Ranking The Rocky Films By Training Montages

Rocky

One of the things that all of the Rocky movies are known for is the training sequences.  And they all usually start with Rocky not being in fighting shape.  He always winds up giving it some kind of crappy effort in the beginning before Adrienne kicks him into high gear. But which sequences are the best?  I used a number of criteria in determining my picks.  Some of those include music, humor factor, unintentional homoerotic activities and a number of other ones. Here are my picks for ranking the training montages in the Rocky Movies.

*Creed isn’t out yet but I’m guessing it’s got a kick ass training montage somewhere in it.

1.  Rocky IV

First of all there are 2 montages both being amazing.  You’ve got your regular montage where Rocky is trying his best, chopping down trees, running on mountains, old school vs. new school.  But then you have pump up training with the song “Hearts on Fire.”  When he crunches that picture of Drago, you know you’re in for a great fight.  The music pumps you up and the whole Cold War theme is pretty sweet here.  I gotta give this the one spot, though it was a tough decision.

2.  Rocky II

This is the scene after Adrienne says “win, win!”  and then Micky says “What are we waiting for?  Tickets!”  Does he say tickets?  I still don’t know to this day.  Well whatever he says, it’s awesome.   The log carrying and chicken catching were also incredible.  And he does pull ups in a kids playground!  Plus you got the whole running up the steps thing but it’s actually better than the first one because all those kids follow him and that kid screams “go, go , gooooooooooooooooo!”

3.  Rocky III

I think I actually like the 100% blatant African American toned music for when Clubber Lang is training better than when Rocky trains in this movie.  When Mr. T is doing those chin ups, it’s badass.  However, this one goes to the humor and homoerotic categories.  One of the funniest and best scenes of any Rocky is when he and Apollo race and then frolic in the ocean together.  That and when Rocky throws Paulie into the swimming pool.  It’s just funny that the theme of this movie was “the blacker a boxer you become, the better off you’ll be in this fight.”  While it was a great sequence I couldn’t give it number two because it’s kind of a joke.  Rocky II was a little more serious.

4.  Rocky

Some people might argue that the first Rocky should be higher up, simply because it’s the first and is a classic.  However, the only real good training stuff is when he eats the raw eggs and runs up the steps.  Face it, the training scenes evolved and got much better after the first one.   Yeah sure he hits the raw meat but there’s no music!  By the way the “Gonna Fly Now” music definitely has a porn feel to it.

5.  Rocky Balboa

I got two words for you.  “Hurtin’ Bombs.” That is all.

6.  Rocky V

I’d like to just think this movie was never made.  God this is awful.  “Go For It!”  I’m gonna be sick.


  • iStick

    Yeah, the first Rocky didn’t have the best training scene, but as a whole was the first or second best.

  • Josh

    I disagree with this list.. I think it goes

    Rocky IV – cant argue
    Rocky II – when Adrianne woke up.. I teared up a lil haha
    Rocky Balboa – was great
    Rocky I
    Rocky III
    Rocky V – a sad joke

  • MikeL

    I know the posts are old and not sure if anyone is still following this but because the Rocky training sequences are some of the most inspirational moments I’ve ever seen on film, no matter how unrealistic they are, I thought I needed to comment.

    My order of preference (most appreciated to least) is:

    Rocky IV
    Rocky II
    Rocky III
    Rocky

    Let’s face it, when Rocky fought Drago, they had jumped the shark so much and moved so far from the original idea of a boxer overcoming personal challenges and beating a much more polished opponent, that it was ridiculous. It almost should have been an animated cartoon because it was like he was fighting a super-hero caricature. Reality was checked at the door…I thought at the time I saw the movie, the only next logical step if they made a next movie would be for him to fight an alien or himself, since he defeated the highest level of opponent possible on our planet. He did end up fighting himself in a way in Rocky V because he trained Tommy Gun.

    But all that aside, seeing the things he did when he trained in the barn made me thing anything was possible! And the music was a fantastic marriage to the powerful footage. I recorded the training sequence from the film (not the soundtrack version) with all the noise and grunts and use that when I work out. So his training helped mine!

  • MikeL

    Another item.
    In Rocky 2, to start the training after Adrian says “Win”, I believe Micky says “Take this!”, referring to the baby. They attempt to make him sound so unpolished that he refers to their new baby as “this”!

  • Sean

    Awesome, I didnt know you write articles on here, its a good start man, not too bad at all