10 best bodybuilding documentaries you need to watch

In recent years, bodybuilding has become an art. What was initially considered a mildly occult practice has now become a mainstream phenomenon, with bodybuilders becoming certified in an era where fame is defined by the number of social media followers and likes.

Now, it doesn’t matter whether your idol is Superman or a real bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzenegger at the beginning of his career because in both cases you will have to work hard to become like your idols.

While it’s never good to overdo it, strength training can have many benefits for your body and mind.

In order to give you some insight into how the world of bodybuilding works and, perhaps, help you reach your goals faster, here is a list of the best bodybuilding documentaries you can enjoy. You will definitely cherish both the movie making and enjoy the content.

This list is sorted in random order.

The best bodybuilding documentaries of all time

The best bodybuilding documentaries

1. Generation Iron

This 2013 film directed by Vlad Yudin is a classic bodybuilding documentary and is considered the spiritual sequel to the hit 1977 documentary. pump iron (see below). It follows a series of world famous bodybuilders as they prepare for the 2012 Mount Olympia competition.

Featuring the voice work of Mickey Rourke, the film features the following names: Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Pakulski, Branch Warren, Dennis Wolf, Roelly Winklaar, Hidetada Yamagishi, Victor Martínez, Mike Katz, Lou Ferrigno and Jacob Wilson. As you can see, with these names you cannot fail.

2. Iron pumping

Focusing on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and 1975 Mr. Olympia competitions, pump iron is a true classic in every way and is probably the most artistically displayed title on this list. It was a major film for the bodybuilding community as it was the first work, at a time when bodybuilding was on the fringes, to take an in-depth look at the inner workings of the bodybuilding profession.

Directed by George Butler and Robert Fiore, it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Mike Katz, Ken Waller, Ed Corney and Serge Nubret.

3. Pumping Iron II: Women

Several years after the original story, George Butler decided to further explore his world with Pumping Iron II: Women. Now, as with any activity, both men and women do it, but – unfortunately – women are generally less exposed in certain areas and weight training was certainly one of them.

Bev Francis and Rachel McLish are the film’s main focus, but it also features Kris Alexander, Lori Bowen, Lydia Cheng, Gladys Portugues, and Carla Dunlap. These are some of the biggest names in women’s bodybuilding and you’ll definitely want to watch the movie.

4. Bigger, stronger, faster*

Chris Bell’s 2008 documentary on the use of anabolic steroids in bodybuilding shows that such documentaries can have an educational note and can also act as warning signs.

This film shows the dark side of bodybuilding, as well as US policies on different drugs that are (more or less) frequently used. The film was critically acclaimed and we can only attest that it is indeed a very good watch.

5. Generation Iron 2

by Vlad Yudin Generation Iron 2 wasn’t as successful as the first installment, but we think it’s worth watching. The film focuses on a younger generation of bodybuilders and actually shows how the whole industry has reacted to the societal and technological changes of the modern era.

The film features appearances from Kai Greene, Calum von Moger, Rich Piana, Iris Kyle, Flex Wheeler, Mamdouh Elssbiay, Hidetada Yamagishi, Brandon Curry and Dana Linn Bailey. Don’t expect a masterpiece, but give it a try.

6. “The Bodybuilders”

Source: Gorilla Freak on Unsplash

This job was actually an episode of Discovery’s On the inside, a documentary series providing insight into the inner workings of various communities. It originally aired in 2000 and has since become one of the most popular works devoted to bodybuilding. some say he comes right after pump ironwhich is the most important title on this list.

“Bodybuilders” features a number of big names, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lesa Lewis, Lou Ferrigno, Frank Zane, Jay Cutler, Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls, Stan McQuay, Corinna Everson, Craig Titus, Joe Weider, Ben Weider and Travis Wojcik, so definitely try it.

7. Afghan Muscles

There is some diversity in the best bodybuilding documentaries. afghan muscles is a 59-minute Danish documentary about bodybuilding in Afghanistan, a country whose society doesn’t really approve of such activities. It focuses on the stories of Hamidullah Shirzai and Noorulhoda Shirzad, and how their dreams evolved as part of Afghan society. The film was critically acclaimed, so you absolutely have to watch it.

8. Bungee cord

Bungee cord is actually how it all started. This is a silent film directed by William KL Dickinson, which premiered in 1894. It starred bodybuilder Eugen Sandow and is considered today as an important work in the history of documentary films. The movie is available online as it is in the public domain so you can easily enjoy it from the comfort of your home. You will be looking at a piece of history.

9. Addicted: muscular women

This 2008 documentary focuses on female bodybuilders and features Colette Nelson and Kristy Hawkins and their competition in the 2008 Ms. International. It was very insightful work that showed us their preparation, diet and experiences with steroids, so if you want a more in-depth look at female bodybuilding Hung is definitely a must-have title.

10. Such soft skin

Denis Côté directed this French-speaking documentary on French-speaking bodybuilders. It includes Jean-François Bouchard, Cédric Doyon, Benoit Lapierre, Maxim Lemire, Alexis Légaré, Ronald Yang, Alexandre Auger and Robin Strand.

The film was critically acclaimed, is one of the best bodybuilding documentaries out there, and offers a very different perspective on bodybuilding society, which is why we finally decided to put it on our list.

Read more: How to train like Batman

Teresa E. Burton