Stallone’s 1985 routine was built around four key components. Here’s how they work.

Become War program overview

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

7 min read

“In order to win a war, you gotta become war.”

This 6-week program is an updated take Sylvester Stallone’s fabled 1985 routine, which he used to carve an iron physique for Rambo: First Blood Part II.

You will use a killer combination of tri-sets and supersets to shred body fat, and a high frequency training model which has you hitting each muscle group twice per week for maximum hypertrophy.

Length: 6 weeks.
Frequency: 5 workouts per week, with an optional 6th.
Workout structure: You will follow a three-day split (upper/lower/arms) using supersets, tri-sets and dropsets.
Rep ranges: Moderate and high.
Muscle buster techniques used in this program: Supersets, tri-sets and dropsets.

"Become War" training calendar

Workout Calendar

This is a 6-week training program where you’ll be training six days per week, with Sunday as a day off.

The training split is as follows:

  • Monday: Upper
  • Tuesday: Lower
  • Wednesday: Arms
  • Thursday: Upper
  • Friday: Lower
  • Saturday: Recovery day or extra arms
  • Sunday: Recovery day

Most of you (particularly those who are new to the gym) will find that training 5 days per week is enough, but there’s also the option of replacing one of your recovery days with an additional arm workout if you want more.

Sylvester Stallone workout routine

Rambo Mode: Activated

Make no mistake, Sylvester Stallone was a fucking beast.

The transformation he achieved in the early 1980s, and the physique displayed in the 1985 double-header of Rocky IV and Rambo: First Blood Part II, is the stuff of Hollywood legend.

However, his training routine was fucking insane.

“Man, back in those days I wanted to be as lean as humanly possible, and I’d literally do anything and everything to burn more fat,” recalls Sly.

“I would go for long morning cardio which usually consisted of jogging or swimming, then do about 18 rounds of sparring in the ring for Rocky, then I’d hit the gym for about two hours – and this is all while I was writing, directing and starring in a movie. Yeah, I didn’t sleep too much!”

This created a frustrating problem for his fans, because gyms were packed-out with people who wanted to train like Sly, but didn’t realize the sheer lengths he was going to, which most people simply could not do (either due to physical, financial, or time restraints).

It’s an issue which remains to this very day, because his training routine from this era is still one of the most searched celebrity workout routines online, and people are inevitably disappointed when they see the craziness of it.

I want to correct that by creating this program. It’ll apply all of the same methods which Sly used in the 1980s, but it does so in a way which can fit into a normal person’s life, and work around a busy work/family schedule. I hope you have a lot of fun with it.

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