We all need motivation to start working out, sometimes good movie can inspire us to lift up our butts and do something.
- Pumping Iron
This documentary from 1977 introduced many Americans to both the sport of bodybuilding and its best athlete, one Arnold Schwarzenegger. So in addition to being a great film about fitness, we also have it to thank for The Terminator, Conan the Barbarian, and Total Recall. (Also, Jingle All the Way and his “Governator” years, but still …)
Set in a time before Nike, Hoosiers is the classic underdog story of a scrappy basketball team from small-town Indiana that makes it to the state championship. Watching Gene Hackman yell out the “picket fence” play to the team is the emotional equivalent of a post-game high five.
Make it a double-feature: Hoop Dreams
Take it off the couch: Every baller needs to work on their jumping skills. Get the power to drive down the lane and spring into the air by following these foolproof pointers for increasing your vertical jump.
3.Pain & Gain
Marky Mark and the Rock star as gym rats who plot to kidnap an unscrupulous businessman played by Tony Shalhoub. What’s not to love? This story is a great takedown of the “bro subculture” of guys who value brawn more than brains.
Sly Stallone tried five times, but he never topped (and never will top) the original Rocky. The Best Picture Oscar winner from 1978 contains some of the most inspiring training scenes ever committed to film. Just watch Rock go!
5. Remember the Titans
Football movies are plentiful and range in quality, but Titans gets our vote for pure inspiration. Consider the ingredients: A dash of Denzel Washington, a splash of historical setting, a heap of underdog scrappiness. Mix them together and you’ll get this uplifting Disney movie. Result: the best pep rally ever.
Make it a double-feature: The Blind Side
Take it off the couch: Do a halftime hustle. Instead of stuffing your face during halftime (or looking at kittens) get off your duff and do this routine (warning: jump squats). Then claim some healthier victory nachos.
6.The (original) Karate Kid
Wax on, wax off. Paint the fence. Training balance while standing on the bow of a rowboat. It could be argued that Pat Morita as karate instructor Mr. Miyagi was one of the original trainers to feature movement-based training as a key component of his workout regimen. Eighties heart throb Ralph Macchio portrays underdog Daniel who is training to compete in a karate tournament. “No bad student, only bad teacher. Teacher say, student do,” is one of Mr. Miyagi’s most memorable quotes, and one that is applicable to any fitness effort.
Tom Hardy goes beast mode in this great MMA film from a few years ago. He doesn’t say much as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with his brother in the finals of a major tournament, but looks physically capable of tearing someone’s head off.
This over-the-top violent movie put Gerard Butler on the map, but if you don’t want to go hit the gym after watching the Spartans in action then you don’t have a soul.
One of our most popular workouts ever is inspired from this blockbuster about the 300 Spartan men who went to war against thousands of Persians. (Try the workout for yourself.) It’s the film that made Gerard Butler (and more notably, Gerard Butler’s abs) a star.
Yes, I have seen this movie because of my wife (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), but we can’t have a list of top fitness movies without including Channing Tatum. In this movie, he’s a ne’er-do-well teen who turns to dancing in an effort to fit in and turn his life around. The soundtrack and dancing scenes will make you want to push the coffee table out of the way and boogie in your living room
10.Fight Club, Snatch and Troy
It was hard to decide which Brad Pitt movie was most worthy of recognition on this list—hence, the three-way tie. Whether it’s as Mickey, the bare knuckle-fighting Irish gypsy in Snatch; Tyler Durden, the scrappy anti-hero in Fight Club; or the warrior Achilles in Troy, each role featured Pitt’s physical prowess. Guys like these movies for the action, while women like these movies because of Brad. Regardless of your reason for watching, these films have the power to boost your motivation for training.