Pumping Iron
For preview only. Get it at Amazon.com  #ad.

Pumping Iron

1977, Sports  -   13 Comments
Ratings: 7.11/10 from 27 users.

Pumping IronArnold Schwarzenegger gained his first real notoriety outside body-building circles with this documentary about a group of men training for the Mr. Olympia contest.

Arnold had already won the title five times before, and was training for his sixth victory before retiring to fully pursue his acting career (which began to catch fire with his likable turn in Stay Hungry, released the same year) when this was shot.

Here he displays an easy charm and wicked sense of humor as he plays mind games with his competitors and explains how getting pumped up for competition always felt like sex (which might explain why he seems so cheerful).

More great documentaries

13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. robthom

    What a great doc!

    (And great blurb by whoever wrote that.)

    There really are no weak parts to this film.

    Some people say the Mike Katz amateur section is the weakest,
    which it is.
    But its not actually weak.

    Its an interesting and probably the most emotional section that only pales when compared to the rest of the movie.

    Obviously Arnie steals away with the rest of the show.

    Seeming to toy with both sides of the "muscle bound dummy" stereotype through his charmingly sinister schemes to manipulate his strategically over matched friends and competition.

    But "sinister" really isn't a true description either.

    He pretty much loves everyone he meets!

    (To be Mr Olympia for a day!)

    It has to be seen to be understood!

  2. Lucas Dawkins

    Sad to see how psychology can be used to win in sports, sad to see how people will do anything to win.

    1. selva kumar

      I would disagree, the sport involves as much mental strength as physical appearance. Arnold was smart to make the best use of both. I loved his confidence and arrogance.

    2. robthom

      "...sad to see how people will do anything to win."

      Thats what makes a sport a competition.

      All sports are a controlled display of the give no quarter spirit of war.

      Unless something has been specifically ruled as not legal in the contest or against the law,
      then its generally "fair game" to apply it.

  3. David Ewer

    This is a really enjoyable doc both for the behind-the-scenes take on bodybuilding and the quirky 70's hairdos, cars and clothes. The opening song's pretty bad but don't let that put you off watching this seminal documentary. Hearing Arnie S. talk about how he 'comes' every time he pumps a major muscle is hilarious, and in stark contrast to his story of missing his father's funeral because he had a competition in two months!

    1. robthom

      "The opening song's pretty bad but don't let that put you off..."

      Uh, on the contrary Sir the opening song is friggen awesome!

      But obviously these things are often a matter of taste.

  4. brutusaurio

    Nice doc. Pretty funny and very entertaining.

    The psychological effect that Arnold Schwarzenegger did to his main adversary is quite interesting.

    It's worth watching it.

  5. richardp

    I have heard so much about this movie my entire life, and iI am dissapointed upon seeing it. It sucks!

  6. Culturism

    great documentary about bodybuildng , A MUST SEE

  7. micheal

    Zach nobody cares about your thoughts

  8. John

    Hi, not positive, but is the sequence of the videos out of order? I feel like one of the videos shows them in South Africa, and then it bounces back? Just wondering!

  9. Zach

    In your description you said he was going for his 7th Mr.Olympia title. This one was the 6th. His 7th came later when he came out of retirement. Also It sounded sort of weird to me when you said pumping up reminds him of sex. He said it feels like sex basicaly. Sorry if I'm being picky but thats just how it came off to me. Just trying to give some constructive criticism I guess! Thought I'd let you know what I thought.

    1. Vlatko

      Right @Zach. You are correct. Fixed that.