Six Out of 10 Americans Believe They Can Be Action Movie

Almost 6 in 10 Americans think they have what it takes to be an action movie star, new research suggests.

That’s the takeaway from a new survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, 57 percent of whom would relish the opportunity to channel their inner Chris Hemsworth or Michelle Yeoh – with the right training and resources, of course.

One in 3 (35 percent) cited action movies as a huge influence on their fitness goals, while another 57 percent said that watching the right action flick would leave them feeling more motivated.

New research suggests that nearly 6 in 10 Americans think they have what it takes to be an action movie star. In this photo, a teen stands in front of posters advertising new action films at a Brooklyn movie theater on January 11, 2013, in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

But maybe it’s the stunts that appeal to us, not the physical challenge, as fewer respondents (47 percent) thought they could hold their own on competitive shows like NBC’s Wipeout! or the classic Nickelodeon series Double Dare.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Alpha Lion, the study also reveals that only 22 percent of respondents like to stay completely focused when they exercise.

Meanwhile, 2 out of 5 (40 percent) prefer having something to distract them, including 19 percent who “always” need something to take their mind off their workout.

For the overwhelming majority, this means frequently listening to music (71 percent), although some often turn to audiobooks (56 percent) and even video games (55 percent).

In fact, a third of respondents (35 percent) listen to music every single time they work out, and over two-thirds (66 percent) have made their own workout playlists to jam out with.

Popular genres included rock (29 percent), pop (29 percent), rap/hip-hop (25 percent) and R&B (25 percent), while musical theater (17 percent) and movie soundtracks (17 percent) clocked in as the least welcome workout accompaniment.

Despite that, 34 percent pick workout songs that remind them of scenes from TV shows or movies — although this proved less important than whether or not they liked the song in the first place (41 percent).

“Without a doubt, music is a powerful thing,” said Drew Peters, vice president of science and innovation at Alpha Lion. “There is robust research that music captures attention, influences emotions, alters or regulates mood, increases work output, heightens arousal, and induces states of higher performance. Think of it as the world’s most widely used supplement – it’s literally a performance-enhancing ergogenic aid.”

Man riding stationary bike
Data from a new study hints at a correlation between physical activity and overall levels of happiness. In this photo, a Fitness SF customer rides a stationary bike at a Fitness SF gym on October 15, 2021, in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sixty-eight percent frequently work out in time to the music they’re listening to, and 62 percent even confessed to playing the same song over and over again on a constant loop.

However, not everybody felt the same, including the 13 percent who never listen to music while working out.

“You’re joking, right?” wrote one respondent. “Why would anyone want music to disturb their serenity?”

Regardless, it’s the workout itself that matters, as the data also hints at a correlation between physical activity and overall levels of happiness.

Of those polled, people who described themselves as “completely active” (37 percent) were most likely to report being “very satisfied” with their life, while those with “completely sedentary” lifestyles (10 percent) were more likely to be “very dissatisfied” (87 percent).

“While the research is still in its relatively early stages, there does appear to be a direct correlation between listening to music and the effects it has on your performance in the weight room,” said Peters. “It can positively impact things like muscle power, explosiveness and strength-endurance among a host of other potential benefits.”

Woman powerlifter CrossFit
A survey conducted among 2,000 U.S. residents found that anaerobic workouts like weightlifting are among the popular exercises. In this photo, a class participant does a deadlift during a CrossFit workout at Ross Valley CrossFit on March 14, 2014, in San Anselmo, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Most Popular Exercises

Stretching/flexibility exercises (yoga, pilates) – 31 percent
Equipment-based workouts (treadmill, dumbbells, etc.) – 30 percent
Anaerobic exercises (weight-lifting, interval training, etc.) – 30 percent
Aerobic exercises (swimming, running, biking, etc.) – 30 percent
Calisthenics/body-based workouts (planks, burpees, etc.) -26 percent
Martial arts/dance (kickboxing, Zumba, etc.) – 21 percent

Perfect Workout Playlist for 2022

Warm-up: “Essence (ft. Tems)” – Wizkid
“Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
“Countdown” – Beyoncé
“Attention” – Omah Ley, Justin Bieber
“Push It” – Salt n Peppa
“Godzilla (ft. Juice WRLD)” – Eminem
“I Will Survive” – Gloria Gaynor
“Gonna Fly Now” – Bill Conti
Cooldown: “This Town (feat. Sasha Sloan)” – Kygo

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.