Can You Handle the 'Rocky IV' Workout?

Try the 'Rocky IV' workout to see if you can hang with the fictional boxing legend.

Rocky Balboa's training montages are nothing short of legendary, and the Rocky IV montage is the pinnacle of Rocky awesomeness. He travels to the former Soviet Union and prepares for his fight with grueling lumberjack-style workouts in the bitter Russian winter.

At first glance, Rocky's workout looks ridiculous; however, if you assess the movements, many of the exercises aren't all that crazy. Some of them are completely over the top, but the ideas behind them are mostly sound.

Since this one of the most iconic training scenes in movie history, we decided to create a workout based on Rocky's workout that will improve full-body strength and conditioning. We removed the boxing drills, reordered the exercises and replaced some of the moves with similar, but safer, variations.

Can you handle something like the fictional champion's workout? Give it a try and let us know.

1. Jump Rope

Jump Rope

Ridiculous Scale: 1/10

Jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up, improve ankle strength and and get you in shape fast.

Do this: Jump Rope - 2x60 sec.

2. Tree Chop

Tree Chop

Ridiculous Scale: 8/10

It's not good to go around chopping down trees for the sake of your workout. Plus, it's a bit dangerous, which earns the Tree Chop an eight on the ridiculous scale.

Do this instead: Med Ball Rotational Throws- 3x4 each side

3. Horse Carriage Press

Carriage Press

Ridiculous Scale: 6/10

Rocky didn't have access to plates and bars in the wilderness, so it made sense for him to load up a carriage with his wife and coaches. It's clearly a max-effort lift, but instead of doing a full-body press, we'll opt for simply picking a heavy bar off the ground.

Do this instead: Trap Bar Deadlift - 4x5

4. Horse Carriage Push

Horse Carriage Push

Ridiculous Scale: 10/10

Pushing a horse carriage is totally ridiculous. It isn't even real exercise, but rather a good deed by Rocky. It's by no means a practical way to build lower-body strength, but the concept of the exercise isn't too far fetched.

Do this instead: Sled Push - 3x20 yards

5. Dog Sled Bear Crawls

Dog Sled Bear Crawl

Ridiculous Scale: 3/10

This is an awesome exercise that anyone can do as long as they have a sled. We give it a three because doing it in snow Rocky-style makes it quite difficult to perform.

Do this instead: Sled Bear Crawls - 3x20 yards

6. Pull-Ups


Ridiculous Scale: 1/10

One of the best exercises for building back strength. Period.

Do this: Pull-Ups - 3xmax

RELATED: The Reason You're Not Getting Any Better at Pull-Ups

7. Rope Pull

Rope Pull

Ridiculous Scale: 8/10

At first glance, it looks like Rocky is doing a traditional Rope Pull. But it turns into more of a Tricep Extension, which is an interesting way to lift a pile of rocks since his back muscles are a lot stronger than his triceps.

Do this instead: Tricep Pushdowns (the right way) - 3x15

8. Log Carries

Log Carry

Ridiculous Scale: 5/10

Carrying a heavy log builds strength, particularly in the core. But Rocky is clearly gassed and he falls, which is the last thing you want to do when carrying a heavy weight on your back.

Do this instead: Trap Bar Farmer's Walks - 3x20 yards

Perform the following grouped exercises consecutively in a circuit.

9a. Bench Lying Body Raise

Bench Lying Body Raise

Ridiculous Scale: 2/10

This is a difficult exercise. We don't recommend trying it unless you are confident you have elite core strength.

Do this instead: Ab Rollouts - 1-2x10

9b. Sawing Wood

Sawing Wood

Ridiculous Scale:7/10

Sawing wood is ridiculous in that, 1) you need a lumberjack saw; 2) you need a large log or tree branch to cut; and 3) it's a tad dangerous. However, the movement is sure to build a strong core.

Do this instead: Cable Push/Pull- 1-2x8 each side

9c. Hanging Sit-Up 

Hanging Sit-Up

Ridiculous Scale: 10/10

No doubt this is a challenging exercise. But why the heck would you do it 10-plus feet in the air? One mistake and Rocky would be in for a serious fall and probably break his back.

Do this instead: Hanging Leg Raise - 1-2x10

9d. Rock Throws

Rock Throw

Ridiculous Scale:4/10

This is one of the purest exercises you can do in nature. Simply pick up a heavy rocky and throw it. It builds full-body strength. We rate this a four because it's something you could hypothetically do, but it's highly unlikely you will have access to heavy rocks in a training environment.

Do this instead: Landmine Core Rotations - 1-2x8 each side

9e. Log Core Rotations 

Log Core Rotation

Ridiculous Scale: 9/10

This goes against pretty much everything we know about core training—rapid torso rotations with a load is a recipe for a spinal injury. You should train your core to resist rotation, not produce it.

Do this instead: Pallof Press - 1-2x8 each side

10. Hill Sprint

Hill Sprint

Ridiculous Scale: 2/10

Hill Sprints are awesome for building both speed and conditioning. Doing them in the snow? Not so much.

Do this instead: Hill Sprints (just not in the snow) - 10x40 yards, walk down to bottom

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock