5 Ways to Rock It Like Rocky

Saturday, July 24, 2010 | 0 comments »

By David Gutierrez

If you ask people to list the greatest sports movies of all time, odds are Rocky will show up on that list. Over the span of 20 years and in six inspirational films, we saw Rocky Balboa fight and sweat his way through victory and loss.

For those who want to get into the same fighting shape that Sly Stallone was in for his most famous role, you're in luck. You may not have Mickey yelling in your ear, "Ya got heart, kid, but you fight like an ape!" But stick to these five tips and you'll be rocking it like Rocky and "flying high" before you know it.
  1. Beat the meat. In the first Rocky, our hero famously hit sides of frozen beef to prepare for his fight against Apollo Creed. For most, a heavy bag will do just as well. Boxing is a fantastic form of exercise that has multiple benefits. For one, boxing relieves stress, which can affect your metabolism and mood. Boxing is also a good cardio workout that builds your endurance. You'll also see some muscle definition if you keep working the bag. You can even go the Italian Stallion one better by incorporating a kickboxing routine. And remember to keep your feet moving to keep your heart rate up and ensure yourself a good aerobic routine.

    As for the bag itself, there are a number of home installation kits. You can also create your own by getting a duffel bag and filling it with sandbags, bundled-up clothes, or carpeting. Once you get your bag properly secured, you can start swinging away.
  2. Get pumped. This might fall under the "no duh" category, but nothing helped build the strength Rocky needed to deliver those "hurting bombs" like lifting weights. You won't need the high-tech setup or teams of scientists Drago had at his disposal in Rocky IV. You can still achieve the same great results with an at-home workout program and a good set of bands. If this is round one for you in your fitness prize fight, try a beginner program like Power 90® or Slim in 6®. But if you're already a champ, maybe it's time to take on the mighty P90X®.
  3. Egg yourself on. Raw eggs were Rocky's breakfast of choice. While you probably want to avoid the hassle of salmonella and cook yours, egg whites are the purest forms of protein available, and they're relatively flavorless, so you can add them to other foods for an amino acid boost. But keep them runny. When an egg white is overcooked, it loses it benefits and doesn't bond as easily with other proteins.

    As for the yolk, the debate over its health benefits rages on. One thing's for sure, though, if you're looking to load up on protein, eating the far more caloric yolk will mean that you're also loading up on fat. If your main focus is weight gain, go for the gold. But if you're looking to reduce fat and need a good source of protein, stick to the egg whites.
  4. Step up. Rocky never underestimated the benefit of a good cardio workout. But you can probably stop short of running through the snow dragging a sled or a log. Instead, take the stairs. You can vary your stair-running routine by running with weights; stepping sideways or backward; or by taking two to three steps at a time. It also builds endurance and works your calves, quads, and glutes.

    To begin, try running up a set of stadium stairs and then walking down. As your endurance builds, add another round of stairs until you can easily do 10. And really, who doesn't want that euphoric feeling of climbing the stairs to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and holding your arms up in triumph?
  5. Never say die. No matter how many times Rocky was punched, he kept at it—and you can do the same. Results may not come quickly, but they will come. Everyone forgets that Rocky lost his first match against Apollo Creed, but he came back in Rocky II to win the title. And then he did it again. And again. And again. You can do it too. If you need help psyching yourself up for your next workout, pop in those earbuds, Push Play, and get pumped to those opening horns from Bill Conti's immortal Rocky theme, "Gonna Fly Now," or the introductory stings to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." You'll soon be rocking it just like Rocky did.