Body of Work

"If you wait until everything is perfect in your life before you make a change for the better, you’ll be waiting forever. Things are never going to be 'perfect'...the time to change is now."    - Bill Phillips

release year: 1998
genre: fitness documentary
viewing setting: home DVD, 5/27/19 and 4/7/17 and 5/3/16 and 1/21/12 and home VHS, 8/30/10 and 12/5/09 and 7/25/04 and several other times before that

synopsis: This is a documentary about a 1997 fitness contest and its ten finalists, the cream of the crop of over 54,000 entries.

impressions: You need to understand the premise of the contest: "regular" people could care less about traditional bodybuilding contests. They're not that big, they'll never get that big, and they don't want to be that big. Problem: how to get the average American excited about fitness when the average American has no desire to build gigantic bulging oiled muscles. Solution: make your own contest, in which the goal is overall fitness (through proper weight training, cardiovascular training, and nutrition) and make the grand prize a $200,000 Lamborghini Diablo plus a $50,000 endorsement contract, and make the contest easier by offering free, accurate advice on every aspect of the body transformation. This is what Bill Phillips, CEO of the supplement company EAS and a self-made millionaire, did. His goal was to get regular people fired up about losing fat, gaining muscle, and looking and feeling great. This movie is the story of that contest and its ten finalists - ten chosen out of more than 54,000 who entered. It's a testament to the willpower and hard work that it takes to get into awesome shape. There are corny parts (watching Bill Phillips clown around in the gym reinforces every negative opinion I've ever had about meatheads in the weight room) but all in all, it's a very uplifting story and anyone who doesn't want to become a fat couch potato - or who already is and would like to be inspired to change - should watch it and learn (and be inspired.)

something this movie has that no other movie has: ten extraordinary self-improvement stories packed into 90 minutes

acting: This isn't really applicable, but everyone in this documentary did a good job. You will probably find a few who you cheer for.

final word: Serious inspirational fitness movie. Watch it and learn.

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