Are you ready to be a contender? Sylvester Stallone's action–oriented program for getting fit and eating right is also a revealing portrait of one of Hollywood's biggest stars.
Sly Moves is more than just a handbook on fitness and nutrition. It's a provocative and candid inside look at the trials and triumphs of one of Hollywood's most famous stars. Throughout his career, Sly has always been body conscious, and as he experimented with intense training methods for various films, he has learned – often the hard way – what works and what definitely doesn't. His goal here is to help readers change harmful fitness habits, learn to counter reckless eating, and appreciate who they are even when they don't feel much like action heroes.
Part 1 is a history of Sylvester Stallone's physique, as the Rocky star shares stories about his being bullied as a child, finding comfort and strength at the gym, and then later, the wild ride of fad diets, crash–training regimens and workout disasters that fringed on obsession.
Part 2, The Sly Moves workout, outlines four exercise programs: classic, advanced, women's and hardcore. The workouts only require a commitment of about three hours a week (exactly the same amount of time Sly works out).
The Sly Moves eating plan (Part 3) is Sly's nutrition guide, highlighted by a unique meal plan for a lifetime of good eating.
Part 4 gives Sly an opportunity to inspire and encourage readers to make Sly Moves part of a long–term picture of health, fitness and wellbeing, with tips on everything from keeping goals and relaxation techniques to lessons learned from The Contender.
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About the Author
Sylvester Stallone is an actor, director, and writer. He is best known for writing and playing the starring role in Rocky, for which he was nominated for two Academy Awards and the film was nominated for ten. Other film credits include First Blood, Cliffhanger, Cop Land, Tango & Cash, and Demolition Man. Stallone is also the coproducer and star of the NBC reality series The Contender. He currently resides with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children in Los Angeles, California.
Read an Excerpt
My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Will Power, and Live your Dream
The Making of a Contender
Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, I'd spend my Saturday afternoons at the Silver Theatre, an old Arabian Nights-style movie palace, mesmerized by matinee idols like Commando Cody, Masked Marvel, and Sinbad the Sailor. Like the comic book characters I loved so much, these movie icons had powerful physiques that made them invincible, and as a 98-pound weakling, I couldn't get enough of their adventures. Still, none of them came close to making an impression like the mighty mortal they called Hercules.
I was 12 when I first saw Steve Reeves in Hercules, and I probably watched the movie 15 or 16 times that summer. My mind exploded! I saw a perfect physical specimen that was both heroic and human, and it was the first time in my life I started thinking about what I wanted to look like physically, how I wanted to develop in terms of proportions. So don't tell me films don't have a lasting impression on children. Sitting in that dark theater, being so enthralled by the images on that screen, is definitely the major reason I am here today.
My own life wasn't quite so heroic in those days. I was born in a clinic on Tenth Avenue and Forty-ninth Street in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City in the summer of 1946. A forceps accident at birth immobilized the motor nerves on the left side of my face, leaving me with a crooked mouth, a droopy eye, and this famous locution of mine.
As I got older, people teased me all the time and I became a chronic misbehaver. I wasn't a big kid or especially handsome. And with my speech problems and a name like Sylvester, life was becoming a cruel joke with no punch line in sight. I transferred from school to school because of behavioral problems; one teacher actually introduced me by saying, "Class, we have a new student today. His name is Sylvester, as in the cartoon." So for the rest of the year I got "Hey, Tweety Bird!" or "What's up, Poody Tat?" Nice, huh? A real confidence builder.
Back home, my father taught me how to be physically strong. Just watching him was a lesson in the power of kinetic energy. He didn't lift weights, but he'd constantly be moving rocks, cutting down trees, and pushing heavy machines around. There was nothing elegant about it, but the guy was definitely in great shape. Country strong, they call it.
My mother, Jacqueline, was also very physical, but she was a little more scientific about it. Her father was a district court judge who'd once roomed with Charles Atlas, the most famous bodybuilder ever. Mom started exercising with her father when she was very young, and she grew up hitting a punching bag and tossing around a medicine ball.
My mother is a certified eccentric, and one of the most unusual things she's ever done in her life was to open a women's gym in Washington, D.C., in 1954, when hardly anybody went to gyms. Especially not women.
