The newest Rocky installment is the most motivating personal trainer you'll ever meet

By Lydia Price
Updated December 04, 2015 05:45 PM
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Credit: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.

For some people, finding the motivation just to make it inside the gym is a struggle, and getting pumped enough to truly kill it in the calorie-burning department is nearly impossible.

But after spending two hours watching Michael B. Jordan ascend to fitness greatness in Creed as Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) trained boxing hopeful Adonis Johnson, everyone will practically be counting down the minutes until they too can whip their butts into shape.

While the entire Ryan Coogler-directed film is an inspiring tale of resilience and love, we’ve chosen five moments that will definitely be replaying in your head next time you hit the pavement, field or gym floor. If you haven’t seen Creed yet, first of all, you seriously need to get your priorities in order, and secondly, proceed with caution because there are major spoilers ahead.

1. When Adonis learns a lesson the hard way
Sometimes watching a protagonist get his booty beat is just the thing to kick your ambition into overdrive. When Donnie takes on pro Danny “Stuntman” Wheeler (Andre Ward) in his late father’s famous Delphi Gym, he “learns the hard way” that his solo training hasn’t gotten him anywhere near ready to compete in the sport’s big leagues. His all-too-easy knockout is a humbling reminder that there is always room for improvement no matter how fit you think you are.

2. That fight sequence

The incredible single shot boxing match that no one can stop talking about is not only a face-melting piece of cinematic triumph, but also an incredibly motivating exhibition of strength and endurance. In his first real match – against opponent Leo “The Lion” Sporino (real-life Philly boxer Gabe Rosado) – Adonis takes hit after hit, bouncing back immediately like someone’s landing kisses on his cheeks instead of fists. There is so much to love about Coogler’s flawless scene, but your adrenaline will especially be pumping when a victorious Donnie shouts, “We got one, Rock!” like a son elated to make his father proud. You may also notice your heart swelling to three times its normal size.

3. When Tupac happens
Donnie’s entrance to his match against reigning light heavyweight champ “Pretty” Ricky Conlan does exactly what a boxing entrance should: intimidates you, inspires you and gets you really, really excited for the fight. With the perfectly selected “Hail Mary” bumping in the background, Adonis enters the arena where he’ll face the fight of his life with Rocky at his side. Conlan’s home crowd erupts in boos for Adonis, who everyone essentially thinks is a lamb heading to slaughter, but the young boxer holds his head high and prepares for battle nonetheless. Now, you can take handle a couple more reps, can’t you?

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4. When Adonis gets back up
Really, Donnie’s entire match against Conlan could be on this list. From Rocky’s tear-inducing reminder – “They don’t know what you’ve been through, they sure don’t know what we’ve been through” – to watching Adonis take an onslaught of crushing blows before he even gets to round five, the climatic showdown is literally what mid-gym session fantasies are made of. But you’ll believe that you, too, can’t be stopped from getting back in the fight, or you know, doing your last 10 minutes on the Stairmaster, when Adonis unexpectedly rises from the canvas after a haunting montage of flashbacks.

5. When Adonis runs with a biker crew

Creed had some enormous training montage shoes to fill, and the film absolutely crushes the hefty expectations. One of the most memorable moments comes before Adonis’ big fight against Conlan, when he takes a slo-mo jog through the streets of Philly flanked by a friendly neighborhood gang of bikers. Taking after another boxer who liked to run through the streets in a gray tracksuit – occasionally with a gaggle of local youngins in tow – Adonis gets pumped up with his newly earned fans, showing off his sprinting muscles as choirs of angels sing (or maybe it’s Meek Mill, whatever) in a sequence guaranteed to make you grind 100 percent harder the next time you hit the treadmill. Seriously, if Adonis imagining his victory under Rocky’s window doesn’t immediately make you want to lace up, nothing will.