Jeremy Urquhart at Collider recently published this great collection of training montages, explaining:
Everyone loves a good training montage. It's the type of scene that's welcome in just about every movie it appears in – not just sports movies. Seeing a character perfect a skill or set of skills through fast-paced edits, exciting music, and visuals of something difficult slowly getting easier and easier in the space of just a few minutes is always immensely satisfying to witness.
Some of the following movies could be classified as sports movies, but not all, showing the impressive versatility of the humble training montage. Hard work can sometimes pay off in real life, sure, but it always really pays off in training montages, making them one of the best examples of cinematic escapism.
The training montages included in his list are from (1) 'The Incredibles' (2004); (2) 'Lagaan' (2001); (3) 'The 36th Chamber of Shaolin' (1978); (4) 'Mulan' (1998); (5) 'Rocky' (1976); (6) "Hercules' (1997); (7) 'Kill Bill Vol. 2' (2004); (8) 'Ratatouille' (2007); (9) 'The Karate Kid' (1984); and (10) 'Team America: World Police' (2004). If you need some inspiration, some motivation, or some positive feels, go check them out.
However, over on the Boing Boing boards, in response to my post about getting swole with The Mountain Goats, a different kind of Training Montage was requested. So, edgore, am I doing this for revenge? Maybe. But really, I'm doing this for you. In the Mountain Goats video for their song "Training Montage" (2022), you can see how the actual Mountain Goats exercise—and it's a far cry from the grunting, aggressive weight lifting Goats fan in The Hard Times' piece I wrote about. Instead you can see bandmates stretching, skateboarding, doing pushups, half-heartedly doing one jumping jack, attempting to climb a fence, and running around in alleyways. Now THIS is an accessible training montage I can emulate! Thanks, Mountain Goats!