It's not uncommon for a movie to stir up a variety of emotions within you. It could be one that has you rooting for the underdog (Po, the out-of-place Panda), feeling inspired to take on your culinary dream (Chef, or Ratatouille), or our favorite kind, the one that urges you to hit the gym because Bradley Cooper's transformation in American Sniper is giving you all sorts of feels. Well, here are some Oscar-nominated ones that struck a chord with our fab and fit ambitions.
American Sniper (2014)
Bradley Cooper plays a marksman, a US Navy SEAL in the film, a role for which he put on 40lb muscle weight (went from 185lb to a whopping 225lb) in just 10 weeks. His dedication in the movie and commitment to the character are both great lessons. “Super-setting exercises that target the same muscle groups, then going until you can’t do another rep ensures the recruitment of maximum muscle fiber at all times, which equals more muscle growth,” said Bradley, when talking about how he trained for the role with Men's Health magazine. For a complete breakdown of his workout and diet, head here.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Inspired by true life stories, this movie is about women’s contribution to the sport of professional baseball. The movie teaches valuable life lessons on chasing one's dream and never giving up. If a sporting activity is the way you like to get your fitness fix, perhaps some skilled training under a professional will do you good, help you push yourself, and make things interesting by tapping into your competitive side.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
A classic film, it tells the story of two Olympics runners—one, a devout Christian, and the other a Jew—fighting to overcome prejudice. Amid all the drama, all that shines true is the passion and dedication these athletes have to chase their dreams, running toe to toe right through the movie. If nothing else, this one will make you want to hit the track for sure.
Kung Fu Panda (2008)
A belly full of jelly, and no, we're not talking about Santa, we're talking about Po! The successful franchise of Kung Fu Panda traces the journey of an obese underdog who trains to become the ultimate warrior. As endearing as the character is, martial arts by The Furious Five, motivational speeches by Master Shifu, and life lessons by Master Oogway create a much bigger impact than you realize.
The story of a woman trying to break into the very male-dominated world of boxing is both inspirational and path-breaking. And now that women’s boxing is in the Olympics, it strikes many more chords with girls who are interested in taking up the sport, or those who simply use it as a tool to get fit—kickboxing and boxing have gone mainstream in most gyms. In the end, it also boils down to #GirlPower, as you root for the character to make her mark as a boxer.
The Karate Kid (1984)
The film tells the story about a young boy who undergoes training in martial arts by a master and who must then participate in the annual Kung Fu Championship in China. Filled with terrific training montages, one can't help but feel inspired by the dedication of young Dre Parker, and the many motivational speeches by Mr Miyagi.
Remember the Titans (2000)
Synonymous with football, the movie also spoke about how sports can break racial and social barriers. Denzel Washington’s character overcomes racial prejudices while sticking to his ethics and teaching his students the meaning of teamwork—a lot of inspirational messages can be gleaned from the film. Also, considering the movie is about America's favorite sport, we're certain it will hit home for many viewers.