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Pumping Iron Book

Pumping Iron book. Read 3 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. This edition examines new developments in the bodybuilding industry and discusses how the sport has changed, while remaining fundamentally the same. Pumping Iron is a docudrama about the world of professional bodybuilding, with a focus on the IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions. Directed by George Butler and Robert Fiore and edited by Geof Bartz and Larry Silk, it is inspired by a book of the same name by Butler and Charles Gaines, and .

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The Women , a documentary about the world of female bodybuilding; David and Scott McVeigh's Raw Iron , a documentary about the making of Pumping Iron and how the film affected the lives of those who appeared in it; and Vlad Yudin 's Generation Iron , a documentary on which Pumping Iron producer Jerome Gary served as executive producer.

Pumping Iron

In , bodybuilders are preparing for the upcoming Mr. Universe amateur competition and Mr.

Olympia professional competition in Pretoria , South Africa. The first part of the film documents the life of Mike Katz , a hopeful for the title of Mr. Katz was bullied in his youth for being Jewish and wearing glasses, which spurred him to become a pro football player; when his career with the New York Jets was ended by a leg injury, he became a bodybuilder.

His psychological balance is thrown off by a prank by fellow contender Ken Waller , who steals Katz's lucky shirt before the competition. Waller wins Mr. Universe and Katz comes in fourth. Fighting back tears, Katz cheerfully appraises the situation before calling home to check on his wife and children. He then congratulates Waller. The film then switches focus to the rivalry between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno , professional bodybuilders competing for the title of Mr.

Schwarzenegger, at this point a ten-year veteran of bodybuilding, has won Mr. Olympia for five consecutive years and intends to retire after a final competition. The film contrasts each man's personality, home environment, and training style: Schwarzenegger is extroverted, aggressive, and works out with other bodybuilders at Gold's Gym and Muscle Beach , whereas the quiet, reserved Ferrigno—who went partially deaf after a childhood ear infection—trains with his father in a dimly lit, private, basement gym.

While Ferrigno surrounds himself with his family, Schwarzenegger is accompanied wherever he goes by other bodybuilders, reporters, and beautiful women. In between interviews and workout demonstrations with Ferrigno and Schwarzenegger, the latter explains the basic concepts behind bodybuilding. Although he emphasizes the importance of physique in bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger also stresses the psychological aspects of competition, crediting meticulously crafted strategies of psychological warfare against his opponents for his numerous victories.

A former boxer from the tiny village of Ollolai, Sardinia , Columbu returns home to celebrate a traditional dinner with his family, who still adhere to old world values and are skeptical of the overt aggression of boxing and bodybuilding. Nevertheless, Columbu impresses his family with a display of strength by lifting the back end of a car and moving it down a street.

In South Africa, Schwarzenegger wages his psychological warfare on Ferrigno, befriending Ferrigno and then subtly insulting him over breakfast with Ferrigno's family. Olympia title, jokingly disparaging Columbu. The appearance of Ed Corney stuns Schwarzenegger, who praises another bodybuilder for the only time in the film, openly admiring Corney's physique and posing prowess. In the locker room, Schwarzenegger engages in some last-minute intimidation of Ferrigno, who is visibly shaken onstage and subsequently ends up placing third behind Nubret and Schwarzenegger, who is declared the winner.

Schwarzenegger and Columbu engage in a posedown for the title of Mr.

Schwarzenegger uses his stage presence and intimidating looks to unnerve Columbu, and is declared Mr. In a post-victory speech, he announces his official retirement from professional bodybuilding. Later, at an after-party for the competitors, Schwarzenegger celebrates his victory by smoking marijuana and eating fried chicken. With the competition over, he wishes Ferrigno happy birthday and leads the other competitors in singing " Happy Birthday to You " as a cake is revealed.

The camera crews were on hand to record his transformation as Arnold regained his Mr. Olympia physique just in time for the contest twelve weeks later.


By focusing on the personalities of the bodybuilders in the film instead of their physiques, Butler had made an engaging and entertaining movie that appealed to everyone, despite what they may have thought about bodybuilding before seeing the movie.

We got to know them as unique personalities who had the same fears, doubts and insecurities as everyone else. The success of the film had a lot to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Basically playing himself, the confident king of bodybuilding was engaging, funny and always entertaining. Looking back at the film forty years later, it is still a compelling documentary about a unique sport involving a wide variety of personalities.

Pumping Iron : Charles Gaines :

You get the feeling of wanting to go to the gym and start working out yourself after seeing the movie. It is the classic bodybuilding film, a movie that many bodybuilders still quote the classic lines from even today. Skip to content. John Hansen https: Previous Previous post: Happy Birthday Arnold! Next Next post: Related posts. In , the book Pumping Iron was released to very positive feedback.

The book had broken new ground by introducing bodybuilding to a worldwide audience, bringing with it a sense of dignity and class that had never been considered before when it came to the widely misunderstood sport. The following year was a ground breaking year for bodybuilding. Charles Gaines first book Stay Hungry was being adapted into a major motion picture by director Bob Rafelson.

The 40th Anniversary of “Pumping Iron”

To play the role of bodybuilder Joe Santo in the movie, Gaines recommended Arnold Schwarzenegger for the role. One concern Rafelson had with hiring Arnold for the movie was his immense size. At pounds, the director feared that Arnold would dwarf tiny co-star Sally Field on screen. Rafelson asked him to lose thirty pounds for the movie and Arnold happily complied. The day before the first day of shooting, Arnold and Rafelson worked out together and Arnold stepped on the scale after the workout weighing only pounds.

Butler was planning to start filming that summer in preparation for the Mr. Olympia in South Africa in November. Arnold at first refused the offer, insisting he was finished with bodybuilding competition and was going to focus on his acting career.

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