy that looks like a slight breeze might take the best of him lifted over 500 lbs?

      Also, unrelated but in that last picture of Ronnie…no that is not parallel.

    • Jeff says:

      Obviously he needed work on his mobility and flexibility but who’s to say that the DL wasn’t keeping him going? He probably walks that bad with or with out DL, Deadlifting doesn’t cause this.

      Here is 67 yr old Bob Gaynor pulling 600 plus bands; showing that age and deadlifting can still go together:

      • Steven Sequoia says:

        Now that video is impressive! I’m sure you are right that deadlifting does “keep him going”. I would also say that he’s probably better off for doing them than not doing anything. He probably puts in a good amount of time maintaining that ability/quality, but at the expense of other qualities. Watching Roy it reminded me of an analogy from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey where he talks about putting all of this effort climbing the ladder of success, thinking that your making great progress only to discover that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. So ya, Roy can deadlift waay more than me, but at the expense of all other qualities he could have been working on.

    • David says:

      Yeah I would totally be in awe if I saw that old guy improving his “soft tissue quality” on a foam roller. Thoroughly unimpressed by the fact that he pulled probably more than anyone on this comment thread could even dream of!

  • Andy morgan says:

    That just blew my mind. Interesting article you linked to also. Any theories on this ‘old man strength’ Bret?

  • John says:

    Bret, correct me if I’m wrong, but my sense is that Roy was “built” to deadlift (of course that takes nothing away from his incredible accomplishment). Check out how long his arms are (note: around 2:07, he looks like he is standing almost strait up, yet he can almost touch his knees with his hands). Your thoughts?

  • ggs says:

    Thanks for the video ….It shows us that age is not a limitation…
    As an older lifter and a female I am sometimes made to feel that my goals are wacked…I want to someday deadlift double my bodyweight (I would settle for even a rack pull)… I do not have anyone around me to look to for motivation…then as usual you come to the rescue and my up coming workout week is fueled…

  • Wow. A 76-year-old man pulls over 500lbs and people still criticize. It’s a tough Internet world out there. I guess you really can’t please everyone.

    • Steven Sequoia says:

      Or could you say that everyone is too easily pleased? It seems to me that just because this guy can deadlift a ton of weight everyone is so willing to overlook all the other evidence and say “ya, but did you see his dead lift!”
      As a trainer, as a lifter, and as a rational, thoughtful person I cannot willfully ignore information simply because it is presented along side some other piece of spectacular, eye catching information.

  • I can’t believe what I’ve just watched. THIS is exactly how I want to spend my retirement. 🙂

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