what I’m watching: fitness edition


As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, each month I get to tell you about what I’m streaming online. What should I watch next?


Well, this is embarrassing. I haven’t published anything here since my last Netflix post. I’ve written, but haven’t published. Summer life, y’all.


A couple of months ago I started a new fitness plan. I hate saying “fitness plan,” because it insinuates that I’m jumping on a bandwagon or entering a fad. But the truth of the matter is that I love to work out, and I have always worked out in some form, either through sports or running or semi-regular gym-going. My problem is I haven’t been consistent. And this new plan I’m following provides me with consistency by giving me perfectly planned workouts, telling me how to calculate my macros (the amount of protein, fat, and carbs – yes I am eating carbs again!) I should eat to properly fuel my body for these workouts, and providing me with an extremely supportive community of fellow women.

Basically, I need someone to tell me what to do and take all of the guess work out of it, and that’s what I’m getting.

A few weeks ago, to pass the time during my ab workout, I pulled up Netflix and started watching Fittest on Earth, a documentary covering the 2015 Crossfit Games. I’ll tell you right now, this doc has some good eye candy. Fit, muscular people.

fittest on earth documentary netflix Crossfit
I mean, seriously. The women are ripped too.

I have never had an interest in Crossfit. Hats off to those of you who do it and love it, but it just doesn’t appeal to me. What I did love about this doc though was the intensity of these athletes. The film started off by profiling several athletes, and each one talked about their inherent desire to push themselves to the limit and their unwillingness to give up. As we followed each of them throughout the Games, I wanted them all to win! But only one man and one woman can be the Fittest on Earth.

While I’m committed to my fitness plan and push hard during my workouts (really? Three sets of 50 burpees? Is that necessary on a Tuesday?), I do not have that built-in desire to WIN WIN WIN. Working out 5-6 times a week has become a big part of my life, but it isn’t my WHOLE life.

And maybe that’s why this and other documentaries I’m listing below are so fascinating to me. I can’t fathom the commitment it takes to train for and compete in the Crossfit Games (they say even to make it to the regionals puts you in elite athlete status) or to complete a 100-mile trail race. I’m okay with being just okay.

But Fittest on Earth is definitely a good watch for when I’m being just okay.


More fascinating fitness/sports docs:

barkley marathons documentary netflix

The Barkley Marathons
Another film about people who just won’t quit, The Barkley Marathons tells the tale of a grueling race designed after the historic prison break of James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr. Set in the Tennessee wilds, the Barkley is 100-ish miles of unrelenting wilderness. Hundreds apply to compete, a handful are actually selected, and the entrance fee is $1.60 and a license plate from your home state or country. Hardly anyone ever even finishes.


fastball documentary netflix

Did you know I used to pitch fast-pitch softball? Yup. And like many other things, I did it well, but I wasn’t willing to make it my life. By the time I was in high school, I couldn’t compete with the other human arm cannons. Pitching is stressful.

In this doc, featuring Kevin Costner, who is honestly never as decent as he is in baseball-related films, scientists and baseball greats analyze what a batter faces when a pitcher hurls a fastball at him. You have less than a second to react. Do you swing or not?


pumping iron documentary netflix
Pumping Iron
Before he was The Terminator, before he was Kindergarten Cop, and before the was the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzeneggar was just a boy, standing in front of a panel of judges, asking them to crown him Mr. Olympia for the 6th time. Made in 1977, this doc follows 28-year-old Arnie through training and competition.


top spin documentary netflix

Top Spin
The more obscure, the better, right? I mean, how exactly does one get involved in competitive table tennis? What is involved in this “rigorous training?” I don’t know, but I intend to find out.


What are you watching?

Join the Conversation


  1. I am amazed at the commitment level of extreme athletes. It’s just not in my blood to make fitness a lifestyle. I used to spend 3 hours a day on fitness, from driving to the gym through styling my hair after showering, before I said “this is crazy” and giving it all up. My body reflects my decisions. Oh, well. ::eats cookies::

    1. I think those people with THIS level of commitment are a little crazy and obsessive. And I think they will admit that too. 😉

  2. Since my natural work-out mode is set to bare-minimum, I love your posts on fitness and running. You truly inspire me.

    I’m a decent runner when I do it, but I can easily not run. (As in I don’t turn to mental mush or freak out and get twitchy if I don’t exercise like some people…cough…myhusband.) I wish I were more disciplined or dedicated but I’m just not. That’s why I ran races of various lengths because it forced me to train. I’m happier when I do it, but it’s the first thing to go when I prioritize. Wife/mother first, writer second, then dog-tender, then friend. I’m not alone in putting my own fitness needs last, I know.

    And now I’m rambling when what I meant to say is thank you. I’m going to go walk my dogs now, which is at least “two birds” on a Friday.


    1. When I’m stressed and I have a long list of things to do, working out is the first to go. I wish it wasn’t. And when I was running more, I always blew off strength training. Now that I’m only doing strength and HIIT, I see the importance of it, and bonus – I FEEL like I could just go out and run without feeling sluggish, because my body is strong.

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