Generation Iron, Pumping Iron, Arnold Schwarzenegger#1. PUMPING IRON (GEORGE BUTLER & ROBERT FIORE, 1977)

Pumping Iron changed the game. It made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name, increased the number of commercial gyms in the United States, and popularized the sport of bodybuilding. It is the pinnacle of muscle movies. For many, it was the birthplace of bodybuilding into the mainstream.

Pumping Iron follows the 1975 Mr. Olympia competition as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno face off for victory. This is the movie that truly revealed the man behind the muscles. It gave the official introduction of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the world and is a key demonstration of why he became propelled into superstar status.

Of course, this is all perfectly contrasted by Lou Ferrigno; the underdog who is determined to take down the five time winning Arnold. The contrast between their personalities, training styles, and home life ratchet the entertainment up to maximum levels while still keeping the focus on bodybuilding and Mr. Olympia.

Pumping Iron opens up the bodybuilding world to its audience and emphasizes the determination, effort, and dedication that is required for the sport. It strips away the misunderstandings and stereotypes – it shows very real people that the world can get behind. It makes us all bleed iron for 90 minutes and, for many, long beyond the film has ended. It’s the reason a top muscle movie list can even exist. It is the reason. Period. Done. End of story.


We hope you all enjoyed our Top 30 Muscle Movies of all time. Did we leave anything out? Don’t agree with the order? Let us know in the comments section below or feel free to reach out to us on Facebook. You can also follow us on Twitter: @GI_Athletics


Photo courtesy of: The Moderate Voice

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