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Eye of the tiger! The 5 most testosterone-fuelled Rocky montages to prepare you for Creed II


The training montage is a wondrous thing, able to take someone from lowly amateur to unstoppable pro in a matter of minutes. With the perfect inspiring song coupled with some clever editing and a fade out, perhaps even you could become heavyweight champion of the world.

The montage has been a staple of the Rocky series since the very beginning, when Sylvester Stallone's titular pugilist Rocky Balboa took on the streets of Philadelphia – and won.

With the eagerly anticipated Creed II set to enter Cineworld this November, we strap on our trainers, throw on our hoodies and run through the most testosterone-fuelled montages yet to get you pumped…

5. Both battles won – Creed (2015)

We begin with the most recent instalment in the series, 2015's Creed. Introducing the world to Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), son of Rocky's enemy-turned-friend Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), Black Panther director Ryan Coogler delivers a wonderful update to the Rocky formula while paying tribute to the beloved series' previous work. This, of course, includes one emotional montage.

Ducking and diving between Adonis Creed's shadow boxing and Rocky's battle with cancer, this is a more dramatic montage than most, as we see our boxing hero struggle with the disease, all the while remaining the mumbling brute we all love.

As Adonis becomes faster and stronger, so too does Rocky and as the classic Rocky brass plays over the sight of Creed sprinting down the streets of Philadelphia, you cannot help but feel that you can defeat anything.

4. Footprints in the sand – Rocky III (1982)

As soon as the classic Rocky theme swells, you can feel the testosterone flow through your veins. Cut to Rocky and new bestie Apollo running down the beach together and you know you're in for a motivating montage.

As the two men run, swim and spar together, to the sound of the timeless 'Getting Stronger', Rocky gradually becomes faster and stronger than the man he once idolised. There's something wonderfully bromantic about the whole affair, culminating in the pair embracing in the sea in such a way that is almost too manly for mere mortals.

As the student becomes the master, the guitar solo whines and whirs intensely, and you fist pump the air with a sense of triumph never felt before.

3. Blunt force trauma – Rocky Balboa (2006)

By this stage a geriatric, legendary heavyweight, Rocky Balboa is given one last chance to cement his legacy forever, and, against the advice of every one of his friends and family, he decides to go for it.

What follows is a brutal montage, with none of the boxing finesse we've grown accustomed to. No, this is all about heavy-lifting and restoring brute strength to an ageing behemoth. We bear witness to a man and his iron, interspersed with the fancy training of his much younger opponent, one who remains completely unaware of the monster he will have to face in the ring.

2. 'Hearts on Fire' – Rocky IV (1985)

The montage that single-handedly ended the Cold War (probably), Rocky versus 'The Siberian Bull' Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren, who re-appears in Creed II) is inspiring on a global scale. For the first time ever, Rocky is taken out of his precious United States and forced to train in the Soviet Union.

What follows is technology versus nature, as Rocky uses the world around him to build himself up, while Drago takes advantage of the best equipment the government has to offer. Our hero climbs snow-covered mountains, lifts logs and grows a beard as his opponent runs around in circles within what can only be described as a laboratory.

As John Cafferty's ludicrously rousing 'Hearts on Fire' fills you with victory, there will be no mountain, no fight and no giant Russian that can stand in your way.

1. Beat that meat – Rocky (1976)

The first Rocky film is the ultimate underdog story, so it stands to reason that it would have the best testosterone-fuelled montage of the entire series.

Rocky, the mumbling Philly southpaw with a heart of gold, is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enter the ring with the reigning heavyweight champ. The first Rocky montage cemented the iconography of the series – from the rousing theme tune to the eating of raw eggs, to running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first Rocky montage is not only a cinematic classic, it gave people the soundtrack and the images to train to.

So pull on your grey sweatshirt, turn up the theme tune and feel that testosterone pumping, as you jog on over to your local butchers and start punching their produce.

Creed II is released in Cineworld on 30th November, so tweet us @Cineworld with your favourite Rocky montages.

Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.