Pumping Iron: Arnold Schwarzenegger

George Butler

Pumping Iron is a 1977 documentary that takes us deep inside the professional world of men’s bodybuilding to follow the rivalry between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno as they get ready to compete for the Mr. Olympia title.

Following Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno for 100 days in the lead up to the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions, and some fierce on-stage posing, the filmmakers, unfortunately, ran out of cash to finish production, delaying the release of the documentary for a few years.

Thanks to Arnold and some of the other bodybuilders featured throughout the movie; they were able to raise the money to complete production and release the film, resulting in Schwarzenegger becoming a household name across the planet.

After the release of Pumping Iron, the niche culture of bodybuilding helped to inspire the fitness crazy during the 1980s and saw commercial gyms pop up everywhere around the United States.

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