Work off that Thanksgiving Dinner with our Rocky Workout Mix
by Lou Hare, Guilty Pleasures Host
Of the many things associated with the Rocky Cinematic Universe, music may be the underrated glue. Quibble about the varying qualities of the entries all you want, but the soundtracks have always been on point. Given the RCU’s reliance on training montages and fight sequences, music has played a vital role in the series’ longevity. This has led to a very specific genre of music that, while not invented by the RCU, was certainly perfected: Workout Bangers. It is in that spirit that I present to you the Ultimate RCU Workout Banger Collection. This mix gives you a 30-minute workout along with a warm-up and cool down that spans the franchise.
Fanfare – Bill Conti (Rocky)
Open your workout with the music that opens the RCU. This fanfare contains a small sampling of the iconic orchestrations you’ll hear later in your workout, so get your stretch on a think about what’s to come.
(Alternate Warm-Up: It’s A Fight – Three 6 Mafia (Rocky Balboa) Time – 3:07 If you need something with a little more edge, go with this theme for Rocky’s opponent Mason “The Line” Dixon)
Last Breath – Future (Creed)
Time - 3:59
If you’re going to go the distance, you got to start strong, but not blow yourself up. This track from the Creed soundtrack is perfect for focusing at the top the workout without going into overdrive.
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (Rocky III)
Time - 4:03
All right, no more messing around. One of the biggest hits of the RCU, this all-time rock anthem will kick it up a notch. Still, it’s not as fast-paced as some of the other songs, so it’s a great choice to really get in that early-workout zone.
No Easy Way Out – Richard Tepper (Rocky IV)
Time - 4:21
Whether you’re pressing through that first workout wall or processing your grief in your Lamborghini, this track makes it clear: There is no easy way out, no short cut home, so you might as well press on.
Going The Distance – Bill Conti (Rocky)
Time – 2:37
The best of all of the fight montage scores, the track starts ominous and intense, then segues into the inspiration-rousing bombast we’ve come to expect. A strong pick-me-up at the halfway point in your workout.
Living In America – James Brown (Rocky IV)
Time – 4:42
You’re on the back end, time to have some fun. Easily the most fun song in the RCU, as long as you forget about what comes after it in Rocky IV.
Gonna Fly Now – Bill Conti (Rocky)
Time – 2:48
What more do you need? Here’s the ultimate anthem, a song guaranteed to make any athlete a super-athlete. One of the most identifiable songs in cinema history.
Lord Knows/Fighting Stronger – Meek Mill, Jhene Aiko, Ludwig Goransson
Time – 4:54
Few songs can follow Gonna Fly Now, but this film score/hip-hop track comes close. It starts slow, but builds in intensity, giving you that focus for the homestretch. Best paired with neighborhood locals on crotch-rockets.
Hearts On Fire – John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band
Time – 4:12
“The moment of truth is here,” sayeth the poet John Cafferty. Some may be surprised that this closes out the mix rather than the more iconic Gonna Fly Now, but as the most faced-paced song on this list, there is no better song for a strong finish than the anthem that helped Rocky climb a mountain. No pain!
Redemption – Bill Conti (Rocky II)
Time – 2:34
You went the distance! If you’re not being carted off in an ambulance like Rocky & Apollo at the beginning of Rocky II, cool down and stretch to the low-key theme to the most low-key Rocky film.
Lou Hare is an adjunct professor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. Lou is the host of Guilty Pleasures on the Front Row Network and a regular on many other FRN shows. His greatest joy in life is making his friends watch terrible movies and talk about them..... and being a GIF.