When it comes to machismo films, I definitely am a sucker for the Rocky movies. I vicariously lived and breathed Rocky and dreamed that someday, I too would be an underdog who would have a shot of fame and glory, and succeed. When news of Stallone broke about Australian Customs officials finding human growth hormone in Sly’s luggage, I was one of those devastated. I felt cheated of a dream that Rocky passed his pre-fight drug tests during his boxing matches against Apollo Creed. Yes, human growth hormones are not steroids, but they somehow are both performance-enhancers. In my mind, Sylvester Stallone was using hgh, he could be using steroids, too.
He did admit that HGH Jintropin made him feel and look good, especially since it was that year when Rambo IV was being shot. Moreover, the growth hormone helped his damaged tendons and thin bones. Then Rocky IV finally hit theaters and Dolph Lundgren was shown as the steroid-pumping muscles that Rocky had to beat. And at the back of my mind, I was still rooting for Rocky because I believe he had taken steroids himself in real life!
For the greater numbers who were so sure that Rambo and Rocky were taking steroids and performance-enhancing drugs, the airport scandal was their validation. I did recover, and I believe most of Sly’s fans, too, for the next few years, his physically demanding roles where he did most of the stunts proceeded to hit the box office.
Yet, at every shoot, he incurred many injuries. In Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren followed Sly when he said, “Punch me as hard as you can in the chest.” When Sly woke up four days later, he was at St. John’s Hospital’s intensive care. A metal plate was also inserted on him when he broke his neck during an Expendables fight scene with Steve Austin.
For actors wielding characters of strength and endurance, one can not help but assume that steroids and other muscle-enhancing drugs help them get the build and physique required of them in movies. With Sylvester Stallone’s admittance to the growth hormone, steroids are highly likely at play, as well. Moreso, training with two-time Mr. Olympia Franco Columbu, also a confessed steroid user, Sly may have used steroids as part of his training regimen and cycled back in the day.
Now that Sly is not getting any younger, he evidently is aging very gracefully. He sure does not look as big and ripped as he was during his Rocky and Rambo days but his sinews are still defined. If Sylvester Stallone is using steroids, he does it with just the right dose coupled with the same dedication and hard work to maintain his body. It’s not bad for a man three years shy of living 70.
But just as he inspired theatergoers in 1976, he still has a cult following of men who are also in their prime. Who would not want to have the same physique as Sylvester Stallone if you were his age? If he did take steroids, it surely did well for him.