Sculpting Giants: The Best Bodybuilding Documentaries on Netflix

Sculpting Giants: The Best Bodybuilding Documentaries on Netflix

In a world where physical prowess and aesthetic perfection collide, bodybuilding is an arena that likely captivates you. The unyielding determination, discipline, and resilience needed to sculpt the human body into a magnificent work of art can be both fascinating and inspiring.

Your curiosity might have recently been piqued by the surge of bodybuilding documentaries. These captivating films offer you an insider’s perspective on this intriguing world. The purpose of this article? To guide you through the labyrinth of choices and highlight the best bodybuilding documentaries on Netflix.

Why Watch Bodybuilding Documentaries?

You may wonder, “Why should I watch bodybuilding documentaries?” These films are more than just about muscle growth and gym sessions; they’re about the psychological and physical journey of the bodybuilders. They present the struggle, the triumph, and the sheer willpower it takes to overcome personal limits. They give you insights into their diet, training regimens, and even the science behind bodybuilding. By watching these documentaries, you get a ringside view of the dedication and grit it takes to transform oneself, which can be both educational and inspiring.

The Evolution of Bodybuilding Documentaries

The world of bodybuilding documentaries has evolved over the years, much like the sport itself. One of the earliest and most iconic films about bodybuilding was “Pumping Iron” from the 1970s. This groundbreaking documentary introduced the world to the then-emerging sport of competitive bodybuilding, along with charismatic personalities like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since then, bodybuilding documentaries have continued to delve deeper into this sport, exploring the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

As you journey with us through this article, you’ll discover the variety and depth of bodybuilding documentaries available today.

Top Bodybuilding Documentaries on Netflix

Now let’s dive into the main attraction. Here are some of the best bodybuilding documentaries Netflix has to offer, each with its own unique perspective and insights into the bodybuilding world.

Ronnie Coleman: The King 

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– A bodybuilding documentary Netflix proudly hosts, “Ronnie Coleman: The King” delves into the life of eight-time Mr. Olympia winner, Ronnie Coleman. This Netflix bodybuilding gem gives you a raw look at Coleman’s rigorous training routine and the immense dedication it took for him to reach the top. It’s worth watching for its candid portrayal of the trials and tribulations of one of the sport’s greatest figures.

Generation Iron 

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– Another must-watch bodybuilding documentary on Netflix, “Generation Iron” is often compared to the classic “Pumping Iron”. It provides an in-depth look at the lives of contemporary bodybuilders striving for the coveted Mr. Olympia title. Watching this bodybuilding documentary, you’ll gain insights into the modern era of the sport and the constant push for perfection that drives these athletes.

CT Fletcher: My Magnificent Obsession

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 – This bodybuilding Netflix documentary chronicles the life of CT Fletcher, a six-time world champion powerlifter, and his battle against life-threatening health issues. This inspiring story showcases how resilience and passion can overcome the most formidable obstacles, making it an essential watch for anyone interested in bodybuilding.

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

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 – Although not a traditional bodybuilding documentary, this film follows the journey of professional wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts as he battles personal demons and strives to reclaim his physical health. This Netflix bodybuilding documentary offers a unique perspective on fitness and personal redemption, making it a compelling watch.


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While it may not be a typical bodybuilding documentary, Netflix’s “Strongman” provides a raw and emotional look into the world of strongman competitions. It offers unique insights into the physical and psychological toll these extreme athletes endure for the love of their sport.

These bodybuilding documentaries on Netflix each offer a unique glimpse into the world of bodybuilding, showcasing the extreme discipline, dedication, and tenacity required in this sport. Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder, a fitness enthusiast, or a casual viewer, these films are sure to captivate and inspire.

The Best Bodybuilding Movies on Netflix

Having explored the world of bodybuilding through documentaries, it’s time to venture into the realm of dramatization. Bodybuilding movies, through their unique blend of narrative and reality, offer a different perspective on the sport. Here are some bodybuilding movies on Netflix that you shouldn’t miss:

