Nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.

We now know it was much more than an iconic catchphrase for Sylvester Stallone.

The main character in the Rocky movie series took his heaviest hit while getting shredded for Rocky III with an insane diet and exercise routine.

The 70-year-old action movie star has revealed secret details of his preparation for the third Rocky film and just how closely he mirrored his iconic character while filming his bloody re-match against Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T.


Stallone says his diet was so intense he was forced to do handstands during breaks in filming to get blood flowing back into his head.

Stallone made a number of scary admissions about his physical condition at the time of filming in 1981 in a post on Instagram, including:

• He repeatedly became light-headed during filming.
• He was on an extremely high protein diet which left him lacking physical and mental energy.
• His daily diet consisted of small oatmeal cookies, brown rice, tuna and 25 cups of coffee with honey.
• His body fat percentage dropped to a "dangerous" 2.9 per cent.

Stallone has previously said his goal for Rocky III was to work on muscle definition compared to earlier Rocky films where his exercise program was focused on building more muscle mass.

"I wanted to look like Tarzan - sleek, tight, almost catlike," he said. "I wanted to forget the bulk and go for well-developed muscles."

It's been 35 years since the film was released and Stallone has in that time repeatedly pushed his body to the limit to prepare for film productions.

The star of the Rambo movie franchise recently revealed his diet and exercise routine when filming Rambo 4 in 2007 and The Expendables in 2009.

Stallone told last year his exercise routine during the noughties involved four-week training camps before filming that included training twice a day, six days per week.


Chest, back and abs training

• Incline Bench Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Dumbbell Flys (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Close-grip Bench Press (5 sets, 6-8 reps)
• Wide-grip Chin Ups (6 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Bent-over One-arm Lateral Raises (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Close-grip Seated Rows (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Raised Leg Crunches (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Seated Extension (3 sets, 8-10 reps)

Since people like the story about Hulk Hogan , maybe you will like this one which leads to the discovery of Mr. T who went on to give an incredible performance as CLUBBER LANG! In Rocky three I thought we should use a REAL fighter , just to push the envelope to where fighting films had never gone before. so I decided to use the legendary heavyweight champion from Philadelphia, Smokin' Joe Frazier to play the brutal CLUBBER LANG So he cheerfully came to the gym , Very excited, very happy, very brightly dressed all in green. Green pants , green shoes, green hat, green shirt, green suspenders! He wanted the part very badly , and believe me I wanted him to get it too ..Smokin' Joe Frazier fighting Rocky !? This would be seriously entertaining, actually unbelievable !!!!! SoI naïvely said why don't we get into the ring and move around a little and see how we look together. I didn't realize it at the time, but This was like going into a lions cage covered in steak sauce and asking " how do you think I will taste ?" This was a very Dumb idea… Very bad. Joe was one of the most punishing fighters that ever lived and other boxers would honestly say that after they fought Smokin' Joe, they were never , ever the same.… Of course I thought that was a slight exaggeration, and I wanted our movie to be special, very realistic no matter what the price… Again in retrospect, A very foolhardy, hazardous , and homicidal concept. Once in the ring, I figured I just move around and avoid his punches , and that idea work well for about two seconds .. Simply because the Next thing I knew there was a Thunderous left hook planted extremely deep in my body, And an overhand right that resembled a falling piano landing just above my left eye .. The world was now spinning in several directions at the same time… Anyway I felt bad for Joe and did not want him to hurt his hands anymore and decided to call it a day. In retrospect,It was a wonderful afternoon meeting The legendary Joe Frazier and getting six stitches but it was also A brilliant realization that I needed someone like Mr. T in my life, more about that later!

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on


Shoulders, arms and abs training

• Military Press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Side Lateral Raises (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Bent-over Dumbbell-Flys (5 sets, 6-8 reps)
• Barbell Curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Seated Incline-dumbbell-curls (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Concentration Curls (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Lying Dumbbell-raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Bent-over One-arm Lateral Raises (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Cable Pull Downs (3 sets, 10 reps)
• Alternate Leg Raise (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Decline Bench Sit-ups (3 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Oblique Crunches (3 sets, 6-8 reps)


Calves and thighs training

• Seated Calf-raises (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Standing Calf-raises (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Standing Barbell Alternate Calf-raises (5 sets, 8-12 reps)
• Incline Leg-press (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Squats (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Seated Leg-extensions (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Leg Curls (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Leg Extensions (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Stiff Leg Deadlift (4 sets, 10-12 reps)

And all these years I never saw this one! Looks like me and Clubber were caught in a massive BABY OIL explosion!

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on


• Bent-over Dumbbell Rear-Delt Raise (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Cable Crossovers (4 sets, 10-12 reps)
• Reverse Pec-deck Flyes (5 sets, 8-12 reps)
• Barbell Shrugs-front (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Barbell Upright-rows (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Flat-bench Cable-rows to Neck (4 sets, 8-10 reps)
• Ab Crunch (4 sets, 8 reps)
• Oblique Crunches (4 sets, 10 reps)
• Cable Crunch (4 sets, 10-12 reps)

The fitness site also reported Stallone's diet while training for his recent movie roles.

His focus on high levels of protein and carbohydrate is similar to the diets used by bodybuilders.

Pre-breakfast: A glass of liquid amino acids

Breakfast: Three egg whites, half yoke, Irish oatmeal, toasted pumpernickel bread, fresh papaya, few figs

Lunch: Roasted summer squash, broiled skinless chicken, salad, figs or berries

Dinner: Salad, broiled fish, high-fibre toasted bread; occasionally eats veal.