Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding
William M. Gaines & photography by George Butler
In 1974 Gaines created Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding, a photo-essay with photographs by George Butler which focused in even further detail on the professional bodybuilding scene during the 1970s. It featured such bodybuilding greats as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, Serge Nubret, Ken Waller, Mike Katz and Ed Corney, and provided a factual and philosophical exposition of the sport of bodybuilding. It is considered to be a seminal work in that field, and still enjoys significant popularity.
Pumping Iron was adapted by Butler into a documentary film of the same name in 1977, this time focusing on the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contest and the rivalry between Schwarzenegger and up-and-comer Lou Ferrigno, though also including all of the bodybuilders from the original book. The film enjoyed great success, bringing both Ferrigno and Schwarzenegger into the spotlight and increasing their public profiles tremendously. It also helped to further popularize bodybuilding as a sport and bring it into the mainstream.
Gaines continued writing on the topic of bodybuilding, publishing an exercise manual, Staying Hard: The Only Exercise Book You Will Ever Need in 1980 and writing a biography of Charles Atlas in 1982.