Pumping Iron is a 1977 docudrama about the world of bodybuilding, focusing on the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions. Inspired by a book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler, the film nominally focuses on the competition between Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of his primary competitors for the title of Mr. Olympia, Lou Ferrigno.
- I always felt my place was in America, and when I was ten years old I only dreamed of coming to America and being the greatest and being different from anybody else.
- I've thrown up many times working out, but it's all worth it.
- Franco is pretty smart, but Franco's a child, and when it comes to the day of the contest, I am his father. He comes to me for advices. So it's not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices.
- I don't have any weak points. I had weak points three years ago, but my main thing in mind is, my goal always was, to even out everything to the point... that everything is perfect. Which means if I want to increase one muscle a half inch, the rest of the body has to increase. I would never make one muscle increase or decrease, because everything fits together now, and all I have to do is get my posing routine down more perfect, which is almost impossible to do, you know. It's perfect already.
- Milk is for babies; when you grow up, you have to drink beer.
- The greatest feeling you can get in a gym, or the most satisfying feeling you can get in the gym is... The Pump. Let's say you train your biceps. Blood is rushing into your muscles and that's what we call The Pump. You muscles get a really tight feeling, like your skin is going to explode any minute, and it's really tight - it's like somebody blowing air into it, into your muscle. It just blows up, and it feels really different. It feels fantastic.
- It's as satisfying to me as, uh, cumming is, you know? As, ah, having sex with a woman and cumming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like, uh, getting the feeling of cumming in a gym, I'm getting the feeling of cumming at home, I'm getting the feeling of cumming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am cumming day and night. I mean, it's terrific. Right? So you know, I am in heaven.
- [walks up to the counter of Gold's Gym] Can I sign up? I want to start gaining some muscles.
- I was always dreaming about very powerful people - dictators and things like that. I was just always impressed by people who could be remembered for hundreds of years, or even, like Jesus, be for thousands of years remembered.
- Come on let's get Serious!
- You're the king, Arnold, and you're going to stay the king a long time.
- Never feel sorry for yourself. Remember, if you are training hard, he may be training twice as hard. You just gotta keep coming back stronger.
- You know, Louis, you look like something Michelangelo carved out.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: What did you say, Lou? What did you say?
- Lou Ferrigno: I'm training Arnold! Gotta get a good pump!
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: You make too much noise! Has to be very quiet in here, like in a Church!
- Serge Nubret: Looks like I can take you.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: Heh heh, yeah, keep looking.
- Interviewer: Do you visualize yourself as a living sculpture?
- Arnold Schwarzenegger: Yes, definitely. Good bodybuilders have the same mind when it comes to sculpting, that a sculptor has. If you analyze it, you look in the mirror and you say, okay, I need a bit more deltoids...so that the proportion's right, and...you exercise and put those deltoids on, whereas an artist would just slap on some clay on each side.