This tale is for the all the Pumping Iron movie fans out there, let alone people into bodybuilding and weight-lifting, sports, health, exercise and fitness.
Arnie, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Franco Columbu, were training partners preparing for the upcoming 1975 Mr Universe and Mr. Olympia bodybuilding contests. Arnie was from the over-200 pound division and Franco from the under-200 division. It is funny how both end up winning their divisions for the contests. Arnie was Austrian and Franco Italian.
You remember that line from the bodybuilding king of kings, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Arnie, ‘Franco you lazy bastard’. But the duo was anything but lazy. In fact, Arnie and Franco were power-lifters, meaning they could lift extraordinary amounts of weights. It was amazing why they never took part in the Strong Man competitions.
There was also another famous Pumping Iron line from Arnie, ‘I’m like his father and he is like my son’, in reference to Franco, showing the competition that still existed between the friends, training partners and champions.
This first tale starts on Venice ‘Muscle’ Beach in Los Angeles California, America, where Arnie and Franco are doing a chest workout, preparing for the event ahead. Venice Beach is a residential, commercial and recreational beachfront neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles. Venice Beach is called ‘muscle’ beach because it has weight-training equipment available for people to use, in this case, Arnie and Franco Wikipedia, ‘Venice Beach’ .
Arnie and Franco are doing a workout at Venice Beach for the general public. Arnie and Franco have just come out of the bulking stages from hard gym workouts and are now in the cutting and toning stages. Bulking stages are when the weight-lifter or body builder aims to put on large slabs of big muscle, increasing their size dramatically. The cutting and toning stages are when the participant molds and shapes this big mass of muscle, like a sculptor and a piece of art. Arnie mentions this in Pumping Iron.
There is a large crowd hanging around and observing intently the two champions’ weight routines. Franco gets a bit distracted with the growing crowd and speaks to some of the people and fans offering advice and saying hello and posing for photos. Arnie is still doing weights and needs a spot with the bench press, shouting out to Franco, ‘Franco you lazy bastard, hurry up and give me a spot will you’. Franco looks at Arnie and laughs a little while with the crowd, and then eventually spots Arnie.
The press arrive at Arnie and Franco’s Venice Beach workout and they stop to describe their preparation and journey for the current and up-coming Mr. Olympia. This Mr. Olympia is looking to be the biggest and best for Arnie and Franco as they aim to keep their crowns. It is almost like a relaxed press conference about the two.
Arnie and Franco finish their workouts and head towards the beach to have a sunbake. They take their time to put on some sunscreen and tanning oils. They both put down their huge towels and begin to have a sunbake. Both are holding hand grips to increase their hand and arm strength while they take in the sun, have a chat about Mr. Olympia and the beach and beachgoers and entertain the press, crowd and fans with their antics.
Arnie and Franco decide to finish their time on the sand and strut their stuff with a slow jog to the water’s edge. Just before the water, both look at each other with a mixed funny eager glance and do a quick sprint to the water with the press and crowd lapping it up. Arnie pretends to be drowning and puts up his hand for a lifeguard to come and save him. Then Franco does the same, raising his hand, with both chuckling out loud.
Arnie and Franco then freshen up at the change rooms with Arnie stating to everyone, ‘No one allowed, ha ha’. Both make some noise by banging on the lockers, seeing how everyone outside will react. Their big laughs can be heard from inside the change rooms.
Both walk out of the change rooms with tight t-shirts of Mr. Olympia and then do a slow walk down Venice Beach with more and more people flocking to see the two champions. They answer questions from the press, including some jokes and competitive statements about each other and the Mr. Olympia competition.
Arnie and Franco then stop at Burger King to sit down for some Whopper meals, with burger, fries and Coca-Cola. Arnie laughs and states, ‘Never do this’ (this line comes from Pumping Iron when Arnie states, ‘Never do that’ at the Gold’s Gym). The people have totally packed the Burger King eatery, watching Arnie and Franco’s every move. Both finish with some shakes for desert with Franco stating, ‘Shaking it all up’.
Both leave Burger King and head for their Lamborghini (Arnie) and Ferrari (Franco). The press are loving this last act from the two champions who speak to the press and compare their expensive, quality fast cars to winning their previous Mr. Olympias and how they will win the up-and-coming Mr. Olympias. Franco gets out of his Ferrari and attempts to lift his Ferrari with his bare hands, utilizing his power-lifting skills (this is from the part in Pumping Iron when Franco is in Italy and lifts a small car for a local to help them get out of a parking spot). Arnie revs his Lamborghini while Franco does this and states, ‘Check this out everybody, ha ha’.
The street at Venice Beach is sectioned off as the two attempt a quick drag of their cars. Both do simultaneous burnouts before taking off with Franco coming out ahead of Arnie at the top of the street. Arnie shouts out, ‘Franco you lazy bastard, ha ha’. Both then drive off, waving to the press and everyone, as they head towards their exclusive and pricey penthouses in the Venice Beach vicinity.
- ‘Pumping Iron’ documentary (1977)
- Wikipedia, ‘Pumping Iron’
- Wikipedia, ‘Venice, Los Angeles’