A list of bodybuilding movies and documentaries for you to kick back with.
If you’re an avid weightlifter, you know the importance of taking a rest day. That said, if you’re one of those people that can’t get your mind off training but love kicking back with a film, then why not combine the best of both worlds with some bodybuilding movies.
This list consists of movies/documentaries that go way back to the 70’s when the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbo and Frank Zane were dominating the bodybuilding stage. To be frank, however, some of these bodybuilding movies were simply busts. But then there are those such as Pumping Iron that evidently put bodybuilding on the world map and allowed it to evolve into what it is now. And then we are left with others that focus on the dark side of the sport – namely, performance enhancing drugs.
As for the list, the top 5 films are the one we highly recommend all weightlifters and bodybuilding fanatics to watch to gain a deep insight into our sport. While the others are great in their own right, however, they have been added in no particular order.
Please purchase the original copies of each movie and documentary.
1. Pumping Iron
Out of all bodybuilding movies out there. If you had one to choose one to watch, this would be it. A 1977 documentary that seemingly set bodybuilding on the world map, which focused on the 1975 Mr Universe and Mr Olympia competitions which included Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Mike Katz.
2. Bigger, Stronger, Faster
A documentary that examines the use of performance enhancing drugs in weightlifting.
3. Generation Iron
A bodybuilding movie that gives fans front row access to the life of some of the world’s leading bodybuilders as they train and prepare for the 2013, Mr Olympia.
4. Kai Greene Overkill
A documentary on bodybuilder Kai Greene which highlights the countless hours training and work ethic needed to be a professional bodybuilder.
5. Evolution of Bodybuilding
A documentary that offers a close look at what it takes to compete at the Mr Olympia while also illustrating how the industry has changed offer the past 50 years.
6. Mark Dugdale: Driven
A documentary of the life of bodybuilder Mark Dugdale during his comp prep in his lead up to the 2006 Iron Man Pro.
7. Stand Tall
A documentary on Lou Ferrigno which recaps his journey to the Olympia 19 years after he has retired from competitive bodybuilding.
8. Stay Hungry
A 1976 dramatic comedy film which gravitates around buying a gym to complete a real estate lot.
9. Muscle Beach Party
A comedy movie made in 1964 which consists of local beach-goers finding out that their beach has been taking over by bodybuilders.
10. Why We Train
A documentary that sheds positive light on weightlifting.
11. The Comeback
A 1980 film that portrays Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback to the Olympia stage after an absence of five years.
12. Kai Greene Redemption
After the immensely popular documentary of Kai Greene in overkill. Redemption digs deeper and explores all facets of the life of pro bodybuilder Kai Greene, from unforgivable leg workouts to posing routines.
13. Pumping Iron 2: The Women
A documentary that focuses on several women in female bodybuilder as they prepare to compete in the 1983 Caesars World Cup.
14. Ronnie Coleman – The Price of Redemption
An insight into Ronnie’s life into the offseason as he prepares to take out another Mr Olympia title.
15. Ronnie Coleman – The Unbelievable
A film that encompasses Ronnie’s workouts five and a half weeks out of the 2000 Mr Olympia contest.
16. Jay Cutler – All Access
An insight into the life of 4x Mr Olympia champion Jay Cutler.
17. Muscle Beach Then and Now
The complete history of the historic landmark Venice beach that bodybuilders from all over the world have made famous.
18. Teddy Bear
A movie about a 38-year-old bodybuilder who strives to find true love.
19. Phil Heath – The Gift
An overview of the life of reigning Mr Olympia champion, Phil Heath.
20. I Want To Look Like That Guy
A documentary which consists of an out of shape average Joe transform his body over 9 months.
21. The Man Who’s Arm Exploded
A documentary highlighting the use of and abuse of steroids along with other physical enhancing substances. Features Greg Valentino, the man with the biggest arms in the world.
22. Pain and Gain
An American comedy and crime film directed by Michael Bay which consists of criminals and bodybuilders affiliated with the Sun Gym. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie.
23. Dennis Wolf – Hungry like a Wolf
The life of an upcoming German bodybuilder Dennis Wolf.
24. Battle for the Olympia 2007
A documentary unveiling competitors train and prepare for the 2007, Mr Olympia.
Photo Credit: SecondFocus
25. Larry Scott, A life in bodybuilding
A film recounting the early years, posing, awards and career highlight of Larry Scott.
26. Hidetada Yamagishi – Colossal Workout
The story of how Hidetada became the first ever Japanese bodybuilder to quality for the Mr Olympia.
27. Silvio Samuel-Next Big Thing
An intense raw insight into Silvio Samuel, a top 10 finalist at The 2007 Mr Olympia competition as he prepares to set foot on stage.
28. Chris Cormier – Real Deal
5 days out from Mr Olympia as Chris polishes off the last phase of his preparations for Mr Olympia.
29. Nasser El Sonbaty – Nasser on the Way
A documentary of bodybuilder legend, Nasser El Sonbaty.
30. Jay Cutler – A Cut Above
A film showing the life of Jay Cutler in 1999 as he was rapidly climbing the bodybuilding ranks.
31. British Grand Prix 1999
An overview of the 1999 British Grand Prix.
32. Arnold Classic 2004
A recap of the battle at the 2004 Arnold Classic.
If there any bodybuilding movies or documentaries that I may have lelt out. Please feel free to comment it below so I can add on and expand this list for the community.