Ranking the Best Workout Montages of All Time

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Stephen Fiorentine is a freelance writer from Long Island. He loves his New York Giants and Yankees, as well as Cool Ranch Doritos. Follow him on Twitter.

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No. 10 - The Perfect Weapon (1991)

Starring: Jeff Speakman
Background song: "The Power" by Snap!
What's going on? A construction worker practices the art of Kenpo in his living room.

Kicking off this list of greatest workout montages is 1991's The Perfect Weapon. The movie couldn't even wait to get past the opening credits for its first training montage, which sees the protagonist practicing Kenpo in his very own living room. Based on its 33 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though, you can probably turn it off right after that opening montage is done.

No. 9 - Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Starring: Hilary Swank, Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman
Background song: "Boxing Montage"
What's going on?  A boxing trainer attempts to whip an underdog fighter into shape.

Not all workout montages belong to cheesy movies from the '80s. In 2004, Clint Eastwood's  Million Dollar Baby proved that a critically acclaimed film could make use of the technique, as the movie ended up taking home the Oscar for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

No. 8 - Never Back Down (2008)

Starring: Sean Faris
Background song: "False Pretense" by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
What's going on? After being embarrassed at a party, the new kid in town tries to master Mixed Martial Arts.

And just like that we are back to being cheesy. There's a pretty good chance that you never heard of Never Back Down, but it's workout montage is worth watching if only for the way it channels the corny heyday of workout montages from the late '80s and early '90s.

No. 7 - The Cutting Edge (1992)

Starring: Moira Kelly and D.B. Sweeney
Background song: "Ride On Time" by Black Box
What's going on? An ice skater and hockey player train for Olympic figure skating.

With it's catchy song and timely cutaways, this scene from 1992's The Cutting Edge contains all the elements of a perfect workout montage. Besides, what gets you more pumped than a romantic comedy about a couple training for Olympic Figure skating?

No. 6 - Mulan (1998)

Starring: Donny Osmond
Background song: "I'll Make a Man Out of You"
What's going on? A female soldier posing as a male prepares for battle.

Training montages aren't limited to just live-action movies. With movies like Mulan and Hercules, Disney mastered the art of the montage in their animated films. Who do your think would win in a martial arts fight: Mulan or the guy from The Perfect Weapon?

No. 5 - Rocky III (1982)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers
Background song: "Rocky Theme"
What's going on: Apollo Creed trains Rocky for his fight with Clubber Lang.

It wouldn't be a best workout montage list without Rocky Balboa. After all, this is the movie franchise that made the technique popular. For the third installment of the series, Apollo Creed joins the Italian Stallion for the perfect tandem montage. Not that The Cutting Edge wasn't inspirational enough.

No. 4 - The Fighter (2010)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale
Background Songs: "Strip My Mind" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and "Can You Hear Me Knocking" by The Rolling Stones
What's going on? "Irish" Mickey Ward trains with his brother for a title fight in London.

For a modern take on the classic workout montage, watch 2010's The Fighter. For his portrayal of Mickey Ward's brother, Christian Bale took home the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. We're sure that his performance in this montage helped his case.

No. 3 - No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

Starring: Kurt McKinney
Background song: "Stan On Your Own" by Paul Gilreath
What's going on? A fighter channels the ghost of Bruce Lee.

From the two finger pushups to the upside down sit-ups, Kurt McKinney's workout may have been the most challenging on this list. But then again, he was training for a fight against an undiscovered actor at the time named Jean-Claude Van Damme.

No. 2 - Rocky IV (1985)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren
Background song: "Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty
What's going on?  Rocky is preparing for a bout with Ivan Drago.

The No Retreat, No Surrender workout may be the most challenging entry on this list, but the Rocky IV montage is certainly the most extreme. Not even the snow can slow down Rocky, as he braves the elements to prep for Ivan Drago.

No. 1 - Rocky (1976)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone
Background song: "Rocky Theme"
What's going on: Rocky runs through the streets of Philadelphia.

Was there ever really a doubt what No. 1 on this list would be? The workout montage that inspired countless imitations isn't just the most inspirational scene on this list. It happens to be one of the most inspirational scenes in movie history.

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