Sylvester Stallone’s Rigorous ‘Rocky’ Workout Is Guaranteed to Get You Into Fighting Shape

Find out why Sly still looks like an absolute animal…

Stallone in 2006’s Rocky Balboa, age 60. 

If you’ve ever wondered how Sylvester Stallone managed to maintain such a chiseled, muscle-bulging physique well past past middle-age, it’s all because of a badass workout regimen he’s employed since the first Rocky movie.

When Stallone, 70, was first preparing to play Philly slugger Rocky Balboa in the iconic 1976 boxing classic, the actor devised an intense workout routine to get himself into ridiculous shape—and only got more buff in the sequels.


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“I wanted to look like Tarzan – sleek, tight, almost catlike,” Stallone told Viral Thread about his his legendary workouts. “I wanted to forget the bulk and go for well-developed muscles. I began a hardcore weight-lifting program, working out twice a day. When I made Rocky, I increased my exercise.”

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Training twice a day, six times a week, Stallone subjected his body to a blistering regimen with the help of bodybuilder and former Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu. 

Via Viral Thread: 

“I worked out a program that was right for him and then I led the way, constantly increasing weights and reps,” Columbu explains. “I knew for sure that this would motivate him to try and keep up with me. If I took a weight and did 12 reps, Sly would have to try and do at least seven. Then, next set, I would do 15 reps, so he would have to increase his reps to at least 10. By the end of our training he was doing curls with 70 lb dumbbells.”  

Behold, the body-punishing Rocky workout routine of Sylvester Stallone, via Born to Workout. 

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Morning

Chest, Back, and Abs Workout

  • Incline Bench Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Dumbbell Flys (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Close-grip Bench Press (5 sets, 6-8 reps)
  • Wide-grip Chin Ups (6 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Bent-over One-arm Lateral Raises (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Close-grip Seated Rows (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Raised Leg Crunches (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Seated Extension (3 sets, 8-10 reps)

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday Afternoon

Shoulders, Arms, and Abs Workout

  • Military Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Side Lateral Raises (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Bent-over Dumbbell-Flys (5 sets, 6-8 reps)
  • Barbell Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Seated Incline-dumbbell-curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Concentration Curls (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Lying Dumbbell-raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Bent-over One-arm Lateral Raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Cable Pull Downs (3 sets, 10 reps)
  • Alternate Leg Raise (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Decline Bench Sit-ups (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Oblique Crunches (3 sets, 6-8 reps)


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Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Morning

Calves and Thighs Workout

  • Seated Calf-raises (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Standing Calf-raises (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Standing Barbell Alternate Calf-raises (5 sets, 8-12 reps)
  • Incline Leg-press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Squats (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Seated Leg-extensions (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Leg Curls (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Leg Extensions (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift (4 sets, 10-12 reps)

Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday Afternoon

Rear Deltoids, Traps, and Abs Workout

  • Bent-over Dumbbell Rear-Delt Raise (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Cable Crossovers (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
  • Reverse Pec-deck Flyes (5 sets, 8-12 reps)
  • Barbell Shrugs-front (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Barbell Upright-rows (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Flat-bench Cable-rows to Neck (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
  • Ab Crunch (4 sets, 8 reps)
  • Oblique Crunches (4 sets, 10 reps)
  • Cable Crunch (4 sets, 10-12 reps)

Stallone didn’t work himself silly in the gym just to pig out in the kitchen, either. A strict, protein-packed diet was the other piece of the puzzle.


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Stallone’s Diet:

  • Pre-breakfast: A glass of liquid aminos
  • Breakfast: 3 egg whites, half yoke, Irish oatmeal, toasted pumpernickel bread, fresh papaya, few figs
  • Lunch: Roasted summer squash, broiled skinless chicken, salad, figs or berries
  • Dinner: Salad, broiled fish, high-fiber toasted bread; occasionally eats veal

Stallone later used the routine throughout his film career for roles ranging from Rambo to The Expendables, and he apparently still uses to this day. 

Just look at this 70-year-old monster. 


It clearly takes hours in the gym and the mental fortitude of a Navy SEAL to stick to such a crazy workout. But when all is said and done, we bet the pay-off would have you feeling like: 


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h/t: Uproxx