Strongman Is Getting a Movie: Chris Bell Announces “Stronger” Documentary

The director of “Prescription Thugs” and “Bigger Stronger Faster*” has made a new documentary chronicling the sport of strongman. And from the brief teaser trailer released on Instagram, “Stronger” already looks like it will feature some of the sport’s biggest names (and biggest, tallest athletes).

A video posted by StrongerDoc (@strongerdoc) on

The film is directed by Chris Bell, who rose to prominence with the critically-acclaimed “Bigger Stronger Faster*” in 2008. That film looked at steroid use and performance enhancers in sports, and main subjects included the director’s own brothers, Mark and Mike Bell. (Mike Bell passed away in 2008 after a heart attack induced by inhalants; Chris Bell’s documentary “Prescription Thugs” explored prescription drug abuse and his brother Chris’ struggles with prescribed substances.) Both Mark and Mike Bell had notable careers as professional wrestlers in addition to their participation in strength sports.

Chris Bell’s unique family connections with the strength sports world give him a high level of access to top athletes. In fact, teaser featured athlete Brian Shaw — deadlifting 955 pounds + 115 pounds of band tension, for a double — is sponsored by brother Mark’s accessory and supportive wear company.

The announcement post calls the film a version of “Pumping Iron” for strength. “Pumping Iron” was 1977 documentary chronicling that year’s Mr. Olympia contest, a film that helped launch a young Arnold Schwarzenegger — and bodybuilding itself — to international stardom.

No word on an official release date, but we assume it’ll be announced at some point on the film’s official Instagram page.

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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