Nearly three decades since his iconic role, Jason Scott Lee is again in top shape.Read article
Fitness in the movies is much more subtle than you might realize. Whether they’re gearing up for battle, trying to impress, or just working out some deep-seeded psychological issues, these movie main characters – and their most fit moments – are so intense, you’ll be asking your screen if it needs a spot.
Let’s get the Rocky moment out of the way early. To avenge the death of his dear friend, the recently corpse-d Apollo Creed, the Italian Stallion exiles himself to Siberia to train for a fight against Soviet cyborg Ivan Drago. While Drago trains like a high-tech maniac under the scrutiny of Russian scientists, Rocky goes analog by way of lifting rocks, outrunning cars, and shoulder-pressing ox yokes.
As the first woman to undergo U.S. Navy Special Warfare training, Demi Moore’s buzzed badass Lt. Jordan O’Neil toughed it through every challenge her sadistic drill instructor could dole out. Her gritty one-armed pushups and clenched-teeth chin-ups will make you sweat just watching.
How do we know Ron Burgundy did 1,000 bicep curls in his office? Because he counted them out loud, of course. His subsequent diagnosis of a “deep burn” stretching from the “uvulus to the upper dorsimus muscles” was also way too specific to suspect.
He didn’t do it for world peace. He didn’t do it for civil rights. He didn’t even do it to burn calories. He just felt like running. And, over the course of three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours, Forrest Gump ran across the United States five times, logging a grand total of 15,248 miles.
Andy Samberg’s buffoon stuntman Rod Kimble athletically navigates all obstacles in a nearby forest of solitude, one of which is a conveniently-placed pommel horse. What’s more impressive is that his feats of raw athleticism — including shadow boxing, dancing, and some early-stage Parkour — were all accomplished while drinking a beer and puffing a cigarette.
You know the story — a group of ragtag misfits bands together to become the unlikely pee-wee District Five champions. Considering how terrible the team was to begin with — practicing with garbage cans on barely frozen ponds — their transformation into a squad capable of executing the “Flying V” was a testament to their progressive fitness and athletic turnaround. Quack!
“In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1,000 now.” So says the titular Psycho, played by a lean and ripped Christian Bale. The rest of his routine, which also includes jumping rope and calisthenics, is fairly basic but, hey, it was the ’80s. CrossFit hadn’t been invented yet.
In his major American film debut, Jean-Claude Van Damme (playing controversial karate man Frank Dux) battles his way to the finals of a brutal underground tournament known as The Kumite. That might be fitness-affirming enough but, just to show off, Dux fights (and wins!) the final round completely blinded by a treacherous handful of salt to the eyes.