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Great Fitness Movies for Motivation

“I believe in vigorous, violent, daily, systematic exercise to the point of muscle failure.” –Jack LaLanne

Friday marks what would have been the 100th birthday of the health icon and Godfather of Fitness, and LaLanne’s life and career are being honored in a new documentary, Anything Is Possible, which premiered in New York this week.

Honor LaLanne this weekend by watching one of these seven great films about fitness. Just make sure you bang out 100 pushups minimum following each act break. After all, as LaLanne said, “It’s not what you do some of the time that counts, it’s what you do all of the time that counts.”

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 …)

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!

G.I. Jane
Demi Moore might be the fittest person in any of these movies. Her one-armed pushup scene is damn impressive.

Fight Club
We’re breaking the first rule of Fight Club by talking about it, but how could you not include Brad Pitt at his most badass and jacked on a list like this?

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.

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.

Pain & Gain
“I believe in fitness” is the first line of this crime satire starring former Men’s Health cover guys Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. They’re two Florida bodybuilders just trying to live the American dream. Yes, they end up murdering a guy, but at least they look great doing it.

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