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Examining the world of professional bodybuilding

Arnold Sports festival
Natasha Williams
Meari TKemaladze

This episode originally aired on February 2, 2023.

The sport of bodybuilding emerged in the 19th century, but didn’t enter the zeitgeist until the late 1970s with the release of the part-real, part-scripted documentary Pumping Iron.

The film starred a then 27-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger, and turned him into a household name that led to a successful career in film and politics.

Pumping Iron also drew back the curtain on body building, and helped increase interest in exercise and the world of gyms and health clubs.

Since then, the sport has grown. The Arnold Classic sports festival in Columbus attracts thousands every year.

The growth of the sport has been complicated by steroid abuse, sexual exploitation and greed.

Coming up, a deep dive into the world of professional bodybuilding.


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