The bodybuilding and fitness industry has changed rapidly. When Vlad Yudin released “Generation Iron” a mere two years ago, the documentary chronicled the top IFBB pros competing in the 2013 Mr. Olympia contest. Similar to the film that started it all, “Pumping Iron,” Phil Heath was the brash Arnold Schwarzenegger-esque champion while Kai Greene seconded his fellow underdog Brooklynite Lou Ferrigno.
That was then; this is now.
Looking to continue documenting personalities from The Iron Game, Yudin decided to go in a slightly different direction…make that a drasticly different direction.
The game has changed, so Yudin switched gears from the redundant competition aspect (and the limitations that come with it) to cover one of the most popular names on the circuit in CT Fletcher, who is a six-time world champion powerlifter and kick-ass trainer who has exploded all over the Internet.
“CT is one of those special people that I was motivated and inspired by and I wanted to know his story,” explains Yudin. “After “Generation Iron,” I didn’t want to do another bodybuilding movie. But this one is different; it’s a human story.”
Premiering on September 18 at Olympia Weekend, “CT Fletcher: My Magnificent Obsession” shows a different side of him and Fletcher speaks about his tough upbringing in Compton in the 1960s and 70s. His father was a preacher but was very abusive to him, so Fletcher turned to weight lifting for a release.
He worked his way up to a 380-pound champion power lifter but suffered heart failure and nearly lost his life. “He flat lined three times during the surgery,” added Yudin. Fletcher’s recovery was extremely difficult, as he had to sleep sitting up for an entire year and lost 200 pounds.
The doctors told him to never work out again, but he loved being in the gym and became a personal trainer. Fletcher had trouble landing a job because he wasn’t certified and basically lost everything. “He was in his 40s broke and living in his daughter’s basement,” Yudin said, “but he’s a resilient person and bounced back.”
Eventually Fletcher was hired and became known for his hardcore training sessions. That was 15 years ago and the legend grew even more once he began using YouTube and other social media platforms to get himself out there.
THE BIG DIFFERENCES
Yudin spoke about the openness of Fletcher, who spoke about some very personal subjects during the filming. “As a director, you have to ask a lot of questions and CT answered them all quickly without repercussions,” he commented.
When it came to the subject of anabolic steroids, Fletcher was more forthcoming than the bodybuilders from “Generation Iron,” as Yudin explained.
“Steroids were a real sensitive subject in GI,” he said. “Bodybuilding is what it is, but we had to talk about (steroids) in a general perception of use instead of personal. But with CT, there were no parameters at all. He did say that he used them for a while but they had a negative effect on him so he stopped. That prevented him from ever becoming a bodybuilder – it’s impossible to do it without them. But he’s not against them and if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.”
‘GENERATION IRON’ TEAM BOARDS NEW DOC FEATURE ON FITNESS CHAMPION CT FLETCHER
Vlad Yudin (GENERATION IRON, JEREMY SCOTT: THE PEOPLE’S DESIGNER) and producing partner Edwin Mejia of The Vladar Company announce their upcoming documentary feature CT FLETCHER: MY MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION. The creators of GENERATION IRON bring the legendary story of the six-time, world champion power lifter who is considered to be one of the fitness world’s most sought after and unorthodox trainers. Scheduled for release on September 18th during the annual “Mr. Olympia” weekend in Las Vegas, Yudin will helm the feature and produce alongside Mejia. Additionally, this will mark the first feature released on the company’s upcoming ‘Generation Iron Fitness Network’ (GIFN) VOD platform.
The film follows the renowned power lifter and trainer turned motivational speaker telling the story of how his troubled upbringing and encounter with death lead him to push through all obstacles to achieve his dream of greatness. Growing up in Compton in an abusive home and antagonized by his strict religious father, the one lesson Fletcher received from his upbringing was a mental focus and toughness that enabled him to build an illustrious career in body building. While depicting the struggles and success that lead him to the prized moment of opening his own gym, the film also features Fletcher as he works to motivate and support other fitness moguls and leading names within the industry such as wresting superstar Steve ‘Stone Cold’ Austin, Bill Goldberg and many more.
About Generation Iron Fitness Network:
Generation Iron Fitness Network is the first digital network for fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts. That means a vast ecosystem of original fitness shows, articles, and brand new programming covering a wide variety of workout tips, contest coverage (including high profile events such as Mr. Olympia & Arnold Classic), and on the spot breaking news about the pros. Generation Iron Fitness Network provides brand new, original programming that can be watched right on your computer, tablet, or smart phone while giving the viewer access to the biggest stars out there today. A true inside look into the pro bodybuilding and fitness world (www.generationiron.com).
About The Vladar Company:
Yudin, who founded The Vladar Company in 2008 along with producer Edwin Mejia, directed, produced and penned the script for the 2013 critically acclaimed bodybuilding documentary GENERATION IRON. The Vladar Company is a premiere media and entertainment company, that caters to the market’s growing need for entertainment content across multiple platforms and focuses on developing, financing and packaging a library of intellectual properties with its producing partners at leading Hollywood production studios. The company is becoming a leading producer of many genres and multiple mediums in domestic and international markets (www.VLADAR.com).
Images courtesy of Anderson Group PR