Iconic bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman is back in training - three months after being warned that his obsession could leave him paralysed.
The eight-time Mr. Olympia posted a video of him in the gym on Boxing Day after back surgery in September - his third of 2018 and the tenth in total.
The fitness world was in shock when it was revealed in October that the 54-year-old American, the face of bodybuilding and a multiple world champion, was told he may never walk again due to the raft of surgeries and his incessant training.
Coleman cut a sad, crippled figure in a recent documentary on his remarkable rise and harrowing fall.
The film, titled Ronnie Coleman: The King documents Coleman's journey from a simple, country upbringing spent fishing and playing various sports to his domination of the bodybuilding world and ultimately being left crippled and having to relearn how to walk every year after several spinal fusions, disc decompressions, and hip replacements.
However, in a video shared with his more than 3 million Instagram followers Coleman clearly still refuses to stop working out as he appears to be back on his feet, sweating it out.
"Yeah, buddy. Ain't nothing but a lonely Christmas Day in the gym by myself. On Christmas Day working out by myself, with myself. That's how you do it, ain't nothing to it but to do it," Coleman say as he pans across the deserted gym.
"All by myself and I'm out cause I've got to finish this workout. I'm just doing cardio, so y'all know this is cardio, nothing serious just cardio, just trying to stay ahead of the game, yeah, buddy. We out."
The clip is accompanied by a message to his fans, insisting that he won't be doing any weights soon.
"Trying to stay in half decent shape even if I have to do something on Christmas Day. Nothing serious, just cardio, no lifting no weights whatsoever. Going to be 100% healed before I touch any kind of weights. That's for damn sure!! Doing it on any day though, whether Christmas, New Years or Thanksgiving. It's all about staying dedicated, and doing what it takes to accomplish those goals of getting healthy and healed."
In his heyday, Coleman revolutionised body building by maintaining the symmetry and composition of the sport's best while blowing them away with his incredible size.
His Mike Tyson-like lisp, laidback demeanour and catchphrases like "lightweight baby" and "yeah buddy" made him a huge fan favourite.
Coleman won eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles before being dethroned in 2006.
He stopped competing a few years later and soon began suffering from chronic injuries to hips — both of which have been replaced — and his lower back.
It's Coleman's eighth surgery that is documented in the film.
At this point, he'd had so many operations surgeons are forced to cut through the front of his body — temporarily removing his intestines — because there's so much scar tissue in his back.
"The pain is a nine or a 10 (out of 10)," Coleman says in the doco. "I've been in pain for so long now I'm just used to it."
In an interview with bodybuilding magazine Muscular Development in October, admitted fearing never being able to walk again.
"I've had so much damage done to my body from all these surgeries...a lot of it had to do with the way the surgeon performed the surgery.
"The last three surgeries have been real bad. Caused a lot of damage to my body. I don't know if I'll be able to walk but I'm going to give it my best shot. I think if that surgeon had performed these surgeries right I would have been walking a long long time ago," Coleman says.
"Every surgery I've had done was like $300,000 to $500,000 for every surgery. The last three surgeries I've had cost almost $2 million. That's a lot of money."