Generation Iron Lou and Arnold

Back in the gym.

Competition is the life’s blood of any sporting endeavor. It’s been mentioned before, without rivalries sports would get boring pretty damn fast. There’s nothing like a bit of drama to make things interesting. But even if the two competitors don’t hate each others guts, having a person that will give you tough competition is always a great thing. The point of entering any sport is to prove you’re the best in the world, whether that be in mixed martial arts, soccer, basketball, or bodybuilding. Being the number one guy only means something if you’ve beaten worthy opponents that give you a true challenge.

Rivalry between well matched competitors is what made movies like Pumping Iron and Generation Iron so intriguing. You had individuals all with their own motivations and desires, the whole lot of them looking to be the number one bodybuilders in the world. Where Generation Iron featured the modern greats like Phil Heath, Kai Greene, and Branch Warren to name a few, Pumping Iron highlighted the contrast between the confident champion Arnold Schwarzenegger and the mild-mannered Lou Ferrigno. Their difference in personality gave proceedings a much more weighty gravity. Whether you enjoyed Arnold’s cocky attitude or Lou’s blue collared demeanor, in the end you ended up rooting for one man or the other. What made things even more compelling was that both men were at the top of their game and both worthy opponents.

It’s been years since Pumping Iron and the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition and the rivalry that helped to jump start the careers of both Schwarzenegger and Ferrigno has been since put to bed. It seems that these days the two once fierce rivals are on friendly terms. Nothing illustrates that more than this video that Arnold just recently posted up on YouTube.

What other rivalries have elevated the sport of bodybuilding? Let us know what you think in the comments and forums. Be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter for all you bodybuilding and entertainment needs.

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