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Flex into the gritty glory of weightlifting cinema, where muscles and motivation dominate the screen.

This collection showcases giants of iron and the tales of tenacity that inspired them.

Are you pumped to dive into our heavy-hitting selection of the best weightlifting movies, shows, and documentaries ever lifted into the spotlight?

Best Weightlifting Movies, Shows, and Documentaries:

  1. Pumping Iron (1977) – Documentary
  2. Bigger, Stronger, Faster* (2008) – Documentary
  3. Commando (1985)
  4. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (2016-2017) – TV Series

#1 Pumping Iron (1977) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: George Butler, Robert Fiore
  • 🌟 Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu

Pumping Iron is a seminal documentary in the world of bodybuilding, chronicling the intense competition between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno in the lead-up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest.

The film offers an inside look at the rigorous training and dedication required in the sport of professional bodybuilding and profiles the competitive drive of Schwarzenegger, who is seeking his sixth title. “Pumping Iron” is credited with popularizing the sport and making Schwarzenegger a household name.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu

#2 Bigger, Stronger, Faster* (2008) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Chris Bell

“Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” is a documentary that explores the use of anabolic steroids in the United States, delving into the pressures that athletes face to perform at higher levels.

Director Chris Bell, along with his two brothers, are featured in the film as they have all been involved with bodybuilding and wrestling, providing a personal angle on the subject matter. The documentary critically examines the American obsession with winning and the lengths athletes go to maintain a competitive edge.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play Movies & TV

#3 Commando (1985)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Mark L. Lester
  • 🌟 Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Dan Hedaya, Vernon Wells, Alyssa Milano

Commando is a classic action film rather than a weightlifting-focused feature. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as retired Delta Force operator John Matrix, whose daughter is kidnapped to pressure him into a political assassination.

The film showcases Schwarzenegger’s impressive physical prowess as he goes on a one-man warpath to rescue his daughter and take down the villains. Commando solidified Schwarzenegger’s status as one of the most iconic action heroes of the 1980s.

Where to watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu

#4 Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo (2016-2017) – TV Series

  • 🎬 Directed by: Oh Hyun-jong
  • 🌟 Starring: Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon, Kyung Soo-jin

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo is a South Korean television series inspired by the life of Olympic gold medalist Jang Mi-ran. It’s a coming-of-age sports drama centered on the titular character Kim Bok-joo, a young woman pursuing her dreams of weightlifting greatness while also navigating the challenges of love and life.

The series has been praised for its heartwarming storyline, relatable characters, and portrayal of sports that are less represented in media, particularly women in weightlifting. It blends humor, romance, and inspiring sports action to create an addictive and charming show.

Where to watch: Netflix, Viki, Amazon Prime Video

Discover the figures behind the scenes who shape champions by reading about the best weightlifting coaches.


What is the best weightlifting movie of all time?

“Pumping Iron” (1977) is the best weightlifting movie of all time, showcasing the rivalry between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno for the Mr. Olympia title.

What are some good weightlifting movies?

“Generation Iron” series, “The Comeback” (1980), and “Bigger Stronger Faster*” (2008) are good weightlifting movies, offering insights into the sport and its culture.

What weightlifting movies, shows, and documentaries are on Netflix?

The best weightlifting movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix currently are “Ronnie Coleman: The King” (2018), “Icarus” (2017), and “Fittest on Earth” franchise.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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