The life of a bodybuilder who takes himself seriously is, ultimately, as lonely as that of a ballet dancer. He knows that if he’s serious about his profession it means a daily, dedicated routine of exercises so that any gains won are not lost.
What this film documentary, based on George Butler and Charles Gaines’ book, Pumping Iron, does not tell the viewer, however, is what lies beyond the peak of success.
The most fascinating aspect of this film is the dedicated training that turns average-built young men (frequently they refer to themselves as weaklings in their early youth) into superbly-created physical edifices.
The film, while spotlighting Arnold Schwarzenegger, also treats with other competitors, preparing for the Mr Universe and Mr Olympia contests.