Sylvester Stallone Workout: Rocky & Rambo

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Rambo Workout

The Rambo Workout is similar to the Rocky workout. Stallone continued to work out with 2-time Mr. Olympia (Sardinian-born) Francesco Columbu. Rambo I (titled: First Blood) came out the same year as Rocky III (1982).


Rambo I Workout

The following video describes a few demonstrations from the Sylvester Stallone Rambo I and Rambo II Workout. Stallone’s trainer, Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu, says the workouts were similar throughout Rocky and Rambo. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 came three years later in 1985.


Rambo II workout

In the video on the previous page, Franco Columbu says the script for Rambo II required him to gain weight, or be fired (producers put the pressure on Stallone’s trainer to get him in shape). Sylvester Stallone’s weight loss/gain/measurements for the first two installments:

  • For Rambo I, Sylvester Stallone weighed 180 pounds
  • For Rambo II, Sylvester Stallone weighed 195-197 pounds
  • For Rambo II, Stallone’s body measurements were height-5’10” or 178 cm; chest- 50″; waist-29.5″; biceps-17″; body fat-4.5% peak; body fat average-6%.

Sylvester Stallone gained 15 pounds of muscle for Rambo 2. Stallone’s trainer says the Rocky & Rambo workout routines never really changed much from movie to movie. It was the other factors like time, diet, intensity, and amount of conditioning that changed.


When Sylvester Stallone was training for Rambo, he was sometimes too busy to train full-time. His trainer, Franco Columbu, says he resorted to skipping legs day sometimes:

The training program never really changed much. It was always similar. Because he was used to it, to do that. Sly when he became a big star, he became very busy…so he neglected legs.


About the Rambo 3 workout, Sylvester Stallone says:

[W]hen I did Rambo III, I didn’t like the way I looked anymore, so I decided to reshape myself. I went down to 168 pounds. I put on weight slowly and got sinewy, hard-cut muscles. I wound up weighing about 200. But it was all muscle – my body fat was down to 3.8 percent. Now my fat count is 6.8. I’m 5’10? and weight 187 pounds. I’m pleased with my body now.


For Rambo 3, Sylvester Stallone got his body down to 155 pounds. From there, he increased his diet and bulked back up to 200 pounds. Stallone says:

If I know that I’m getting ready to do another Rambo, I have to live up to the last film. That makes it a little bit harder to get in shape. I have a machine like an escalator with the steps coming down, and I pile 40 to 50 pounds of weight on my back and start climbing those endless steps.”


Sylvester Stallone Steroids

Sylvester Stallone’s body has fueled steroid rumors over the years. Many will argue that Sylvester Stallone couldn’t look that good without steroids. But, Stallone says that he has never taken steroids. Instead, he says:

In 1987, when I was making Rambo III, I used to take an amino acid that’s nearly as strong as steroids. It’s about 15 times more powerful than the typical amino acid, but give none of the raw rage – the anger – that comes with steroids. All steroids do is make you a cumbersome, apelike goon.

Stallone changed the dialogue in 2008, admitting to taking HGH and testosterone treatments for Rambo and Rocky. Stallone still denied taking steroids. Stallone says that taking HGH and testosterone is part of what makes him feel–and look–younger. He says that:

HGH is nothing. Anyone who calls it a steroid is grossly misinformed. Testosterone to me is so important for a sense of well-being when you get older. Everyone over 40 years old would be wise to investigate it because mark my words: In 10 years, it will be over-the-counter.


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  1. hello cris i’m raf from italy!! the last year I trained with workout -man of steel – AR7 Conan – Manganiello superset !! in the summer I had a body to envy !!!! thank you !!!
    this year I started with the workout Wolverine and now I am continuing with Sylvester Stallone Rocky and Rambo !!! fantastic and great results !!! I will continue to be more in the form of last year !!! sorry for my english!!! bye….:D

    • Hello Raf,

      Great to hear from you, again! Happy the workout routines are working out for you. I personally love the burn you can get with the Jason Momoa AR7 Conan workout. The Joe Manganiello supersets are killer, I need to get back to those!

      Let me now how the Stallone workout goes. If you have any celebrity workout requests you would like me to write about, let me know. Your English is great, it’s my Italian that’s bad.


    • Yes, they surely did more and switched things up. I only stick to the information about the workout that each actor/trainer provides to the public.

  2. Hi Chris Davis i want to ask you one question . For abs exercice the lateral extensions i must to do 50 per sides or 25 per side ? Thank you !

    • Hi, thanks for asking.

      The quick answer is reps 25 per side. For the abs routine, do 50 total for Double Crunches, Bicycle Crunches and Lateral Extensions (or 25 per side). For Bench Side Crunches, do 50 per side. You may need to work up to this rep number. Don't feel bad if it takes you awhile. Just get better, and maintain good form, each week.

  3. Not sure you got all this right. I read on several occasions that Sly only did 12-16 sets of each body part on a given day using the instinctive training method going hard and keeping his heart rate up throughout. It's hard to imagine someone doing 20-21 sets of chest for example three times a week (often doing supersets), even for a bodybuilder in competition mode. That is over 60 sets alone of chest which would be over training for anyone. As it is, doing 36-40 sets of a body part is bloody intense but more manageable for the body to substain.

  4. I always thought that Stallone would have deserved a role in Tarzan.Now i see that he wanted a physique like Tarzan,so i was right thinking like that.

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