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Sylvester Stallone Workout

See Stallone's Book Sly Moves  

Stallone has played bigger than life heroes of superhero proportions his whole career. His most famous roles are always going to be Rocky and Rambo, but Sly has even played a comic book hero once, Judge Dredd, and had his movie Demolition Man turned into a one shot comic. Don't forget the old Rambo cartoon series that came out of the Rambo movies.

Stallone was first inspired to achieve greatness in the gym when he saw Steve Reeves a former Mr. Universe on a Hercules movie.

That was way back when Sly was only 13 years old. Steve Reeves was also a role model for the Incredible Hulk star, Lou Ferrigno.

Sly has had many different work out plans over the years. These days he will tell you that in the old days his body was always in a state of breakdown as he refers to it. These days he gives his body more time to recuperate.

Stallone says, "I follow a high-protein diet: Anything with a face, that's what I eat, with something green next to it,"

"Over the years, my biggest flaw was overtraining. In the gym six days a week, doing more sit-ups at night ... my body was in a constant state of breakdown.

Now I focus on a variety of exercises, working out three times a week for 90 minutes per session. I really feel good--much stronger than I've ever felt, actually. Something's working." 

Rocky III Training

Stallone would go on a two mile jog, then go straight into 18 rounds of sparring, 2 hours of weightlifting and jumping rope. After all this, he would take a nap in the afternoon, then go running again! He would finish the day with a swim. Stallone dropped his body weight to a mere 155 lbs, with a diet of 10 eggwhites and a burnt piece of toast once a day, and a piece of fruit every third day. This diet left him weak and dizzy, he then built his muscle mass up ounce by ounce until he was up to about 175. That's definitely a hard way to lose weight and get ripped.

Stallone -  "I led a very unhealthy regimen while working to develop my body for the later 'Rocky' movies. I was working out on an empty stomach, and my body began to cannibalize itself. It was my plan to reduce myself that way, then add on muscle ounce by ounce. I went down to 155 pounds - and I'm five-feet-ten. I was all skin and bone. I was also drinking great quantities of coffee to stimulate myself, to give me energy."

Stallone says he now follows a much healthier diet and exercise routine. Most experts would tell you to lose weight slowly over a long period of time is not only healthier, but also makes you more likely to keep the weight off longer. It's all about a long term strategy and life style choices.

Stallone - "I get up in the morning about 7:30, and first I drink a glass of liquid amino acids. Around 7:45 a.m. I have breakfast - easily digested foods. For example, two eggs, four figs, and toasted pumpernickel bread. I relax for 1 hour and 15 minutes to give my food time to digest. I'm in the gym for my morning workout around 9 a.m.

Rambo II Training
Stallone’s Split Training Schedule:

Stallone hired Franco Columbu, an Olympic weight lifter who won the title Mr. Olympia several times from 1974 to 1981 to get him pumped up to play Rambo the second time around.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays he split his training into two sessions per day as follows:

Chest, back and abs workouts, including bench presses, lateral pull downs and crunches.

Shoulders, arms and more abs, including military presses, lateral raises, bicep curls and tricep extensions, and more crunches and leg raises.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays he also trained morning and afternoon;

Calves and thighs, including calf raises and squats.

Rear deltoids, traps and more abs, including rear delt / bent-over rows, shoulder presses, upright rows and more crunches.

Sylvester Stallone's Favorite Stomach Exercises

Twisting Crunches: Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head, your knees bent, and feet comfortably off the ground. Exhale and curl your upper body forward, rotating your elbow toward the opposite knee.

Sets: 2 sets of 5, 10 or 15; work your way up to 30.

Hanging Raises: Rest your elbows in the elbow slings or on the support pads (if you’re using the gym’s dip station or hanging chair). Lean back slightly and slowly draw your knees toward your chest as far as possible. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Broomstick twist: Set an incline bench with ankle supports at a 45º angle. Sit upright on the bench and secure your feet under the supports. Hold a broomstick behind your head and across your shoulders, supported by your outstretched arms. Twist left and right on the axis of the stick, feeling the burn at your core.

Stallone on the broomstick twist- This one gave me the best abs of my life. Later, it really helped get me chiseled for Rambo II and Rambo III. I’ve been using this beauty for years. The secret is the combination of incline and twist, which creates unrelenting contractions that shape what trainers now like to call the “core,” a set of muscles that includes the lower back, the glutes, the hip flexors, and the mini-mountain range that runs from the abs to the obliques. A powerful core is a kind of anchor that lets you throw farther, swing harder, reach higher, and perform better, especially as you get older. So go ahead: stick it!

Floor crunches :

Stallone has been known to do up to 1000 repetitions, for his stomach, total during a workout by training four different areas with combinations of sit-ups, leg raises, side leg raises and side bends.

All in One Day
One program Stallone has done in the past is to do two sets. One with  6 reps of heavy weight, and then one with 20 reps using a light weight working all the body parts in one workout. I've tried this one myself and it is kind of rough. It consists of shoulder press, squats, curls, bench press etc. Haven't done this one in a while because it will really take it out of you.

This workout plan Sylvester Stallone shared in an ad for his health products in a muscle magazine. Do 10-15 minutes of light to medium cardio first.



Set 1

 Set 2

squats or leg press

20 6
lying or seated leg curl 6 20
seated close grip row 20 6
wide grip front pulldown 20 6
barbell or dumbbell bench 6 20
cable flye 20 6
front military press 6 20
preacher curl 20 6
rope pressdown 6 20
standing calf raise 20 6
rope crunch 6 20
hanging leg-ins 20 6
This is the work out plan he follows these days.

Modern Workout

Angled Weighted Pull-Up (3-4 sets, 6-12 reps) After a warm-up set with bodyweight, Stallone dons a weighted vest; he alternates pulling his chin first toward his right hand, then his left.

Unilateral Low-Cable Row (3-4 sets, 14-16 reps) Sly uses a special machine with two weight stacks side-by-side and holds a D-handle in each hand. He does 10 reps together, then alternates for 4-6 more reps.

Plate-Loaded Machine Shrug (3 sets, 6-12 reps) Sly works up to 400-plus pounds.

T-Bar Row (3 sets, 10-12 reps) Done with one end of a barbell placed in a corner, Sly reps one arm at a time.

Squat-Jump Pull-Up (3 sets, 8 reps) Using a pull-up bar that's at least 8 feet high, Sly does bodyweight squats, jumping from the floor on the upward push and grasping the bar. He does a pull-up, drops back to the floor into another squat and continues for reps.

Uneven Standing Barbell Curl (3 sets, 8-12 reps) Sly holds the barbell with one hand in the center, one nearer one side, so one arm is taking on more of the load. To work each side evenly, he switches grip position mid-set.

Strive Curl Machine (3 sets, 12-18 reps per set) Sly adjusts the "Strive" cam three times per set for different stimuli on his bi's, completing 4-6 reps per setting.

Dumbbell Hammer Curl (3 sets, 18-30 reps) Sly starts by lifting both dumbbells for 8-10 reps, then finishes with rapid, alternating reps for 10-20 more.

Standing Calf-Machine Shrug (3 sets, 6-12 reps) With feet planted and body rigid, Sly shrugs to raise the shoulder pads.

Sly does weighted ab training between exercises and finishes with forearm moves



Articles and other sections

In the Superhero Actor Workouts section we take a look at how actors got into shape to play superheroes on screen.

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