When I was in sixth grade, I was so obsessed with the idea that I could become Superboy, I actually tried to make it happen. I went out and bought some red dye and a wax crayon and painted a big S on a shirt. I found a barber's cape, dyed it red, and then slipped into a blue bathing suit. For days, I'd literally wear this crazy getup under my clothes. It was like I was telling myself that if I wished hard enough, the transformation would begin.
Unfortunately, I decided to share this top-secret information with my friend Jimmy. He promised and crossed his heart he'd never reveal this extraordinary information. Of course, he told the teacher. She brought me in front of the class. "Children, we have a special guest today, Superboy." She made me take my clothes off. Standing knock-kneed in my baggy Speedos, everybody could see what a puny superhero really looked like. After the laughter died down, I took my breadstick arms and pipe cleaner legs and blew out of there, my wrinkled cape flapping pathetically in the breeze.
But it didn't matter. I knew I'd found a superhero I could emulate in Hercules. It helped that Reeves was as impressive off screen as he was in the movie. The son of a farmer from Glasgow, Montana, he began bodybuilding as a teenager and soon developed one of the most remarkable physiques around. After returning home from World War II, he racked up titles as Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. Universe before Hollywood made him the biggest action star of his day.
Later in my life, Reeves and I became friends. What I most admired about him was how modest he was. He was never a poser or a show-off. He wasn't one of those guys who announced to the world how fit he was. Steve wore oversized sweat suits. Best body in the world and he covered it up.
Reeves was the real deal, and his influence on my life was truly profound. Here at last was a way out of my awkward youth. If I wasn't happy with myself as I was, maybe -- just maybe -- I could sculpt myself into the person I wanted to be.
After one of those Saturday matinees, I decided to start building myself up, so I went to the town junkyard and just started lifting whatever I could find: a brake drum, half a fender, a steering column. I started tying rocks together with ropes. I'd do curls with cinder blocks strapped to a broom handle. My friends probably looked at me back then and thought, "Oh, this too shall pass."
Soon enough, I found this dungeon-like weight-lifting place called Iron City. We're talking old school. The grizzled old stalwarts there would work out and smoke cigarettes at the same time. It was all iron bars, not a weight machine in sight. It was a hellhole to the passerby, but to me it was a godsend.
What I began realizing was that the body is nothing but an honest machine that will never cheat you. It gives back exactly what you give it, good or bad.Sly Moves
My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Will Power, and Live your Dream. Copyright © by Sylvester Stallone. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book very helpful and inspirational in my goals. I have begun using many of the outlined exercises and have been noticing results. I recommend this for anyone serious about improving their fitness level.
i really think evryone trying to or looking for better ways to get into shape should read this book. slymoves gives great workout techniuqs and and ways to refuel your body. slymoves also gives a great backround on how slavester stalone got to be where he is today by using the work out he includes in the book. since ive read this book i picked up on atleast 5 new exercises to my workout and a hand full of new foods to eat. If you are looking for a new work out program or just looking to improve your diet this is a book that should be added tou your libary
I lost 21 pounds and 6 inchers off my waist ...thanks to Sly's experience in fitness training. I learned so much ..... Thank You Sly!
I think this book is awsome! I'm 20yrs old and having read this book gives me the confidence I will have during my workouts. Anyone who is interested in achieving a great workout must read this book. -AWSOME!!!
I struggled to get a copy over here in the U.K. but as every Stallone fan will know when he releases something then its a must have!! Great diet tips and photographs and has helped me change my view on alot of things in life. Many thanks and keep up the excellent work!! Cant wait for Rambo 4
Stallone did it again! I have always been a big Sylvester Stallone fan, and when I heard he was coming out with a book with some of his ideas and tips, I couldn't wait. The man has literally 'molded' his body in many different ways for movie roles, and has learned over the years what works and what doesn't. Kudos also to his wife (Jennifer) for sharing her workout routine. She is an incredibly fit and inspiring role model also. (Mother of 3, and looks better than she did 10 years ago!) Just like you would NEVER guess that Sly is nearly 60. He is in better shape than most 30-year-olds, even in Hollywood. Thanks again Sly.
I am a 37 year old Rambo and Rocky fan working to achieve that build. I am also a believer in dreams and having read this book I can't believe he actually looks at life the same way I do. The guys at the fire station make fun of me all the time because of my adoration of Stallone but to me it's an honor. Sly, thank you very much. Your book has helped me focus even more clearly on my goals that ever before. You answered every question I've ever had concerning fitness and your passion for life is incredible. P.S. -- I only hope I can thank you in person one day.