For those not into reading, the Pumping Iron movie actually came out of a book of the same name. The movie hit the big screen in 1977 but was predated by the book, which was released in 1974. The actual title of the book is Pumping Iron: the Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, by Charles Gains and George Butler and it was the first broad peek into bodybuilding that the general public had.
Pumping Iron delved into all aspects of bodybuilding – the training, the dieting, and the final culmination of the contest and beyond – looking at both the winners and the losers and the path they took to get there. It also explored all the oddities of the sport that was just starting to break onto the national scene.
As with the movie, Arnold is the centerpiece of the book, although he gets more billing in the movie than the book. There are a variety of great black and white shots, with the body measurements of the top stars at that point in time.
The photography in the book is stunning and blew the minds of those unaccustomed to seeing such extreme muscle size and development, and to see the sport in its raw state at the start of its transformation into the conscious of the mainline.
The Pumping Iron book is a classic and some pristine versions sell online for close to $500 but you can pick up a used copy for far less.
For more information go to Pumping Iron Movie.
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