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8 Fitness Motivation Videos to Get You Pumped

By JESS BARRON

If you're anything like me, you probably experience days where you could use a little push to get motivated to give your all in a tough workout, a run outdoors, or even a yoga class. Some days it feels challenging just to muster the energy and the willpower.

Luckily, we live in the era of online video.

LIVESTRONG.COM writer Joe Donatelli (and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps) have both admitted that they get inspired by the famous "Rocky IV" training montage. But maybe Rocky and Sylvester Stallone don’t quite do it for you...

Simply by searching for "inspiring workout videos" on Google or Yahoo you'll find millions of results.

In order to save you some time in sifting through YouTube (time that you can devote to your next workout, right?!), here are eight great videos that should get you out there and psyched up to hit the gym (hard!) today.
Inspiration
1. Carly Starling’s Workout Video 
American bodybuilder Carly Starling shows off some seriously sculpted abs as she throws tires, pulls sleds and boxes her heart out, all set to ”The Ecstasy of Gold" (from the Clint Eastwood film "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly"). Wow!

2. My Ride to Slide 
Canadian Jean-Nicolas Carriere has battled a shoulder injury that might have ended his elite athletic career. But instead of giving up, he found a new goal: training for a medal-winning performance as a member of the Canadian bobsled team in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics. Any doubt about the commitment and hard work Olympic bobsledding requires will melt away as you watch Carriere running up stadium steps covered in snow, crawling underwater in the pool while holding kettlebells and lifting massive plates of weights. Read more about his Olympic training journey on his website.

3. Mehmet Edip's Fitness Motivation
UK bodybuilder and fitness model Mehmet Edip recently tweeted me the link to his fitness motivation video in which he runs and does jumping jacks alongside the River Thames, and then hits the gym for a vigorous bout of weightlifting, boxing and jumping rope. “I’m a fan of various workout techniques such as GVT [German Volume Training] and StrongLifts 5×5, but any form of hypertrophy training is generally what I would go for,” Edip told me. “I am also a big advocate of HIIT training as I believe it’s one of the best ways to burn fat and stay lean and healthy.” Anyone looking for the push to pump some serious iron should check out Edip’s video.

4. Why We Fall 
Watching this montage of inspiring movie scenes, interview quotes and extreme sports footage will get you psyched up to do anything — not only sports training or a workout, but even job interviews, public speaking, presentations, you name it! There’s a reason why this video has received over three million views on YouTube! It starts off with a great quote from Sylvester Stallone in 2006′s “Rocky Balboa.” Stallone says, “You, me or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit — it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” Then it goes through many more rousing and motivating quotes — from Al Pacino’s “Inch by Inch” speech from 1999′s “Any Given Sunday,” to Will Smith saying “If you want something, go get it” in 2006′s “The Pursuit of Happyness” to quotes from Charlie Chaplin and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The crescendo of extreme sports footage (motocross, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiiing, tightrope walking and more) that begins at 5:25 is truly incredible!

5. Girls Can Do It Too! 
Despite its cheesy beginning with a woman in platform heels climbing out of her Porsche and slipping out of her dress, anyone who thinks women can’t do pull-ups and clapping push-ups needs to watch this video set to the Bassnecter remix of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights.” It starts with the great quote: “I dare you to live out your dreams. I dare you to get out of your comfort zone. I dare you to make people turn their heads because you’re fit, and you’re on fire!”

6. CrossFit Games “Confidence” 
Powerful footage from the 2011 CrossFit games is set to a spoken word piece by Patrick Cummings. It begins: “I am a lifeguard on the ocean of potential.” Watch as buff guys and gals pull themselves across the Monkey Rig and do impressive Clean and Presses. The video concludes with: “When the jackhammer in your chest settles, tell them how you were pulled back into the boat of possibility, how you took the oars and you found the shore, how you listened to the voice inside when I whispered: ’More, more, more.’” Aww yeah. Bring it!

7. Bruce Lee Montage
LIVESTRONG.COM’s Stronger trainer Nicky Holender has a tattoo with a quote from Bruce Lee on his inner arm. It says: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” This classic montage of Lee’s mind-bending moves set to “Don’t Sweat the Technique” by Eric B. & Rakim will get you coming out kicking in your next martial arts workout. Another great Bruce Lee quote: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once. But I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” Seriously.

8. Briohny Smyth’s Narrated Backbend Yoga Routine
Yoga practitioners need motivation too, and I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention Equinox yoga teacher Briohny Smyth’s provocative back bend video that went viral last year. Warning: depending on how strict your workplace is, this video may not be entirely safe to view at the office as Smyth’s outfit is skimpy. That said, Smyth’s two and a half-minute routine is intense! Watch as she transitions from full split to handstand to hollowback scorpion. Her narration gives helpful tips about risks of compression in the low back if practicing backbends without engagement in the front body and the wisdom of countering deep backbends with a twist, core work or a fold. I’ve taken classes with Smyth at the Equinox in Marina del Rey, and she's the real deal. She was able to do scorpion pose while five or six months pregnant. Now that’s inspiring!

Did any of these videos get you inspired? Which one was your favorite? There are so many motivational fitness videos out there; it was a challenge to choose eight to highlight in this post. If I missed some of your favorite inspirational workout videos, leave a comment below, and let me know.

Jess Barron is LIVESTRONG.COM’s Editor-in-Chief. Read some of her other health and fitness articles here. A longtime foodie and fan of Farmer’s Market food, Jess particularly loves heirloom tomatoes, fresh figs with burrata cheese, and anything with pumpkin or peanut butter in it! Her love for food fuels her desire to exercise daily. Some of her favorite workout routines include running, yoga, P90X, INSANITY, and mixed martial arts. Jess’s writing can also be found at Poprocks.com. She has appeared on MSNBC’s “The Most,” ABC News Now, and XM satellite radio and her writing has appeared on Wired.com and Yahoo!

Follow Jess on Twitter @jessdandy. Also, you can add her on Google+, and follow her on Pinterest.

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