7 Motivational Movies for Athletes and Fitness Enthusiasts

Written by Gilberto Rosas on January 6, 2016

4 min  read

It happens to all of us. We get motivated to do something then as the days go by, we lose that initial push and seek motivation elsewhere: from YouTube videos, Instagram picture quotes, and inspirational stories of people beating the odds to achieve great feats. 

What I have listed here are 5 of the most motivational movies I have seen that I felt absolutely inspired to take action towards going after what I wanted. Hopefully, after watching these it will have the same effect on you as it did with me….

1. Warrior

I could watch this movie over and over and still feel the same intensity emanating from this scene where Tom Hardy knocks a guys head clean off with such a focused and ferocious intensity. Nothing screams beast mode more than a guy who rises up in the ranks and earns respect through only the hard work and effort of his will. When I first saw this movie, I would find myself trying to emulate Tommy from the movie and developing a warrior-like modality where you convince yourself that there is absolutely no one who will get in your way. Simply putting myself in that head space made me feel like a warrior all throughout my body.

Try it: simply convince yourself and BELIEVE (key word) that you are unstoppable and a force to be reckoned with and your performance will absolutely reflect it. After all, time and time again, you hear athletes talk about how their game is mostly mental and partially physical. 

Warning: You do still need the practice and hours put in of relentless work. Once you have that, this will further your progression in your performance.

Having said that, watch this video of Tommy completely aligned with his inner warrior and with the complete confidence that this man across from him will fall to the ground before he does..


2. Batman: The Dark Knight Rises

One word: adversity. I don’t think there’s very much more adverse than having your city hate you for having done the right thing and then soon after returning to the spotlight, being sent to a dark pit to rot whilst enduring excruciating physical and mental suffering. Not only is this movie packed with action but it shows the perseverance of the human spirit.

Bruce Wayne’s will is undoubtedly unbreakable and I think somewhere inside of us, we see the same unshakeable spirit. Perhaps that is why we love movies that show us the potential of human achievement because deep down we crave for more in our lives and as the insatiable beings that we are, we will stop at nothing until we get it.

3. Forever Strong

Watch this scene and try NOT to be moved by this beastly chant…

If you’ve ever seen the New Zealand All Blacks play a game of rugby or even warm up then you know that rugby players are some tough SOB’s. If there is one thing you will definitely take away from this movie is aggressiveness and not just in the physical way but much further than that.

Think of something that you’ve been hesitant to do, whether it be hitting that next personal record or trying out something new you’ve been practicing. Whatever it may be, be aggressive in going after it. Be relentless. This means not hesitating, not doubting, not worrying, but rather doing and doing it better than anyone else. 

4. 300

I remember watching this movie the night before my first football game in high school and feeling like an absolute warrior. I envisioned myself stepping into that 50 yard battlefield and facing our opposition with an absolute confidence in my skill and my strength. We weren’t the biggest team, yet we made up for it in the hours of hard work in the hot summer for hours on end.

What really stood out to me is how these men believed with all their hearts that they would conquer their enemy or die trying. There was no in between. They would go out there and give it their 110% or die as a result of coming just short of that. Here’s a scene to illustrate just what I’m talking about.

Most of the time, people don’t believe they are capable of certain feats but the second they believe in their ability, amazing things start to happen.

Question: What perceived disadvantage are you hanging on to in your mind?

5. Facing the Giants

Tell me you don’t feel inspired by this scene.

Two words: mind power. Our eyes are very deceitful. Often what we see is not what is really the truth. Our mind can be our biggest ally or are biggest enemy and the choice is completely up to us.

Our bodies were made to do incredible things. The body always follows the mind. Often, you hear coaches say that it’s 80% mental and maybe it’s even more than that. Our mind has a way of playing tricks on us. You may see an impossible feat but in reality, it is your brain lying to you to keep you in a state of self preservation, otherwise known as the comfort zone. 

Use you mind as your ally. See victory in your hands and visualize you completing that “impossible” goal. Remember that anything and everything around you was once a thought in someone’s head. It was a thought that they kept so strongly no matter how many thought it was impossible and the evidence of this can be seen in our technological advancements and simple day to day machines we take for granted. Nothing is impossible.

After all, impossible is just a big word tossed around by small minds. 

6. Rocky IV

Watch this before working out for massive inspiration!

Don’t get me wrong, I love every single Rocky movie, but there is just something so epic about this training scene that I just had to show you.

If anything, it places a benchmark for the level of hard work that is needed to train your body for a peak performance, in whatever form that may be.

You can see the determination and tenacity radiate from their eyes and pour into their training.

As you go about your workout, think about how hard you should be training. Train harder than anyone there, but most importantly train harder than you did yesterday and amazing results are sure to come to you.

7. The Express

Ernie Davis is the perfect example of quiet confidence. He had crowds of people talking down to him and putting him down constantly but he didn’t let that get to him. He had a strong sense of inner confidence in his ability and in himself. He let his actions speak rather than his words. 

What you do speaks so LOUD that I cannot hear what you say

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is an absolutely powerful quote on character has shaped how I try to lead my life. Do less talking and more doing. Have more bit than bark. A lot of people talk about what they’re going to do and only a few actually believe it in their very core. 

Got haters?

It’s okay.

Let them talk because what you DO is greater than what they have to SAY.  



Let me know your thoughts.
Comment below!