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The “Little Guy” is an intriguing character who found himself unexpectedly thrust into the world of bodybuilding and the iconic documentary “Pumping Iron.” His journey began when he sought out Arnold Schwarzenegger’s advice, leading to an unexpected turn of events and a memorable role in the film.
Here’s an expansion of the story behind the “Little Guy” and his observations during the filming of “Pumping Iron”:
Seeking Arnold’s Advice:
The “Little Guy” initially embarked on a quest for advice from the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger. Eager to learn from the best, he ventured to Gold’s Gym, which he anticipated as an opportunity to work out. Little did he know that fate had something grander in store for him. As soon as he opened the door to Gold’s Gym, he found himself in the midst of the production of “Pumping Iron,” led by filmmaker George Butler.
A Surprise Role:
George Butler recognized the unique opportunity presented by the “Little Guy” walking into the gym during the film’s production. He offered him a role in “Pumping Iron,” an offer too enticing to refuse. Suddenly, the “Little Guy” was given the chance to spend two weeks hanging out with some of the world’s top bodybuilders. It was a remarkable twist of fate that propelled him from an ordinary day at the gym to a participant in a landmark bodybuilding documentary.
Observations During Filming:
As the “Little Guy” became part of the “Pumping Iron” crew, he made several fascinating observations:
- Bill Grant as the Perfect Host: Bill Grant, a respected bodybuilder, seemingly excelled in the role of the perfect host at Gold’s Gym. His hospitality and welcoming nature contributed to the sense of camaraderie at the gym.
- Kent Kuehn’s Introduction: Kent Kuehn and others introduced the “Little Guy” to the bodybuilding community. This gesture showcased the inclusive and friendly atmosphere among the athletes.
- Ken Waller, the Freckled Heckler: Ken Waller earned his nickname, the “Freckled Heckler,” for a reason. His presence was marked by an outspoken and assertive personality, adding a unique dynamic to the group.
- Zane and Columbu’s Involvement: Some bodybuilders, like Frank Zane and Franco Columbu, didn’t seem as deeply engaged in the gym camaraderie as others. Each athlete had their own approach to training and interactions.
- Arnold’s Training Partner: Arnold Schwarzenegger chose to train with Ed Corney during the filming of “Pumping Iron.” This decision was likely influenced by Arnold’s desire to avoid training with anyone who might outpace him, as he was known for his competitiveness.
- Arnold’s Training Fees: The “Little Guy” revealed that Arnold charged him $50 per hour for training in 1975, equivalent to approximately $240 in today’s dollars. It was a testament to Arnold’s entrepreneurial spirit even in the midst of intense training and film production.
- George Butler’s Intervention: George Butler intervened in Arnold’s charging of the “Little Guy,” suggesting that Schwarzenegger should provide his time as a form of payment to the “Little Guy” for his role in the film.
- Steroid Awareness: Arnold offered to protect the “Little Guy” from anyone attempting to push steroids onto him, showing a sense of responsibility and care for the well-being of others.
- Dave Draper’s Unique Approach: The “Little Guy” shared an intriguing anecdote about Dave Draper, who would allegedly drink alcohol while doing squats, presumably between sets. This highlighted the diversity of approaches and rituals among bodybuilders.
The “Little Guy” not only became a memorable figure in “Pumping Iron” but also provided unique insights into the world of bodybuilding, the personalities of the athletes, and the unexpected turns of fate that can lead to incredible opportunities. His story adds depth to the narrative of the iconic documentary and the colorful characters within it.