Let’s face it. There are very few people who enjoy working out and exercising because they truly love it. For the rest of us, motivation is essential to getting to the gym and sweating it out to get fit. Television and the media have played a key role in helping motivate people to exercise. Whether it keeps us “distracted” during a drawn out cardio workout or provides us with “visual” incentives to work harder and set new goals, the celebrities (and characters they play on screen) can motivate us to get moving.
Movies are a cornerstone of 21st century culture. Not only do they entertain us, they provide us with physical role models with perfect teeth, perfect hair, the perfect wardrobe and perfect bodies. Regardless of what motivates you, movies happen to give us a reason to improve ourselves from head to toe.
Whether you are a man or a woman, the following are two “Top 5 Lists” that have been known to get people to the gym and breaking out a sweat:
- Top 5 List of Inspirational Movies (stories that inspire us to overcome physical barriers and challenges)
- Top 5 List of Motivational Movies (chiseled bodies and physiques that inspire us to lose those extra five pounds)
The two lists combined create the “Today’s Fitness Trainer Top 10 List of Inspirational/Motivational Movies”.
Top 5 List of Inspirational Movies to Get Fit
This “Top 5 List” of inspirational movies is based primarily on the story line (but also takes into account the physical characteristics of the actors in the film). These stories of adversity and challenge and the ability to overcome obstacles is inspiring, regardless of the goals you are trying to achieve in life.
#5. Enter the Dragon (1973)
Bruce Lee is timeless in his first movie debut in North America. The fight scenes are incredible, the feats of strength and agility and his 6-pack abs had people opening up martial arts studios and doing sit-ups and one finger push-ups in their living rooms.
#4. G.I. Jane (1997)
Demi Moore gets “tough” for this role as she plays an underdog Navy Seal in training. One arm push-ups, chin-ups and gritty dialogue make this a movie that anyone can appreciate.
#3. Gladiator (2000)
“A general who became a slave. A slave who became a gladiator. A gladiator who defied an emperor.”
Russell Crowe digs deep and comes back from great tragedy to seek revenge and defy the odds. A truly inspiring film!
#2. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
“Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey, there is a love.”
Clint Eastwood and Hillary Swank are an unlikely pair as Hillary dreams of establishing herself as a professional boxer. Gritty, heart warming and a real inspiration!
#1. Rocky (1976)
“His whole life was a million-to-one shot.”
Sylvester Stallone’s debut add many more layers to why this film is inspiring. As the film’s writer and lead actor, he was told many times that this film would never be made. Not only does the story speak to the “eye of the tiger” inside us all, this movie also won three Academy Awards (Oscars) and several other awards. Now that’s a story about overcoming adversity and exceeding expectations!
Honorable Mentions: Linda Hamilton in “The Terminator” (1984) and Mark Walhburg in “The Fighter” (2011).
Top 5 List of Motivational Movies to Get Fit
This “Top 5 List” of motivational movies is based primarily on the physical characteristics of the actors on screen. Whether you are male or female, it’s hard to deny that seeing six pack abs, well defined muscles and perfectly proportioned bodies can be motivating and can inspire some extra effort and sweat at the gym. Whether you aspire to look like your ideal role model or want a physique to match, these movies offer up lots of screen time with beautiful bodies!
#5. American Psycho (2000)
“Killer looks. Killer Inside.”
Although the plot of this movie is very dark and disturbing, Christian Bale doesn’t fail to grab your attention with his lean body and chiseled muscles.
#4. Fight Club (1999)
“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”
Brad Pitt and Ed Norton take the shirts off and get their fists up in this psychological thriller. Brad is typical “Brad” with his lean looks and chiseled obliques. Since the movie’s release the “Brad Pitt Fight Club Workout” still has people talking.
#3. Catwoman (2004)
“It all started on the day that I died. If there had been an obituary, it would have described the unremarkable life of an unremarkable woman, survived by no one. But there was no obituary, because the day that I died was also the day I started to live.”
Halle Barry dawns the “cat suit” in her debut as a leading lady in a major motion picture (a Halloween favorite since the movie’s release). Skin tight leather, the sexy mask and flashes of skin make for an eyeful for men and motivation for women wanting to dress up like the feline character. Meow!
#2. Magic Mike (2012)
“When your life is a fantasy, how do you deal with reality?”
This movie is based on the lives of a group of male strippers and highlights an impressive ensemble of masculine perfection and athletic ability all on one stage. Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello make for lots of reasons to pick up the extra set of dumbbells or add 20 minutes of cardio to your workout!
#1. The Avengers (2012)
“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could …”
Thor, Captain America, Black Widow and Ironman. This is the ultimate collection of human specimens (including both men and women) that can’t be ignored! Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. are not only an impressive group of physical specimens, they also display power, strength, agility and feats of athleticism that can get anyone excited to get moving!
Honorable Mentions: Gerard Butler in “300” (2006) and Angelina Jolie in “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001).
There are many movies that motivate and inspire us to go beyond the limits and boundaries we set for ourselves. The question then becomes, “What movie(s) motivate and inspire you when you are struggling to stay on your workout program?”. If you feel there are movies that we should consider for future lists, please let us know!