Known for his physically draining and action packed roles in Rocky, Rambo, The Expendables, The Specialist and Demolition man, Sylvester Stallone, is one resilient and determined man. Nicknamed as Sly and Stallion, he re-defined action movies in times of biggies like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Considering his present fame, success and fan following, its hard to believe that he once had to sell his dog for $50 as he did not have the means to feed him. After he was thrown out of his apartment, he had to stay in NYC post authority for three weeks before he saw a casting poster for a new movie. His desperation to survive against all odds, led him to act in a soft core pornography where he was paid $2oo for two days.
In the actor’s own words, “It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end – the very end – of my rope”
The movie didn’t do any good to his acting career as it was released seven years later by the name of Italian Stallion to capitalize his ‘Rocky’ fame. The story, or rather struggle behind making of Rocky is equally startling.
The actor scripted Rocky after watching a Mohammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight and went door-to-door to producers to turn it into a film starring him. They offered him a bigger amount for giving up the script for a more bankable actor. But he kept turning down the offer, until the studio agreed to let him play the lead. Rocky, a film made from a meager budget of $1 million went on to become a $220 million hit, securing 3 out of ten academy awards nomination.
To train for the Rocky franchise, he met former Mr. Olympia, Franco Columbu to train him for a body like his. To Franco, who later turned his full time trainer, it seemed as if he was preparing for winning Mr. Olympia, following a double split workout six days a week.
- Here’s how Rocky trained himself
- Nutrition and Supplements
Here’s how Rocky trained himself
Monday/Wednesday/Friday (Morning: Chest, back, abs)
|Incline bench press, Bent over one arm dumbbell raises||4 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Dumbbell flys, Close grip seated rows||4 sets of 10-12 reps|
|Raised leg crunches, Seated extension||3 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Close grip bench press||5 sets of 6-8 reps|
|Wide grip chin ups||6 sets of 8-10 reps|
Monday/Wednesday/Friday (Afternoon: Shoulders, arms, abs)
|Military shoulder press||4 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Side dumbbell raises, Concentration curls, Lying dumbbell raises||4 sets of 10-12 reps|
|Barbell curls, Incline seated dumbbell curls, Arm dumbbell raises, Cable pull downs, Alternating leg raises, Decline bench sit ups||3 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Bent over dumbbell flys||5 sets of 6-8 reps|
|Oblique crunches||3 sets of 6-8 reps|
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday (Morning: Calves, thighs)
|Seated calf raises, Incline leg press, Squats, Seated leg extension||4 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Standing calf raises, Hamstring curls, Leg extensions, Stiff leg dead lift||4 sets of 10-12 reps|
|Barbell standing calf alternating raises||5 sets of 8-12 reps|
Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday (Afternoon: Rear delts, traps, abs)
|Bent over dumbbell raise lateral, Barbell shrugs front, Barbell upright rows, Flat bench cable rows to neck, Reverse pec deck on each side||4 sets of 8-10 reps|
|Cable crossovers, Cable crunch||4 sets of 10-12 reps|
|Ab crunch||4 sets of 8 reps|
|Oblique crunches||4 sets of 10 reps|
Sunday (Cardio workout exercises)
For cardio he would workout for 30 minutes on an empty stomach to 65-85% of his heart capacity once in morning and then again following his double split workout regime, in evening too.
Nutrition and Supplements
In an old interview he told that, he treated his body like a car and kept it well-fueled and pure always, by avoiding red lean meat and surviving on a healthy diet composed of skinless chicken, salads, figs, berries, etc. which were high in fiber and easily digestible too.
Having trained on extreme diet he advises newbies to stay away from it, and build a physique similar to his by taking a balanced diet and training smart. Though he played an underdog in Rocky who always came out winning, his diet at that time used to leave him weak and dizzy. So, for those who aspire to get bulked up like him, he recommends keeping enough carbs in diet sufficient to maintain a training schedule and perform daily activities, while keeping fat to lowest and proteins the highest.
Although to gain muscle fast and steer away from post workout dizziness, he would rely on supplements like whey protein, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), fat burner and multivitamins. Its surprising to know that he reduced his body fat percentage to 2.8%, his lowest while training for Rocky II and III.
However, anyone can achieve that easily by incorporating the following in their diets:
They are much superior to other forms of protein as they provide perfect amino acid requirements for muscle building, strength improvement and recovery to bodybuilders and athletes around the globe. They help them increase size and strength of muscles and also aid in faster recovery.
Learn more about Whey Proteins and things like how much to take and when: Whey Protein – The Complete Guide to Whey Protein Use
BCAAs are recommended for delayed muscle soreness that happens after a long resistance and endurance training session. That’s because they possess a muscles strengthening quality leading to less damage after exercise sessions. Also, BCAAs, especially Leucine is good for shedding extra ounces from the body.
Learn more about Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): The Beginner’s Guide to BCAA Supplements
Fat burners or thermogenics, are blends of herbs and stimulants that increase body temperature to help you burn more calories during exercise.
A child whose face got distorted during his birth by a pair of pulling tongs lending him a lippy and tough expression for his life, is an example of how weird can become unique. He was a child who insisted on wearing his superman costume under his school uniform and later suffered heroic failures but never backed down. Sylvester Stallone is a true achiever.
One such achiever is Hugh Jackman who trained for X-men series and Wolverine in a similar manner. Learn how did he managed a 6,000 calories diet daily with intermittent fasting: The Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) Workout Guide