7 Things The Global Fitness Community Should Thank Sylvester Stallone, A.K.A Rocky Balboa For

  • Creed 2- The End Of A Beautiful Story
    1 / 7 Creed 2- The End Of A Beautiful Story

    So, I caught Creed II last week, and without giving any spoilers away, let’s just say it provided an epic and fulfilling conclusion to the story arc of Rocky Balboa, a small-time Italian-American loan collector and amateur boxer who ended up one of boxing’s biggest legends.

    But how did the character come into being? For that, much thanks has to be given to Sylvester Stallone, who dreamt up both the character and the script for the first Rocky movie, and refused to sell the script until he was given the starring role..and look how that turned out, crossing USD$225 million worldwide on a budget of just USD$1.1 million!

    At the grand old age of 72, it’s clear we won’t be seeing neither Rocky nor Stallone for many movies left, so here’s a tribute list of 7 things the global fitfam have to thank them both for.

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  • Montages That Inspire Even After 30 Years
    2 / 7 Montages That Inspire Even After 30 Years

    The montage is nothing new- many a movie has used it for exposition and to try to speed the storyline of the hero’s journey along. But no other movie has done them the way Rocky films have, and his training regimen provides real inspiration on tough, often creative ways to build muscle and get the “Eye of the Tiger”. . though we’d suggest getting permission before going to the wet market to punch carcasses of meat!
    Which ones did we love the best? Let’s go through the list- in the first-ever Rocky movie, Stallone shows exactly how much skin in the game he put in as an actor by putting in feats of fitness on the big screen that no camera tricks can fake. His journey into fighting shape –montaged of course- ends with one of the most famous scenes in cinema: a run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which apparently was really part of the real-life training routine of Joe Frazier! And in case you wondered how long that distance was, a Philly writer went and plotted Rocky’s run to figure out the exact route he would have needed to take in order to make the scene possible. The distance? 30 miles, or 1.16 marathons!

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    Stallone then procedes to chase chickens (to build speed) in Rocky 2, run on the beach in Rocky 3, but the best montage sequence in our opinion has to culminate in Rocky 4, where in order to train against Ivan Drago, who had just punched to death Apollo Creed, he goes full on wild man and heads to a remote Russian homestead to get “farmer strong”. This was actually the longest training montage in the series that actually had two parts, with Rocky doing pull-ups on a beam, carry log on shoulders in the snow, hanging sit-ups, ‘dragon flag’ core exercises, and cleaning and pressing a wagon full of people!
    But the best part he saves for the last- scrambling to the top of a mountain and avoiding KGB agents stalking him, then shouting “DRAGOOOOO” into the valley below (good thing he didn’t start an avalanche).
    We dare you to try watching the Rocky IV montage and not suddenly feel a need to workout. You can’t.

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  • Eggs Equal Protein
    3 / 7 Eggs Equal Protein

    Ok, first things first- it’s a movie. While Rocky was gulping down raw eggs (and tons of them) during his training montages in the movies, the fact is you shouldn’t- unless you want to risk getting salmonella-related food poisoning. But as usual, his heart’s in the right place- even before protein powders came into being it made folks looking to build muscle aware about the nutritional value of protein.. and that they needed to egg up their diet. Just cooked, please.

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  • It’s The Music, Dummy
    4 / 7 It’s The Music, Dummy

    No workout is complete without music to help push past your mental limits, and Rocky was abundant with tunes that could inspire that extra set even when everything in your body wants to quit. In fact if you google Rocky workout music youtube is full of playlists. Which were the best? You’ve heard them in the gym before- from “Eye of the Tiger” to “Gonna Fly Now”, and “Going The Distance”.. every one of these are six-pack inspirations!

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  • Aqua Matters
    5 / 7 Aqua Matters

    So Rocky got by with pretty grunt workouts in the first two movies, but when he got totally smashed by Clubber Lang (played by Mr T) in Rocky 3, both his gameplan and training needed to change. Enter vanquished opponent and future father of Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed, who challenged Rocky to improve as a fighter and build more flexibility, speed and get more nimble in order to beat Clubber. One of the key things he had Rocky start training was really basic, but essential- swimming. If you didn’t know, swimming works often-neglected muscles such as those in the lower back and shoulders, while giving you a full-body aerobic workout. Swimming in cool conditions is great for soothing sore muscles!

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  • Workouts Got Modern.. So Creed Did Too
    6 / 7 Workouts Got Modern.. So Creed Did Too

    So, when the Creed series followed on with Stallone’s blessing, it also became clear that while the star of the show had changed, so had the workouts. While Rocky was clearly old school, both Adonis Creed- played by Michael B.Jordan- and his opponents got more contemporary. No more running up mountains- it was time for for modern science and fitness training to take a step forward on the big screen.
    To step into the ring for a second round as champion boxer Adonis Creed, however, Jordan needed to drop a few weight classes, but keep a powerful punching profile. He turned to celebrity trainer Corey Calliet to help whip him into world champion shape, and here, Calliet shares details of Jordan’s Creed workout plan and how he got so ripped. Jordan and Calliet have been working out together since 2015, including the first Creed movie. The well-established rapport made it easier to whittle down Jordan’s Killmonger mass into a light heavyweight’s frame.

    “We time our projects, so we used Killmonger to get ready for Creed II,” Calliet told “I bulked him up on Killmonger, and then used that bulk to shred him down for Creed II. As the fight gets more serious, you see his body start to define the character and his training in the movie. ” His opponent, Viktor Drago (son of Ian Drago), who’s played by Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu, is no less jacked, and is seen in the movie working out with battle ropes in a way that looks familiar, yet unfamiliar to how we do in gyms now. Familiar- the form and technique; unfamiliar- the sheer power and reps he keeps at. We have a lot of catching up to do!

    How Florian Munteanu Cut Weight To Play Viktor Drago In Creed 2

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  • Showing Fitness Has No Age Boundaries
    7 / 7 Showing Fitness Has No Age Boundaries

    Stallone has always been about skin in the game when it comes to his action movies- you can fake special effects, but you can’t fake physique and muscles- and even in Creed or Creed 2, both of while were filmed when he was in his 60’s and early 70’s, the man’s work ethic meant he still stayed in shape! On his Instagram, he shows he can still pull off 100-pound single-arm presses, 100-pound weighted pull-ups, and did the headbanger pull-up- designed to work both the upper body and the core at the same time.

    By Kelvin Tan, Editor for Men’s Health Singapore. Images screenshot from YouTube

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