Yesterday afternoon I went to see Rocky Balboa with
my wife and son. It is the sixth movie in the Rocky series,
and apparently, the last.
I took my son so he could see the training scenes as well
as the fight. Although he’s only six, he’s already showing
great interest in sports and physical training – and this is
not due to me pushing him or shoving the idea down his
For example, I rarely watch professional football, baseball or
basketball anymore. A lot of times the Super Bowl and World
Series don’t even interest me. I wasn’t this way when I was
a youngin – but I am now.
Yet, despite the lack of interest in most sports today, my son
is a fanatic. He watches football every Sunday – knows every
team – even called me when I was in China – at 5:30 a.m. – to
let me know that the Colts lost yet again.
We were recently given tickets to see the Bucs play in their final
game this year, and the boy is ecstatic.
Anyway, I figured Rocky Balboa would be a great movie for Frank;
especially in terms of motivation; of not giving up when life whacks
10 minutes into the movie, however, Frank is asking, “Daddy, when are
they going to fight?”
Five minutes later he is lying sideways in his chair … sleeping. Don’t blame
He did, however wake up before the training began, and the boxing match – and
he got very excited. I did, too, in spite of the fact that Rocky’s training regime, for
the most part, was absolutely the worst imaginable fitness program for a 60-year
old former champion to follow.
The uphill sprints were great. So were the sprints up stairs. Punching the heavy bag
was spot on – and slugging the frozen cattle carcass was perfect.
Other than that, though, with the exception of some pushups – most of the training
involved Rocky doing heavy barbell squats, heavy bench presses, power cleans,
the clean and jerk, and so on. It was riveting. It was exciting to watch. But it is the
wrong way to train for boxing. It most assuredly is the wrong way to train for a
man in his 50’s and 60’s.
Stallone gets away with it, it appears, yet the varicose veins in his shoulder and pecs,
a rare sight on any man, and certainly something you never see on a man who trains
with his own bodyweight, make me wonder what price he is paying in pain to appear
I admire the fact that Stallone has kept himself lean and mean – but I also know the
influence on training behavior a movie like this can have, and in my opinion, it’s
sending the wrong message.
In a couple shots Rocky was using a kettlebell, and I thought that was pretty cool even
though I’m not a big fan of them. They’re definitely a better choice than heavy barbells.
What was funny to me was how Rocky’s trainer told him that he couldn’t spar because
of all the calcium deposits and arthritis in his joints, he couldn’t do road work because
he had bad knees – then you see Rocky running and lifting heavy weights. Since when
does someone with calcium deposits and arthritis train with heavy barbells?
In spite of the above, overall I liked the movie and give it a thumbs up. So does my
wife. The fight scene at the end was awesome – kept my pupils enlarged the whole
Even though Frank snoozed through part of it, he liked it too. Evenso, I think he’s much
more into Star Wars, Sponge Bob and Eragon.
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