4 Motivational Fitness Documentaries to Stream on Netflix

Fitness Tips

4 Motivational Fitness Documentaries to Stream on Netflix

Netflix® streaming services offer a number of amazing viewing options, from clever women’s prison dramas to bad 80s slashers.

But while watching television tends to be a sedentary activity, Netflix also has a wide selection of inspirational fitness documentaries sure to motivate you to jump off the sofa (just like these other fitness movies Netflix has to offer).

Bonus – if you find your mind wandering during your cardio sessions and have trouble getting into the right mindset, Precor networked consoles now have Netflix and other apps available at your fingertips to add that little touch of entertainment to get you through any workout.

Check out four of the most powerful fitness documentaries below.

Pumping Iron (1977)

Pumping Iron Netflix

Released in 1977, this documentary follows Austrian bodybuilder – and future Governator – Arnold Schwarzenegger in his quest to win a sixth Mr. Olympia title. The movie begins with a fresh-faced and mega-muscled Arnold working on his ballet moves (no joke). It only gets more fun from there. While one recent review complained about the classification of “Pumping Iron” as a “classic” film, Arnold’s singular focus and drive make it very obvious why he was the world’s pre-eminent body builder.

Usain Bolt: The Fastest Man Alive (2012)

Usain Bolt Netflix

Follow the Jamaican sprinter as he trains to be the first sprinter to win 3 golds (in the 100 and 200 meters and the 100 meter relay) in consecutive Olympic Games. Diagnosed with hyperactivity as a child, Usain’s determination and drive are palatable as he trains -- at one point running through water.

“The Fastest Man Alive” shows the great lengths to which people can and will go to achieve their dreams.

SEC Storied: Lolo Jones (2012)

Lolo Jones Netflix

With good looks, enthusiasm and a lively personality, you might think Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones leads a charmed life. While she may today, it wasn't always like that: Jones was born into poverty and, by the time she was in third grade, resided in the basement of a church.

The underdog describes her philosophy like this: “It’s my job to hurdle over obstacles, but I've hurdled over so many life obstacles… it’s like sometimes bad things are going to happen to you in your life, or you may not have the great, ideal home situation to grow up in. Those things can make you stronger if you just learn how to get over them.”

The amazing documentary reminds us that while we all have our hurdles, we CAN jump over them.

30 for 30: Into the Wind (2010)

Into the Wind Netflix

We’ve saved the best for last.  There are few tales of triumph over adversity as inspirational as Terry Fox running across Canada.

Why so inspirational? Mr. Fox has only one leg. After losing his right leg to osteosarcoma, the brave Fox resolves to run “a marathon a day,” traversing his country from coast to coast to draw attention to, and financial help for, cancer research.

His story, though tragic, is a testament to selflessness, determination and spirit.

And if you need something lighter after ‘Into the Wind’…

Bonus: Work Out with Jackie Warner

Consider it the Real World of fitness shows. Work Out has very little to do with fitness, but due to the 0.1% body fat average of the cast, it WILL inspire you to work on those muscle groups!

Airing from 2006-2008, this show's three seasons follow L.A. personal trainer Jackie Warner as she works with a variety of B-listers (soap stars and Real Housewife-types) to build their ideal bodies. Aiming to be the best gym in L.A., the spiky-haired coach is surrounded by a staff of impossibly pretty millennials constantly embroiled in one drama or another.

Is there a fitness documentary that inspires you?  If so, let us know in the comments!