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The History of Movie Training Montages

Recapping the best and worst training montages throughout film history.

Rocky IV


On that note, came the era of many fitness sequences that look painfully campy such as The Karate Kid and Teen Wolf. Rocky IV was no exception, distinguishing itself as possibly the most over the top training montage of all time, even more so than, well, Over the Top, the trucker arm wrestling movie also starring Sylvester Stallone. Rocky IV features the training montage that never ends—you may foolishly think it’s about to finish after a mere three and half minutes but no—a simple wipe effect and a song change reignite the exercising and it ends up clocking in at nearly eight painful minutes. The juxtaposition of Rocky to the clearly evil Russian boxer Ivan Drago portrays Americans as the obvious good guys of the Cold War. It’s also pretty clear that Rocky has a hard time finding a gym in the frozen tundra of Russia—doing local fitness-related activities like pulling a sleigh, chopping wood and getting chased by a car to get in shape, as opposed to Drago, who has an amazing training facility equipped with futuristic training machines, a huge team of scientists, a bunch of screens with random numbers on them and a lot of threatening red lighting. Oh, and steroids, because he cheats. This remains the only montage to have won a war for the U.S., as the Cold War ended shortly afterward. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. NEXT: I will unscrew your head and sh*t down your neck >>


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