Get Inspired for Your Workout With Treadmill TV

We all have days where it is difficult to motivate ourselves to get to the gym. Good news for us, there are plenty of incredibly motivating documentaries about athletes overcoming the odds, setting world records, and generally being amazing to help get us moving.

And, in even better news, our favorite sitcoms have a fascination with fitness too, offering inspiration with a side of comedy. Next time you’re feeling like you would rather kick back with Netflix, pull up one of the below episodes on your smartphone, jump up, and get moving. Remember, laughing burns calories too.

Friends, Episode 6.07, The One Where Phoebe Runs


Phoebe and Rachel are excited to run in Central Park together when they become roomies, as us girlfriends do. As it turns out, their running style is a bit different. Rachel is a more conservative jogger while Phoebe prefers to flail her arms and legs, causing a scene that embarasses Rachel.

Favorite Line: “Me, I’m more free. You know, I run like I did when I was a kid because that’s the only way it’s fun. You know? I’m mean, didn’t you even run so fast you thought your legs were gonna fall off, you know, like when you were running towards the swings or running away from Satan?” [Rachel looks confused] “The neighbor’s dog.” – Phoebe Buffay on how she keeps running fun

Runner-Up Episode: 2.07, The One Where Ross Finds Out

After he gains a few pounds, Monica takes on training Chandler as her personal project. Says Chandler of Monica, “The woman is insane! It’s before work, it’s after work, it’s during work. She’s got me doing butt clenches at my desk. And now, they won’t bring me my mail anymore.”

How I Met Your Mother, Episode 2.15, The Lucky Penny


Barney tells his friends that he can run the New York City Marathon without any training, no problem. Somehow (don’t try this at home), he does end up finishing, but things start to go awry when his legs are too tired for him to leave the subway all day.

Favorite Line: “Here’s how you run a marathon. Step one: you run a marathon. There is no step two.” – Barney Stinson’s ill-formed (lack of) training plan

Parks and Recreation, Episode 5.02, Soda Tax


Chris and Tom take Andy to train for his police physical fitness test, and he is definitely starting from square one. After a 29:43 two-mile run, Andy captures how we all feel after our most challenging days.

Favorite Line: “Everything hurts. Running is impossible.” – Andy Dwyer reading all of our minds

The Mindy Project, Episode 2.02, Danny Castellano Is My Personal Trainer


Mindy works with colleague Danny to attempt to get in shape for a weekend getaway with her new boyfriend. While much of his training style is harsh and capitalizes on Mindy’s fierce love for celebrities, Danny redeems himself in the end when he helps Mindy appreciate her body and have confidence in herself.

Favorite Line: “Don’t suck in your stomach so much. You’re a woman and that’s good. Look like a woman.” – Danny Castellano’s moment of sincerity

Runner-Up Favorite Line: “What? I don’t want coffee cake. I’m still full from that chia seed I had last night.” – Mindy Lahiri reveals her master plan

The Office, Episode 4.01 – 4.02, Fun Run


Michael organizes an office 5k run, “Michael Scott’s Dunder-Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Fun Run Race For The Cure,” to raise money for colleague Meredith, who was recently diagnosed with rabies.

Favorite Line: “Well I’m going to start fast, then I’m going to run fast in the middle, then I’m going to end fast.” – Pam Beasley on her strategy for the race

Best Bad Advice: Michael Scott reminds us all to carbo-load by eating a giant plate of creamy fettuccine alfredo immediately before attempting a 5k run.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Episode 1.11, Kimmy Rides A Bike!


Recently rescued from a bunker where she spent most of her life, Kimmy joins new boss Jacqueline at her favorite fitness class, SpiritCycle, to try to escape her problems. Yes, it’s a parody of SoulCycle, and no, they weren’t upset.

Favorite Line: “Oh, Kimmy, no. You can’t ride in the front row with me. Tristafé will summon you forward when you’ve earned it. I’ll never forget where I was when Tristafé asked me to join the front row. I was in spin class. I bet you’ll be moving up soon. You must have had an amazing trainer down in the bunker.” – Jacqueline Voorhees on spin class etiquette

Modern Family, Episode 5.10, The Old Man & The Tree


Phil bets Claire that he can’t make it all the way from their house to Canada on his elliptical before Christmas. If he doesn’t make it, there will be no machine in the bedroom. (“Except this machine in the bedroom, ladies!” quips Phil about his prized body.)

Favorite Line: “This body doesn’t just happen, ladies.” – Phil Dunphy mugging for the camera

Runner-Up Favorite Line: “Who are these ladies?” – Claire Dunphy keeping it real for the camera

Endurance Move

About Emily Baseman

Emily Baseman considers herself a fitness generalist. A firm believer that wellness is found by giving your body what it deserves, she is dedicated to working out regularly, drinking lots of water, and eating plenty of vegetables. From barre to HIIT to yoga to cycling, Emily loves to work up a sweat running around to take in a little bit of everything. She is a midwestern transplant to Washington, DC, currently working, cooking, and exploring the fitness scene in our nation's capital. By day, Emily helps social impact brands and nonprofits use social media to tell their philanthropic stories. She's obsessed with her dog, Bascom, red wine, and cheese of all kinds.