"Pumping Iron" (1977) - Likely the best known bodybuilding documentary, this film was as much a showcase for Arnold Schwarzenegger's charisma as it was for his quest to win the Mr. Olympia title. Sometimes defined as a docu-drama, this film did much to raise general publicís awareness of bodybuilding. Details the budding Ė and often entertaining - rivalry between Schwarzenegger and a pre-Hulk Lou Ferrigno. Also features Franco Columbu, Ken Waller, Mike Katz and Serge Nubret.
"Stand Tall" (1997) Ė An inspiring story of Lou Ferrigno un-retiring for a comeback attempt in his 40s. You canít help but admire Ferrigno for his determination throughout. Made on a shoestring budget, look for an appearance from Schwarzenegger. Kind of a companion piece to "Pumping Iron".
"Raising the Bar" (2005) Ė Actually comprising a trilogy, Raising the Bar details the journey of Dave Pulcinella and his determination to receive his pro card. The film offers a sometimes harsh look at what it takes to succeed in professional bodybuilding. But filmmaker Mike Pulcinella also takes care to detail the daily grind of his brother's exhaustive quest to attain the Mr. Delaware State title. The RTB trilogy is considered groundbreaking for its unflinching look at the sport.
"I Want To Look Like That Guy" (2009) 0 Stuart MacDonald was a filmmaker who figured the best way to examine the life of a professional bodybuilder was to become one himself. Training with IFBB Pro Jeff Willet, MacDonald underwent a remarkable physical transformation and took 2nd place in the Michigan State Bodybuilding Championships! Filmed over two years, itís not only a sobering story about what it takes to succeed as a bodybuilder; itís also a source of inspiration for those who want to adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
"Bigger, Stronger, Faster" (2008) - Filmmaker Chris Bell offers himself and his family as subjects for this detailed examination of steroid use by professional athletes. Bell and his two brothers provide a uniquely personal insight into the reasons why athletes risk their health (and possibly careers) taking performance-enhancing drugs. Bellís entertaining and informative film includes interviews with Olympic sprinters Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson.
"The Man Whose Arms Exploded" (2005) Ė With a runtime of 45 minutes this film actually aired on The Learning Channel. As much cautionary tale as documentary, it details the story of Gregg Valentino and the consequence of his abuse of steroids and synthol (or SEO, Site Enhancement Oil). Controversial to say the least, you should be aware of some disturbing imagery and situations.<