346 – The one about Pumping Iron

From Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach California to the showdown in Pretoria, amateur and professional bodybuilders prepare for the 1975 Mr. Olympia and Mr. Universe contests.

Join Scott, Randy, Dunaway, and Ibbott as they pump…YOU UP!


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As usual, a HUGE thanks to Scott Fletcher, the official announcer of Film Sack Central. Hey! Why not leave us a nice review on iTunes if you like the show?

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13 thoughts on “346 – The one about Pumping Iron

  1. Pingback: 346 – The one about Pumping Iron – BRIAN DUNAWAY

  2. The one documentary I can watch over and over is The Endless Summer, about two surfers who go around the world in search of beaches nobody has ever surfed before. It’s 90 minutes of beautiful shots of crashing waves. (Well, there is one bit in Africa that’s a bit cringey …) It’s on Netflix, so it can be sacked.

  3. You mentioned the lack of trivia about contenders for the lead role in this, but it was actually supposed to be about Bud Cort’s journey from a little dude into a bodybuilder. There’s actually footage of him at Gold’s Gym, and there’s even a shot of his melancholy exit as he quits the production because he wasn’t feeling up to the thing. That scene could have had that ending song from Lou’s Hulk show. But anyway. Very different origin for the movie.

  4. The Enron documentary i can watch over and over, its just so interesting to see how they got away with it and i always pick something new up.

    Also love any of Simon Schama’s history series made for the BBC

  5. Never thought you guys would ever sack a documentary but you picked a good one. This is why I listen to Film Junk.

    I’ve seen Pumping Iron twice but it’s been a while since I last watched it.

    From what I recall, I did think that Arnie was a bit of an ass, especially to Ferrigno. Lou always seemed light he was seeking Arnie’s approval and Arnold just ridiculed him but I guess that was part of the psychological warfare.

    Still, if you watch the last two times Arnie and Lou met up, I think you still see a hint of the same arrogance Arnie has.

    Here they are in 2011 at some convention. Arnold seems a little condescending.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlB9qEgke1U

    Here they are in 2013
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl0ysEEXVV8

    Also, I think it was Scott who said something like at least if he wasn’t as strong as those bodybuilders, he could probably outrun them. I immediately flashed back to an episode of Battle of the Network Stars that I watched as a kid. I remember Lou Ferrigno running in a relay race. I searched to see if it was online and sure enough, somebody uploaded it. Now, it’s hard to judge how fast he really was but I would not want to take my chances and piss him off.

    Here he is running the race:
    https://youtu.be/ZsIRT1HdHCs?t=1h9m21s

    Here he is later on practically winning a tug of war by himself:
    https://youtu.be/ZsIRT1HdHCs?t=1h34m50s

    Really looking forward to Strange Brew!

  6. A nice bookend to this is 2008, Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It deals mostly with juicing and steroids and blood doping. When Randy was talking about 600 lbs of pressure, for a moment he sounded like Schmidt from That Girl.

    He may be remarried, but Rick Moraniss wife died 1991. He was on Bull’s-eye or one of those NPR shows two weeks ago. He may have remarried, but he left showbiz to take care of his children.

    • Way to summon my interest!

      But I can’t find a character or actor named Schmidt from That Girl, so I can’t figure out whether you were complimenting me or burning me.

  7. Just wanted to chime in real quick on something the Film Sack Aficionados touched on. There was a brief discussion on how in depth can weight lifting/body building really be? Having recently got into exercise and fitness a couple years ago, I wanted to offer up a reference that I think most of you can relate to. It’s surprisingly similar to the Blizzard motto of, “easy to learn, difficult to master.” If you want to be generally fit, there are some basic, all-purpose exercises/routines you can do. However, if you want to min/max for greatest results, there are a million subtle nuances on what to do, when, how, and why. IE: Doing a curl (bicep flex) is pretty straight forward, but depending on your wrist rotation, you’ll target different individual muscles in the bicep for different results. If you do a curl with your palms facing down, it works a muscle UNDER the visible bicep and makes your existing bicep look bigger! This is one example of millions of variables to take into account with strength training.

    Anyway, love the show. Keep on Sacking!

  8. Late to the discussion here but being a follower of body building back in the day, I’d like to share a few thoughts. The 1970s and early 1980s was the golden age of the sport. This was when aesthetics was just as important as size and guys like Serge Nubert, Frank Zane and Larry Scott were Mr. Olympia. It was in the late 80s and then the 90s when all that mattered was size and no Scott, those probably were not photoshopped pics because today these guys have gone full freaky in size. Back in Arnold’s day, they used steroids but not to the extent of what is being done today plus add in HGH, insulin and a variety of diuretics to get ‘shredded’. And a lot of the guys from the 90s and aughts have dropped dead at early ages because of this stuff. I pretty much quit following it back in the late 90s when it just turned into a freak show. Arnold would probably be lucky to win an amateur contest by today’s judging standards.

    As far as the documentary goes, its one of my favorites mainly because of my affinity for the (then) sport and it is a nice reminder of what it was (and should have stayed). It is truly a subculture, never was or will be mainstream. The ‘dick’ that Arnold was is nothing compared to what it is now. I’ve seen shoving matches on stage which would have gotten them ejected back in the 80s. And the trash talk is pretty much what you see in WWF.

    For the record, Mike Katz and Ken Waller were best friends and that whole ‘drama’ was just that, created as was much of what you saw with Arnold and Ferrigno. Oh and the guy with the camera telling the girls to be ‘sexy’ was Joe Weider who is pretty much the father of modern bodybuilding and is the guy who essentially put Arnold on the world stage. The Muscle and Fitness Magazine is a Weider production and in the 70s and 80s, he was pretty much the only guy who was hawking supplements, weight gain powder and the like. These guys didn’t get rich winning the title but through endorsements and hopefully in the movies.

    Like Katz, a lot of guys get into the sport because they’re either bullied or just have body issues and want to improve. I was heavily into it in high school and college but competing even on a amateur level take a commitment beyond what I was willing to put in and by the time I was in my early 20s, I realized I didn’t have the genetics even if I was willing to use roids.

    There is a modern version of this called Generation Iron and you’ll see the difference in what it is now versus back then. Good show.

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