This movie was a surprise to me on a bunch of levels. I wasn't expecting much to begin with. It was made before Arnold became a famous movie star (mid-late 70s), and just around the time working out (bodybuilding) at a gym was becoming mainstream.
It was interesting to see the things that motivated and influenced these guys. And it was weird watching Arnold before he became a star; it's pretty damn obvious he had "it" ("X" factor or whatever). Some of his goofy quotes in the movie cracked me up....
Person: What kind of milk do you drink?
Arnold: I don't drink milk. Milk is for babies, when you grow up you drink beer.
The movie has a very indie/campy feel about it, almost on the same level as 'The Endless Summer'. Both of which are like a snapshot of their respective eras.
I'm not usually one for "sports" movies; the only ones in my collection are 'The Endless Summer' and 'Step Into Liquid'. And Pumping Iron is a great addition.
And I found the movie very motivational.
Edit>>surprisingly this movie has a rating of 96% on rotten tomatoes!!!