Pumping Iron is a 1977 docudrama about the world of bodybuilding. The book as well as the movie are about the run-up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition.
The documentary follows the two main bodybuilding competitions, the IFBB Mr. Universe (for amateurs) and the Mr. Olympia (for professionals) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Though the documentary focuses on Schwarzenegger, many notable bodybuilders make appearances, including Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Mike Mentzer, Robby Robinson, Mike Katz, Albert Beckles, Ken Waller, Frank Zane, Paul Grant, Ed Corney, Serge Nubret and Danny Padilla...
It was based on the book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler (Simon and Schuster, 1974).
Pumping Iron documents and to some extent dramatises, what is commonly referred to as "The Golden Age" of bodybuilding, a time when mass and size mattered less and symmetry and definition of the body was preferred. Bodybuilders from the 70s and 80s look so much better than today's bodybuilders. It's no longer a work of art. It's nothing but a freak show today.