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Health and Fitness documentaries that will (genuinely) improve your life

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Stuck in a workout rut? Download one of these and reinvigorate your regime

The key to fitness, no matter who you are; will always be motivation. It’s like that mental hormone that we just can’t get enough of, and in some cases, we can’t get any at all! This can cause a crisis. So what do you do? Head to Mr Hyde for some new ways to regenerate your regime, that’s what!

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The Redeemed and the Dominant

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Ever fantasised about being the world’s fittest person? Of course you haven’t. And yet, somehow – despite all the footage of people doing thankless, friendless rowing machine intervals in their jury-rigged corrugated-iron gyms – this rundown of the 2017 CrossFit Games somehow makes it look like the noblest of goals, worth all the thrice-a-day workouts and constant striving to get better at handstands. The cover’s a mega-spoiler, but ignore that, disengage your brain and settle in for quotes like “If she was a superhero, her power would be lifting barbells.” Yowza.

Where to get it: Google Play

Losing Sight of Shore

If you’re the sort of person who gets mildly anxious about heading out for the day with your phone on 50% – anything could happen, right guys? – then expect mild palpitations when you’re watching the Coxless Crew, an all-female team of athletes, row from San Francisco to Australia in a boat that is surely, surely too small. But also! Expect tears, laughter, inspirational moments by the bucket-load, and that special heartwarming glow that comes from watching brave people do something you will never, ever consider.

Where to get it: Netflix

Tawai

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Perhaps you’re of an age to remember Tribe-era Bruce Parry. Good ol’ Bruce Parry, as happy to ingest tree-frog venom as he was to get whipped with branches or stung by bees in a quest to better understand the planet’s few remaining hunter-gatherer cultures. Perhaps not. Either way, the big man’s back – but this time he’s more interested in the Penan, one of the few properly egalitarian tribes on Earth, and if their meditative, hierarchy-free lifestyle can help us do anything about our crippling mortgage-fear and Netflix addictions. Oddly soothing.

Where to get it: Tawai/Vimeo

Born Strong

Everyone’s got a favourite strongman these days, haven’t they? Perhaps you’re a fan of Žydrūnas “Big Z” Savickas, the roly-poly log-pressing champ who’s a national hero in his native Lithuania, or Britain’s own Eddie Hall, with his lovely wife and terrifying competitive spirit, or That One Off Game of Thrones. Whoever it is, they’re all here for this gripping take on the 2015 Arnold Classic, and it’s impossible to watch them train, eat and opine about strength without the nagging feeling that you ought to try throwing a keg over your head at least once in your life. You know, just to check.

Where to get it: Amazon Prime

Karl Meltzer: Made to Be Broken

Listen: if you haven’t seen The Barkley Marathons, which remains the Citizen Kane of films where rail-thin runners dash across impossible distances while their bleary-eyed support staff wait in camper vans alongside the trail, get on that first. But when you’ve watched that and you’re jonesing for a bit more (literally) blistering action, this should be your first stop: Meltzer, nicknamed “Speedgoat”, breaks the Appalachian Trail speed record by running for 46 days straight, and has a dreadful time doing it. Bring snacks.

Where to get it: Red Bull

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