Sylvester ‘Sly’ Stallone was born in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. It was a long, hard road to stardom and several times Stallone considered throwing in the towel, but he persisted and hit it big in 1976 with Rocky. The iconic film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won 3. Stallone’s created other successful franchises with Rambo and The Expendables. He sometimes sings in his films, including ‘Gonna Fly Now’ and ‘Take Me Back’ from the Rocky films. There are 8 Rocky films so far, and another sequel and prequel are in development. Besides writing screenplays, Stallone has also written a diet and exercise book called Sly Moves. Other business ventures include the Balboa production company, Tiger Eye boxing promotion and a bottled water brand called Sly Water. Stallone has been married 3 times. He has millions of followers on social media. Stallone is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs.
Sylvester Stallone’s Diet
Stallone says he’s tried every diet out there, and for Rocky once followed a particularly crazy one to get his body fat down to 2.9%, but even he admits it wasn’t the smartest idea. He basically lived on coffee, tuna fish and some cookies. These days, his diet is more balanced and he focuses on vegetables, lean animal protein and whole grains, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance he gives to water. He drinks at least a gallon each day. He also advocates for the use of a cheat day to help keep you on track with whatever diet you choose to follow.
- Low Carbs 20% 20%
- Medium Fat 30% 30%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Stallone’s Rocky diet consisted of up to 25 cups of coffee with honey a day along with a couple of oatmeal cookies made with brown rice and a few scoops of tuna. He would get so lightheaded while filming the boxing portions, he would literally do handstands to get the blood back up to his head.
Stallone’s Rocky diet clearly was deficient in just about every way, and dangerously high in caffeine which can decrease testosterone production, not to mention cause plenty of other health problems.
Stallone has tried all different eating systems, and he says the best way to decide what works for you is to listen to your body and how it reacts to what you’re taking in.
The Need For Power
Stallone admits to taking human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone in preparation for Rambo and Rocky in the 2000s to help him look and feel younger, but says they are not the same thing as steroids. He pled guilty to possession of synthetic HGH in Australia in 2008.
Hydrate Like a Whale
Stallone says drinking plenty of water is important not only because staying hydrated is important but also because it helps curb hunger.
Stallone believes in the importance of taking a cheat day to keep your diet sustainable.
What to Eat
Lean Animal Protein
What to Avoid
Stallone on his Rocky Diet
‘I may have looked pretty good on the outside, but inside it was a very dangerous thing to do.’
Stallone on How Much Water to Drink
‘Eight glasses. Ten glasses. A gallon. Lake Michigan.’
Stallone on HGH
‘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.’
Stallone on Steroids
‘All steroids do is make you a cumbersome, apelike goon.’
Sylvester Stallone’s Fitness Routine
Stallone switches up his training depending on what movie he’s preparing for. He often did the classic split, concentrating on one area per session.
Stallone says setting goals pushes you forward and rewards persistence.
Work the Whole Body
Stallone believes spirituality is as important as physicality, and that we should put equal effort into both.
Exercise: Not Expendable
For The Expendables, Stallone did circuit training at least 3 days a week for a minimum of 90 minutes at a clip.
Even at age 70+, Stallone is an exercise fiend and usually works out 6 days a week.
Train Like a Champ
Stallone has worked with several famous trainers including 2-time Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu and Gunnar Peterson.
Stallone would warm up and stretch for 10 minutes, then do arm work for about 45 minutes, followed by 25 minutes of shoulder work. A half-hour of abs came next, followed by 500 shoulder twists to increase flexibility.
A Sylvester Stallone Classic Split Routine
Do 10-20 min of the cardio exercises + 8-12 reps of each exercise x 3 sets.
Monday & Friday
Hanging leg raises
Incline bench press
Wide arm push-ups
Smith machine shoulder press
Seated lat raises
Incline bench dumbbell flys
Bent bar extensions
Seated calf raises
Incline dumbbell curls
Reverse wrist curls
One-arm dumbbell rows
Stallone on the Most Important Muscle
‘Remember the mind is your best muscle…Big arms can move rocks, but big words can move mountains…Ride the brain train for success.’
Stallone on his Expendables Routine
‘I feel real good. Much stronger than I’ve ever felt, actually.
Something is working.’
Stallone on Perseverance
‘Going on one more round, when you don’t think you can, that’s what makes all the difference in your life.’
Stallone on Becoming a Champ
‘Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.’
Sylvester Stallone’s Supplements
Stallone uses a lot of protein supplements. They grow muscle, curb hunger, and also help regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and reduce inflammation.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that can improve exercise performance, help you lose weight, and may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Stallone started taking testosterone in his 40s to help him look and feel young again. Testosterone not only increases libido, but it can also improve cognitive function, mood, increase muscle mass and reduce fat. Research also shows that testosterone can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in men.
Creatine also helps grow muscle, increases strength, maximizes performance and aids in recovery.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is yet another performance-enhancer that helps with weight loss.
Sylvester Stallone’s Lifestyle
Along with diet and exercise, sleep is one of the pillars of health and Stallone aims for 8 hours a night to recover from his intense schedule.
Stallone’s birth was traumatic. Misuse of forceps severed a nerve and caused partial paralysis of his face which resulted in his signature slurred speech and snarl.
Rocky watched the Ali-Wepner fight in March of 1975, then went home and wrote the Rocky script more or less straight through for 3 days. He says it took about 30 hours to get it down. Rocky was released in 1976.
Stallone’s mother was a promoter of women’s wrestling, a dancer and astrologer while his father was a beautician and hairdresser.
Stallone’s acting career was slow to start. He slept in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in NYC for a few weeks and accepted a role in a soft porn flick to get by. The film wasn’t released until after Stallone became famous as Rocky.
Stallone was raised Catholic. He now considers himself to be more spiritual than religious, but he believes your spiritual side (or lack thereof) is the deciding factor in whether or not you will lead a successful life.
Stallone on the Importance of Spirituality
‘Without love, loyalty, desires, passion, courage, dignities, faith, beliefs and all the other ingredients that go into making the human soul something so elevated that only God knows its limits, we are only shells bobbing aimlessly in a calm sea of mediocrity.’
Stallone on Blazing a Trail
‘I stopped thinking the way other people think a long time ago.’
Stallone on Success
‘Success is usually the culmination of controlling failures.’
Stallone on How he Succeeded
‘I am not the richest, smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going.’
Stallone on Taking the Job in Pornography
‘It was either do that movie or rob someone because I was at the end — the very end — of my rope.’
Rambo: First Blood
Sly Stallone Apparel