There really aren’t a lot of movies that feature scenes involving weightlifting, but I think a big part of that is because today’s actors are all so slim and frail. Whatever happened to leading men like Steve McQueen? Something tells me that Orlando Bloom doesn’t load up the squat rack with weights in his free time. Fortunately, I did manage to find some pretty cool scenes involving weightlifting. Some of them may pump you up and galvanize you to get off your ass and hit the gym, while others are just funny. Take a look at nine great weightlifting scenes after the jump:
The quality of the above clip is pretty crappy, but you can see enough to figure out what’s going on. David Dunn (which, not coincidentally, is a great superhero alter-ego name) decides to see how much he’s capable of bench pressing. With the help of his kid, he stacks all the weight he has, as well as some paint cans, on the barbell. Anyone who has lifted knows that it’s always fun to see just how much you can lift. After I saw this movie, I went to the gym and tried maxing out my bench press, too. I’m glad my health insurance covers prolapsed rectums. Oh, and before you ask: 65 lbs. That’s the barbell PLUS weights, weaklings!
2. American Beauty
Lester Burnham rules: he blackmails his boss and quits his job, he likes to lift weights, he likes to get high, and he likes to hit on his teenaged daughter’s friends. As far as role models go, Obama can’t even see Lester. Lester works out a few times in this movie, including one time with his wife nagging and yapping in his face. He keeps lifting, though, tuning her out and focusing on improving his body and mind. It pays off, too – his daughter’s friend notices his arms have grown bigger and he creepily asks her, “You like…muscles?” My second-favorite question of the movie. The first being, of course, “You like getting f*cked by the king?!?!?” A warning about the above clip: the final two seconds are tragic. Turn away if you are sensitive.
3. Final Destination 3
I sorta like the Final Destination movies. They’re preposterous, but the creative deaths of the characters are a pretty redeeming quality. The above clip of Louis is no exception. The thing is, with Louis screaming and carrying on like that in the weight room, you know that a lot of the other guys lifting were secretly pretty happy. Nobody likes a grunter. And for Pete’s sake, wipe down the f*cking machine when you’re finished with it.
4. The Program
Good lord. Sometimes, it’s just fun to watch a roided-up freak throw around some serious weight. The best part (besides the obvious feet-stomping) is Coach Winters eerily foreshadowing the weak arguments of countless Barry Bonds apologists.
5. Red Dragon
A very creepy scene where the audience gets a glimpse at how strong and crazy Francis really is. Thinking about your mom chopping your dick off while bench-pressing? Hey, whatever works. He seems to be putting up legit weight, but with movies, you never know if it’s real or not. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for this movie. But what’s with the pantyhose on his head? At least put on a thong.
6. Rocky Balboa
The Rocky movies are famous for training scenes and montages, but it’s not until Rocky Balboa that we see Rocky hit the weights HARD. No sparring, no speedwork, just lifting for power to build some hurtin’ bombs. I love Duke preparing Rocky for all the hard lifting that’s up ahead. With a guy like Duke training me, I’d feel comfortable fighting just about anyone. Maybe even an adult.
Everyone’s seen Anchorman and is able to quote it ad nauseum. One part that doesn’t get old, though, is when a shirtless Ron Burgundy is doing arm curls to impress Veronica Corningstone. It seems like every single movie Will Ferrell is in, there’s a scene where he’s not wearing a shirt. Sometimes having a doughy, skinny-fat body can be good for the sake of comedy, I guess. The weightlifting scene in the above clip starts at 4:50. Go f*ck yourself, San Diego.
8. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3
Wow. What a scene. Freddy Krueger in his prime is a first-ballot member of the movie monster Hall of Fame. That said, having him standing behind you when you bench is only slightly worse than the fat sweaty guy with bad breath who you were dumb enough to ask for a spot. I’ll just use lighter weight next time, thanks.
9. Pumping Iron
Of course, Pumping Iron has to be on this list. The entire friggin’ movie is essentially one giant weightlifting scene, with Arnold and Lou putting up freakish amounts of weight. Ironically, the two best scenes in this movie don’t really focus on weightlifting. In the above scene (which has some lifting), the Governator compares lifting weights to cumming. If that’s all it takes, I’m buying my girlfriend a dumbbell.