Films have the power to alter people’s perception of reality. Many of the values and beliefs that we have accepted for granted are a direct result of strong propaganda originating from the entertainment industry. I often catch myself using phrases from popular sitcoms. Sometimes I do that even when I am alone and talking to myself. I am convinced that many others operate the same way. We all have voices of popular characters in our heads. This is what we get for allowing the cinema industry to dig deeper into our brains for extended periods of time.
When it comes to training, strong Hollywood pressure is still present. There are many action movies containing powerful training sequences which often have a tremendous influence on generations of muscle constructors trying to get big and strong.
ROCKY – One Arm Push-Ups
Rocky is one of the better “muscle” movies, but it’s still full of trivialities, truisms, and misinformation. The extreme popularity of the movie series is not the result of original plots. The two primary reasons for Rocky’s success are the training sequences and the timeless soundtrack written by Bill Conti.
Even if you dislike the movie, you will most likely feel goosebumps down your spine the first time you watch the training montages and listen to songs like Going The Distance and Gonna Fly Now.
This experience is a perfect example of the mechanism supporting movie propaganda. When people are hit on an emotional level, they naturally open up and soak up movies’ hidden underlying messages which are often political and mind control related. For example, in Rocky 4, the main character prepares to fight against the big bad Russian Ivan Drago who is on steroids and has an army of trainers to back him up while the good American is training in the mountains. The montage is very well made and hits the emotional system hard. I have nothing against art, but it often serves as a tunnel transmitting carefully selected political ideas and worldviews. In this case, we are talking about Cold War propaganda.
As a result of this cinematic magic, many kids start following the exercise routines outlined in action movies like Rocky. I was one of those kids once. I remember trying to do one arm pushups right after watching Rock I on a very old CRT TV. I don’t think I understood the whole movie, but I sure as hell got impressed by those one arm pushups.
A few years later, I had to prepare myself for a potential fight against another kid from the neighborhood. The preparation was rather sophisticated. I used an old carpet as a dummy which I boxed hard. Every time I was hitting the carpet I was imagining that I am…guess who? Rocky Balboa, of course. I was punching the carpet with a passion. The fight never took place, in case you are curious.
If the movies get you in the gym, are they still bad?
Yes and no.
Getting motivated to join a gym is one of the good side effects, but not many people want to understand that movies are before all designed to play a number on you. The directors are using a little bit of magic and potentially dangerous sorcery to make things happen. They don’t care what’s good for you. Showing you how to actually train is their last goal.
The training sequences are simply meant to take people’s breath away and make us feel larger than life without leaving the bedroom. If you realize all of this, you immediately become less prone to misinformation.
A trivial and yet accurate example can be found in the movie I am Legend where Will Smith performs partial behind the neck kipping pull-ups at home. Many people have been replicating his workout. In case you don’t know, behind the neck pull-ups are one of the few bad exercises that you can do for your back. The actual benefits of behind the neck pull-ups are not exactly easy to determine. As far as I am concerned, there are none.
The steroid transformation
The attractive physiques of the actors make the watchers even more interested in the movies.
As a result, many actors are required to get ripped, big, strong and powerful for the complete “wow factor”. As you can already guess, many are relying on anabolic steroids to acquire muscular physiques as quickly as possible.
At the end of the day, people should be free to do as they want with their own bodies. If someone wants to use steroids, that’s fine. However, similar transformations create unrealistic expectations.
I used to work with a man who had worked as a movie editor. His job was to edit movie scenes until they are sexy and commercially acceptable. Once he told me that if people actually knew how movies are made, they will be disappointed and shocked.
We only see what they want us to see. The muscle size is always in your face but the needles remain hidden.