  1. Pumping Iron – No list of bodybuilding movies would be complete without this classic. This 1977 docudrama showcases a young and ambitious Arnold Schwarzenegger on his quest for his sixth Mr. Olympia title. “Pumping Iron” isn’t just a bodybuilding movie, it’s a cultural phenomenon that put the sport on the map.
  2. Bigger – This biographical drama traces the journey of Joe and Ben Weider, the brothers who founded the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB). The Weiders played an instrumental role in popularizing bodybuilding worldwide. “Bigger” is a must-watch movie on Netflix for anyone interested in the history of the sport.
  3. Pain & Gain – A somewhat different take on bodybuilding, this dark comedy-crime film is based on the true story of three bodybuilders who get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. With its star-studded cast and unusual plot, “Pain & Gain” is one of those bodybuilding movies that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  4. Generation Iron 2 and 3 – While these are sequels to the documentary mentioned earlier, they carry a more narrative style, diving deeper into the lives of the bodybuilders and their pursuit of the perfect physique. They are a great addition to the bodybuilding movies on Netflix that you can enjoy.
  5. The Game Changers – Although not strictly a bodybuilding movie, “The Game Changers” is a revolutionary documentary that explores the impact of plant-based diets on physical strength and endurance. It features several athletes, including bodybuilders, who have made the switch to plant-based diets, offering a unique perspective on nutrition in the world of bodybuilding.

These bodybuilding movies on Netflix offer a captivating blend of drama, action, and real-life struggles. They’re sure to entertain, inspire, and give you a deeper understanding of the world of bodybuilding.

The Best Weightlifting Documentaries on Netflix

While bodybuilding focuses on the art of sculpting the body, weightlifting is about the raw power and strength. It’s another facet of the fitness world that might intrigue you. To broaden your perspective, let’s turn the spotlight to some of the best weightlifting documentaries Netflix has to offer:

  1. The Weight of Gold – This powerful weightlifting documentary on Netflix delves into the mental health struggles many Olympic athletes face. Although not solely about weightlifting, it features athletes from various sports, including weightlifting, and provides a raw, honest look at the pressures of competing at the highest level.
  2. Eddie – Strongman – This compelling Netflix weightlifting documentary chronicles the journey of Eddie Hall, a British strongman and weightlifter, on his quest to become the World’s Strongest Man. It’s a gritty, inspiring film that showcases the sheer determination and resilience required in the world of weightlifting.
  3. Lift the World – This weightlifting documentary on Netflix takes you on a global journey, exploring the lives of young weightlifters from around the world as they prepare for the Youth World Championships. It’s a heartwarming film that highlights the universal appeal and spirit of weightlifting.
  4. Westside vs the World – This Netflix weightlifting documentary is a gripping exploration of the famous Westside Barbell gym in Columbus, Ohio, known for producing some of the world’s strongest powerlifters. The film provides an insider’s look into the intense, sometimes controversial training methods used at the gym.
  5. Icarus – While not strictly a weightlifting documentary, “Icarus” is a critically acclaimed Netflix film that delves into the dark side of competitive sports: doping. It’s a thrilling, eye-opening documentary that any sports or fitness enthusiast should watch.

These weightlifting documentaries on Netflix offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of strength sports, showcasing the determination, power, and tenacity required. Whether you’re a budding weightlifter, a fitness enthusiast, or simply a fan of compelling storytelling, these films are sure to captivate and inspire you.

As we conclude this journey through the world of bodybuilding and weightlifting documentaries and movies on Netflix, it’s clear that these films offer much more than just entertainment. They provide unique insights into the dedication, discipline, and determination required to excel in these demanding sports. They highlight the triumphs, the trials, and the sheer willpower of the athletes striving to push their physical and mental boundaries.

From the raw intensity of “Ronnie Coleman: The King” to the inspiring journey of “CT Fletcher: My Magnificent Obsession”, the gripping narrative of “Pain & Gain” to the eye-opening revelations in “Icarus”, each film brings a unique perspective to the table.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or someone just curious about these sports, these documentaries and movies offer something for everyone. They’re not just about bodybuilding or weightlifting; they’re about the human spirit’s ability to strive for greatness, overcome obstacles, and continually evolve.

Remember, every story you watch is a source of inspiration. Every athlete’s journey could be the spark that ignites your passion or the motivation that drives you to push your limits. So sit back, press play, and let these bodybuilding and weightlifting documentaries on Netflix inspire you to reach for your personal best.


I am a pop culture and social media expert. Aside from writing about the latest news health, I also enjoy pop culture and Yoga. I have BA in American Cultural Studies and currently enrolled in a Mass-Media MA program. I like to spend my spring breaks volunteering overseas.

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