Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he had made up several stories in the movie for attention because the producers told him that without drama it would be boring. One of the stories made up was the fact that he did not attend his father's funeral because of a body building competition that was going to happen in a couple of months. Arnold did actually attend his father's funeral and spoke to him shortly before he passed.
To put some Hollywood asset into the film, actor Bud Cort was offered to appear being trained by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pieces of footage were actually filmed but removed from the final cut on demand of Cort who judged them too distracting from the main subject. He also asked for his salary to be injected into the rest of the production. Some of this footage eventually appeared in Raw Iron: The Making of 'Pumping Iron' (2002).