If you thought Sylvester Stallone’s muscular physique in the Rocky movies was the result of some sort of special effects wizardry or intensive course of dick-shrinking steroids, then you would be mistaken.
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Sly put himself through some pretty crazy stuff in an attempt to live up to the billing of Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion. The kind of stuff most sane people would probably take a pass on.
A crazy diet and intensive exercise regimen were par for the course with Stallone back then, but fans probably don’t realise quite how batshit crazy his efforts were.
Much like Rocky in the movie, who loses focus and fitness as reigning champ before a shock defeat to Mr. T’s character, Clubber Lang, Stallone embarked on a regimen that even he admits was a little “dangerous”.
Stallone survived on an “extremely high-protein diet” that consisted of small oatmeal cookies, brown rice, tuna and up to 25 cups of coffee with honey, a day.
The Oscar winner admits that the diet often left him feeling “light-headed” during filming and that he often lacked “physical and mental energy.”
It had the desired effect though; Stallone’s body fat percentage dropped to 2.9 per cent – a level even he admits was “dangerous”.
The diet is the stuff of legend, with Stallone also claiming he was forced to make himself do handstands in between takes to get the blood flowing back into his head – not sure there is much in the way of a medical basis for that kind of thing, but it must have worked.
It was all done with one thing in mind: muscle definition.
“I wanted to look like Tarzan — sleek, tight, almost catlike,” Stallone said a few years back “I wanted to forget the bulk and go for well-developed muscles.”
Stallone certainly achieved that look, with the actor looking noticeable leaner and meaner in the third Rocky film than he did in any of the others (seriously, go back and take a look!).
Even so, it sounds pretty astonishing by today’s standards and while Stallone remains an avid gym bunny and fitness freak, he’s probably advise against adopting the Rocky III diet.
Even so, there’s bound to be one person out there mad enough to take it on. Just not us.
For more insane diets, check out the world’s strongest man’s daily diet. Crazy.