5 Reasons Every Bro Should Watch The Classic Documentary ‘Pumping Iron’


Pumping Iron is an insider’s look into the world of bodybuilding in 1975.  It delves into the lives of men including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Mike Katz, Ken Waller and more as they train against each other to be World Champions.

Do not let the title or poster deter you from watching it because, just like me, you probably are thinking it is just 85 minutes of meatheads lifting in front of a mirror.  Although this obviously is a big part of Pumping Iron it is so much more than that because you begin to pick up a greater appreciation for the sport.  You are in the mind of arguably the world’s greatest bodybuilders of all-time as they explain what got them into the sport, the do’s and don’ts of competition and all the essentials of their training.

Here are the 5 biggest takeaways from the movie:

Arnold Is The Biggest Bro In The History Of The World

Everything that comes out of the man’s mouth is GOLD.  Pay attention to any of the interview segments where he is wearing a striped shirt with a red collar.  In those portions he talks about playing mind games with the other competitiors, he takes you step-by-step through his process of psyching out Lou Ferrigno before the Mr. Olympia, and he talks about the feeling you get when you work out and your muscles tense up (which apparently bodybuilders refer to as the “pump”) and that feeling to him is as good as cumming.  He then proceeds to say the word “cumming” at least 10 times in different sentences and it is a fucking riot.  Lastly, and most importantly, his cocky/confident game is absolutely unrivaled, it’s like the ideal mesh between Lebron James and Tom Brady.  He is the perfect amount of each for the fact that he is a 5-time Mr. Olympia champion training for his 6th title.

It’s A Documentary That Feels Fictional

It’s a ridiculously well-made documentary because it feels like a movie.  Even if you knew who won Mr. Olympia that year, Pumping Iron still manages to build the suspense and hype of the competition.

Lou Ferrigno Is Unintentionally Hilarious 

I am 1,000,000% confident that the voice Eddie Murphy uses for his “Goonie Goo-Goo” bit in his stand-up special Delirious, is a flawless impersonation of Lou Ferrigno and his father mixed together.  In any of the segments where Lou and his father are working out, listen closely and try to tell me that Eddie Murphy did not just mix together their voices for his bit.  I dare you to tell me that.  You can’t.

It’s An Insider Look At All Of The Inner Workings Of Professional Bodybuilding

Pumping Iron is not only entertaining but also informative.  I always thought bodybuilding was just about whose muscles are the biggest but there is so much more that goes into it.  I am thankful that I now know all the little details which furthers my appreciation for the sport. For example, I learned that in competitions the  guys do not just flex to show off rather they have specific poses in which they spend months and months perfecting so that it will show off every single muscle group individually.

You Workout Is Crap

The most important takeaway by far is this; all this time I thought I was the fucking man because I do push-ups and sit-ups sometimes but after seeing Arnold work out and flex I realize I am just a big… fat… pussy.

In conclusion, Pumping Iron is fantastic.  Go watch it now because it’s now available on Netflix.

Final Rating 

If you liked Pumping Iron then check out these documentaries:

  1. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father (2008):  Utterly heartbreaking, unreal film.
  2. Hoop Dreams (1994):  Arguably the best documentary ever made.  A little too long but if you find the time it’s worth it.