Think of these words of wisdom from Arnold, The Rock, LeBron, and more before your next workout.
For some people, putting in the hard work that it takes to stay fit is as natural as sleeping, eating, and breathing—it’s a necessary part of their life.
For the rest of us, finding the motivation to finish that last set of burpees isn’t so easy. There are plenty of distractions keeping us from fulfilling our full fitness potential. That top level might not be a set of six-pack abs or a 400-pound bench press; just putting the work in when you want to quit can be enough.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become even harder to stick to a solid routine. With most gyms closed, the fitness world for most of us has shifted to at-home or outdoor workouts. And it’s forced us to self-motivate even more as we’ve found alternative workout routines.
So when you don’t feel like you can finish another rep, or when you just don’t want to get up for that 5 a.m. wakeup call, just remember these words of wisdom from some of the fittest men who have ever walked the earth. These 30 quotes will help you to power through the pain, inspiring you to be the best version of you possible.
“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion.”
"There is no magic pill"
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, seven-time Mr. Olympia
"I have nothing in common with lazy people who blame others for their lack of success. Great things come from hard work and perseverance. No excuses."
Kobe Bryant, 5-time NBA Championship winner
"In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.”
– Rich Froning Jr., CrossFit Games champion
“You shall gain, but you shall pay with sweat, blood, and vomit.”
– Pavel Tsatsouline, chairman of StrongFirst and father of the modern kettlebell movement
“There’s no secret formula. I lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best.”
– Ronnie Coleman, eight-time Mr. Olympia
“If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.”
– Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, actor and pro wrestler
“There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can’t go through life obsessing about what might have been.”
– Hugh Jackman, actor and member of the 1000-pound lift club
“Success is usually the culmination of controlling failure.”
– Sylvester Stallone, actor
“Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.”
– LeBron James, three-time NBA Championship winner
“I will sacrifice whatever is necessary to be the best.”
– J.J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans
“Most people give up right before the big break comes — don’t let that person be you.”
– Michael Boyle, performance coach to the 2013 World Series Championship Red Sox and owner of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
“I feel an endless need to learn, to improve, to evolve — not only to please the coach and the fans — but also to feel satisfied with myself.”
– Cristiano Ronaldo, forward for Juventus and captain of the Portuguese National Soccer Team
“You’re going to have to let it hurt. Let it suck. The harder you work, the better you will look. Your appearance isn’t parallel to how heavy you lift, it’s parallel to how hard you work.”
– Joe Manganiello, actor and one of the
"You have to push past your perceived limits, push past that point you thought was as far as you can go.”
– Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints and 2010 Super Bowl MVP
“If you ain’t pissed off for greatness, that just means you’re okay with being mediocre.”
– Ray Lewis, two-time Super Bowl Champion and NFL Hall of Famer
“You dream. You plan. You reach. There will be obstacles. There will be doubters. There will be mistakes. But with hard work, with belief, with confidence and trust in yourself and those around you, there are no limits.”
– Michael Phelps, swimmer and 18-time Olympic gold medalist
“When you have a clear vision of your goal, it’s easier to take the first step toward it.”
– L.L. Cool J., rapper and actor
“We run for the people who think they cant.”
– Dick Hoyt, retired Lt. Colonel from the Air National Guard who pushes his quadriplegic son through over 1,000 marathons, triathlons, and Ironman races.
"I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration, and took the time necessary to learn karate and became a world champion.”
– Chuck Norris, martial artist and actor
“Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom.”
– Jack LaLanne, bodybuilder known as the “Godfather of Fitness”
"To keep winning, I have to keep improving.”
– Craig Alexander, Ironman World Champion
“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
– Michael Jordan, 6-time NBA Championship winner
“I know that if I set my mind to something, even if people are saying I can’t do it, I will achieve it.”
– David Beckham, internationally renowned former soccer player
“We must appreciate and never underestimate our own inner power.”
– Noah Galloway, former Army Ranger and 2014 Ultimate Men’s Health Guy
"I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was."
Muhammad Ali, champion boxer
“If you take time to realize what your dream is and what you really want in life — no matter what it is, whether it’s sports or in other fields — you have to realize that there is always work to do, and you want to be the hardest working person in whatever you do, and you put yourself in a position to be successful. And you have to have a passion about what you do.”
Stephen Curry, 3-time NBA Championship winner
“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky, 4-time Stanley Cup winner
“Enduring means accepting. Accepting things as they are and not as you would wish them to be, and then looking ahead, not behind.”
Rafael Nadal, 19-time Grand Slam winner
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
Babe Ruth, Hall of Fame MLB player
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