3x3: exercise

This topic is not sports events. We’ve already done sports. And some of us think there is a difference between exercise and training sequences in movies…do with that what you will.

We discuss our favorite instances of exercise in movies at the 1:45 mark of the Qt3 Movie Podcast of Captain America: Civil War.

Kelly Wand
3. Alien
2. The Karate Kid

  1. Unbreakable

Tom Chick
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

  1. Your Friends & Neighbors

3. Bridesmaids
2. A Shock to the System

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

What are your favorite instances of exercising in movies? Listen to the show to hear us talk about ours and to hear Dingus read a bunch of great listener picks. Send in your choices for next week’s topic to [email protected].

Zoolander - when the 4 models are exercising in their shared loft, trying to cheer up Derek. “Earth to Brent…”

Rocky 3 - The montage before the big fight in the USSR, with Rocky training using old-school methods interlaced with his opponent using the latest and greatest Russian exercise technology.

Rocky 1 - Rocky running through Philly, culminating in the iconic run up the stairs

Sorry to do 2 Rocky’s in the same list, but both are just great moments.

I’m so mad that I didn’t email in on time, although maybe it’s better to see this than hear it being read about:


I don’t know if it counts because they’re half training/half exercise: the montages in Edge of Tomorrow.

Pain and Gain - There’s a moment where Mark Wahlberg “accidentally” kills a guy and he starts to freak out. “I need to get in some reps,” he says, and grabs two dumb-bells and starts doing some curls to help calm himself down. The Rock sits down to console him with a story about how he almost killed a guy, but pauses to get in some of that personal trainer rhetoric. “I know how it feels to think that you just killed a guy, and it hurts. <personal trainer voice> Yeah. Get it.”

2001: A Space Odyssey - As I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot of 2001 that I forget about outside of HAL going rogue and singing Daisy; a lot of long, quiet shots that just let you soak in the atmosphere. One of these is the first scene of the Discovery One. We see Frank Poole jogging his way around the spherical interior of the ship in one continuous shot. While it feels a bit gratuitous, we’re given a good minute or two to get a good look at the great ship design, and see things like the stasis pods that the other crew members are in. For me, 2001 is the first modern science fiction movie to go beyond cardboard sets and the rockets on a string of the 1950s.

Rocky - The iconic song that follows Rocky through the streets of Philadelphia is really the only song you need to get you through your morning jog or any activity you might be doing. Even when changing diapers to this song, I feel like a champ.

When Dwayne Johnson finally gets his lifetime achievement Oscar, scenes from Pain and Gain will feature prominently on the reel they show before he gives his speech.


Pumping Iron?

Yes. But, which scene and why? There’s that thing where Arnold talks about getting a BJ, but I don’t think that sex counts as exercise, unless it’s simulated sex exercise. Even then, he’s just talking about it and not doing it, but I wonder if a scene just talking about exercise counts.

Bill Murray doing pushups in Stripes. Every time he pisses of Sgt Hulka, it immediately cuts to him doing pushups as punishment. Also, at the beginning of the film, mainly for the dialogue between him and Harold Ramis as he struggles to wring out 5.

“That’s none!”

“I’m praying.”

“you should be.”

Excuse me if this off the subject a little bit, but just take a guess at how much I can bench press. Come on, what do you think? Take a guess.

TranquilityBase reminded me of a movie I haven’t seen in ages. The original Police Academy has a punishment exercise scene that always stuck out in my mind. I don’t remember the offense, but Guttenberg’s Mahoney must run as punishment. His keeper is told, “Run him until he throws up. Then, just after he throws up… run him some more.”

I don’t know. 315 pounds?


Which brings to mind Mayo doing pushups as well as the obstacle course in An Officer and a Gentleman

3. American Beauty. Kevin Spacey’s Lester Burnham asks Scott Bakula how he can maximize the results of his midlife crisis workout. It turns out that pumping weights in the garage while smoking pot and listening to All Along The Watchtower—not the Hendrix cover, but the original Dylan—can give him such an effective body that it turns his neighbor gay.

2. I don’t even know what you’d call this, but one of the routines that Jackie Chan’s uncle makes him do in the first Drunken Master movie involves him hanging by his ankles from a bamboo structure. He has teeny tiny cups in each hand. He fills them with water from two big buckets on the ground, and does a stomach-crunch-from-hell to empty the cups into another bucket up top.

When Wong Fei Hung tries to trick his napping uncle by pouring water directly into the top bucket, the uncle wakes up, reviews his progress, then makes him empty the bucket with the same two cups. It’s a Sisyphean struggle, Charlie Brown.

1. This is totally an exercise, with no further discussion allowed except acknowledgement of how appropriate it is. The emo vampire Tom Hiddleston has been shown to have an interest in musical instruments in the moody vampire character study Only Lovers Left Alive. At one point he picks up a violin and starts running through scales. Now it’s probably someone else playing the violin, not Tom the actor, but it looked and sounded so cool that in real life it inspired me to start playing the acoustic guitar. Come to think of it, I should learn how to do scales.

My runners-up were ones that you guys picked already. The weightlifting scene in Unbreakable, the morning jogs in Rocky, the nighttime jog with air-punching in 2001. And of course Danny DeVito climbing over the big wall in Renaissance Man.

My wife picked the dancing/learning scenes in Dirty Dancing and Captain America’s boxing workout with a dozen heavy bags ready to go after he kills the current one (with his duffle at the end of the line) in The Avengers.

I can’t believe that no one’s mentioned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLT_jcOQ8qU

Some one did… on the podcast, but I won’t shame you for not listening. Can you guess which one of them had naked William Sadler on the brain?

More importantly, it would have been a funny call back if Col. Stuart had made fists with his toes at the end of his work out.