Pumping Iron


"The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens."   - Arnold Schwarzenegger


release year: 1977
genre: bodybuilding documentary
viewing setting: home DVD, 2/18/19 and 7/3/18 and 5/23/18 and 3/6/18 and 5/19/17 and 6/26/16 and 2/7/16 and 7/10/15 and 2/28/15 and 12/23/14 and 12/22/13 and 11/7/13 and 1/19/13 and 1/20/12 and 11/27/10 and 12/31/09 and 6/7/09 and 8/22/06 and 2/26/04 and 11/9/03

synopsis: This is a somewhat-doctored documentary of some contestants in the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest.

impressions: Very motivational, not because we all want to be that big, but because it shows what it takes to be serious about building a gigantic body. Anyway, much of this movie details how competitors play mind games with each other, especially Arnold psyching out Lou Ferrigno...classic. As I said above, it was doctored a bit - Arnold even admits that in one of the featurettes. He also admits that he used steroids (this was before they were illegal.) I'd bet that every bodybuilder in the 1970s did it too. Anyhow, all in all, this is a critical landmark in the history of bodybuilding, as it was key to bringing the sport into the mainstream and getting people into gyms in the 1970s and beyond.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A dozen gigantic guys sitting at a restaurant eating inhuman amounts of food.

acting: Not really applicable, but it should be noted that Arnold showed off his personality in this movie, helping bring legitimacy and acceptance to his sport.

final word: Good for inspiration via insights into the mentality of a winner.

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