Bodybuilding is much like any other sport. To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr universe 1970-1975
This quote is by one of the stars of some of the top bodybuilding movies in history. While the genre of Terminator when it launched onto the big screen, was actually sci-fi. Arnold’s appearance in the film is one of the things that launched the interest of bodybuilding into the hearts of so many people at the time. Arnold is explaining in this quote that there is more to bodybuilding than meets the eye.
For many professional bodybuilders, bodybuilding is more than just a way to keep fit and exercise your abs or biceps. It is a real discipline, a real lifestyle that we should all learn to master as it teaches us to be, not just physically strong but mentally strong too, in all areas of our lives. Between dumbbells, pull-ups, the deadlift and the barbell, bodybuilding exercises require extreme discipline.
Because we are all so different, the potential that we can gain through just bodybuilding differs significantly. This has something to do with genetics, our personal habits, what we eat and how focused we are on being a beginner bodybuilder. Professional bodybuilders are quite outspoken about the commitment that it takes to gain spectacular results. But when you see legendary bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger ( previous governor of California ), Dwayne Johnson (the rock), Lou Ferrigno (the incredible hulk) flex their muscles on screen. You may just become obsessed with how you too can become bigger stronger faster and defined.
While bodybuilding we must pay very close attention to nutrition, our routine and to make sure that we are training to be more focused on having control of our bodies in all areas of our lives. While drawing inspiration from cinema and role models, we also have to remember that we must do the work to achieve the goal.
A true body building movie, showing you behind the scenes. Photo Source: Unsplash
The actor Edward Norton gained 15 kg in muscle mass while starring in the American History X movie by training twice a day six out of seven days in the week. If you look at him usually though he is very slim and doesn’t naturally have muscles. This is all the inspiration that fans and bodybuilding enthusiasts need to be motivated to take action.
There are movies that move you, touch you, scare you, or teach you a lesson. Bodybuilding movies or movies that star celebrity bodybuilders are often all that, but so much more. Because if you are interested in bodybuilding for yourself. You get to see what could be possible for you if you continue to do the work.
Of course, you know that practising bodybuilding gives a great physical result. But when you are on your 20th rep and your muscles are burning, it could be thinking about the image of that bodybuilder in the movie that gives you the motivation to get through it. Especially when you know that they would have gone through the same thing to look the way that they do.
In a few minutes of viewing, it is possible to immerse yourself in the head of an athlete. You can imagine what the actor has gone through to change and maintain his body and compare that with your routine. In the atmosphere of the gym, the only thing that matters is hard work, but also patience and determination. When you see the celebrity bodybuilder, you know that he is a reflection of what you are or could be. They have to train for months to get ready for a movie; multiple times a day of weight training, bench presses, or cardio training, with each exercise carefully chosen to achieve their goal.
Bodybuilding is a sport, but it is also a technique, a practice, and a true philosophy of life that should be respected. Photo Source: Unsplash
This film is halfway between a film and a documentary. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger on his pursuit to become an apprentice comedian. While the story is based on his work with the comics of the period, it also heavily focuses on his workouts. Showing weightlifting, for the usual muscles, abs and triceps. The idea of Pumping Iron represents bodybuilding in its most objective showing workouts with push-ups, barbell pumps, pull ups, and the importance of a varied diet, etc.
This historical film is a dive into the bodybuilding world, at the height of what was called the golden age of bodybuilding. An American film directed by George Butler and Robert Fiore. They show all sides of bodybuilding in the past including the bodybuilders competing in competitions and winning championships for lifting weights.
This documentary made in 2008 shows the world of bodybuilding in a new light, and not necessarily a glorious light. This movie is highlighting the drug use in the bodybuilding community, anabolic steroids, doping drugs, testosterone and so on, in the hope of opening the eyes of the people.
Everywhere in life, there will be the underground, illegal or cheating aspects. The film explores the bodybuilders that we all look up to and how they managed to get to where they are today regarding their bodies. They examine many areas, all sports, all competitions, bodybuilding personalities who have not been honest, about their body building routines.
Many male and female bodybuilders have promoted natural bodybuilding but take drugs secretly to get gains. Which means that they may not be worthy of the respect and the limelight that they receive. From the novice to the pro bodybuilder this film highlights the darker side of the sport, and we discover it in a new light.
There are more striking films than others, but many of them have a strong interest because they let us see behind the curtain of bodybuilding. Photo Source: Unsplash
Made by the producer of the 1977 classic Pumping Iron, generation Iron is a documentary film made in 2013. It traces the path of bodybuilders, whose desire was to participate in the contest of Mr Olympia in 2012. It takes us deep into the bodybuilding environment and gives us a look behind the scenes. Showing us the world under the veil that we do not necessarily know about unless we practice bodybuilding. The film has appearances by celebrity stars like Jacob Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Phil Heath.
This is a French film made in 2014, directed by Roschdy Zem, with Marina Fois, Vincent Rottiers and Yolin François Gauvin. This drama introduces the story of Antoine, a young man for Lyon who started hanging out with the wrong crowd and ends up owing money to a group of gangsters. Who aggressively and violently pursue him for the money. He is then sent to away to stay with his father, Vincent.
When it is discovered that Vincent is a bodybuilder, Antoine discovers a very different environment than he is used to. Which he struggles to master, on top of having to find common ground with the father that he had not seen in years. This is an interesting film told through the gym; it paints a poignant, deep, story that shows us how bodybuilding fits within the ‘normal’ world.
This film with the endearing name could be classified as a drama, but it has an intensely realistic feel that gives it a documentary film style. Teddy Bear immerses us in the world of bodybuilding, through a very endearing character, played and performed by Kim Koldcomme. Directed by Mads Matthiesen’s in 2012, this film shows bodybuilders in a new light, far from the clichés and action movies where they are often placed.
The lead had never found love and began his search for it at the age of 38. He travels to Thailand to meet a girl promoted by the successful marriage of his uncle to a Thai woman. This film takes us behind the scenes of the life a bodybuilder, highlighting more than the usual days spent at the gym or Quadriceps workouts.
The idea of bodybuilding is visual perfection. Imagine a Greek statue coming to life. It’s about carving your body like an artist chiselled the stone – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Cinema has given us a peek at the objective vision of bodybuilding, and it is sometimes hard and shocking, and other times soft and tender. The films are set to inspire us and also give us the facts about what you have to dedicate to achieve the unachievable heights that pro bodybuilders reach. Whatever you do and whatever inspires you, be legendary!