50 Most Inspiring Workout Quotes of All Time

Workouts Quotes are a great way to stay inspired and on track. Excellence requires dedication and discipline, and these quotes are designed to go deeper and offer training advice as well as motivate you for your next workout.

From individuals such as female powerlifting world champions (also a doctor) through to ex-soviet special forces trainers, these coaches and athletes have been selected for their pursuit of excellence and trailblazing ways.

WORKOUT QUOTES

“If you think you are only strong if you can lift a certain number, whatever that number is, you will feel pretty weak most of the time. Strength is not a data point; it’s not a number. It’s an attitude.” Pavel Tsatsouline

“Everything in your body is interrelated and isolation is a myth.” Pavel Tsatsouline

“You shall gain but you shall pay with sweat, blood, and vomit, Comrade.” Pavel Tsatsouline

“The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.” Pavel Tsatsouline

Lifting weights
Train hard ©Andrew Donovan

“Tensing your abs will amplify the intensity of the contraction of any muscle in your body.” Pavel Tsatsouline

“Women need iron. Not the vitamin. The barbell. We are trained by the world around us to have fucked up ideas about our bodies; iron unfucks them. We are taught that the only good direction for the scale to go is down, and to agonize ritualistically when it goes up.

Iron teaches us the power of gaining weight for strength and gives us another weight to care about – the weight we are lifting.

We are taught to think of our bodies as decorative, an object to be looked at; iron teaches us to think of our bodies as functional, our own active selves, not passive objects for another’s regard.

Whole industries exist to profit by removing from us our confidence and selling it back as external objects. Iron gives us confidence from within through progressive training and measurable achievements.

We are taught to be gentle and hide our strength or even to cultivate charming physical weakness until we start to believe our bodies are weak. Iron teaches us how strong we can be.” Stefi Cohen

“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates

man performing handstand push ups
Stay strong ©Luis Lopes

“Just remember, somewhere, a little Chinese girl is warming up with your max.” – Jim Conroy, Olympic Weightlifting Coach

“The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit.” Tim Ferris

“For a long time, I’ve known that the key to getting started down the path of being remarkable in anything is to simply act with the intention of being remarkable.” Tim Ferris

“Don’t have $100.00 shoes and a 10 cent Squat” – Louie Simmons

“A lifter must raise his mental and emotional limits, or he won’t raise his weights.” Louie Simmons

“If you run with the lame you will develop a limp.” Louie Simmons

“Big is not strong, strong is strong.” Louie Simmons

“Just when your body has all the answers, you have to change the questions.” Louie Simmons

“You’re never going to do something by accident. You have to believe in yourself to want to become something.” Katrin Davidsdottir

“People like to make excuses and tell themselves they’re not the best because they lost the genetic lottery. In reality, it’s hard work that makes champions — not genetics.” Katrin Davidsdottir

“You can only regret something and truly call it a mistake if you don’t learn and grow from it.” Katrin Davidsdottir

“My biggest takeaway was that doing my absolute best is the ideal outcome. I realized I didn’t have to do anything special. I just had to work as hard as I could work. I realized I’m only in competition with myself. It was around this time that I began to internalize the slogan, “Be the best me.” Katrin Davidsdottir

“Whatever is going on in your head, your body will follow.” Katrin Davidsottir

“It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.” – Henry Rollins

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

“Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” – Joan Welsh

“Don’t ask for a light load, but rather ask for a strong back.”- Unknown

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

“When you find YOUR focus it will feel as if everything is moving in slow motion.” Annie Thorisdottir

“Nobody else can take you to the place you want to end up. You have to get there yourself.” Tia-Clair Toomey

“Natural ability is important, but you can go far without it if you have the focus, drive, desire, and positive attitude.” Kirsten Sweetland

workout quotes and woman on bike
Push you limits ©Luis Lopes

“You do not need to do many different exercises to get strong – you need to get strong on a very few important exercises, movements that train the whole body as a system, not as a collection of separate body parts.

The problem with the programs advocated by all the national exercise organizations is that they fail to recognize this basic principle: the body best adapts as a whole organism to stress applied to the whole organism.

The more stress that can be applied to as much of the body at one time as possible, the more effective and productive the adaptation will be.” Mark Rippetoe

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” Mark Rippetoe

“The deadlift also serves as a way to train the mind to do things that are hard.” Mark Rippetoe

“There is simply no other exercise, and certainly no machine, that produces the level of central nervous system activity, improved balance and coordination, skeletal loading and bone density enhancement, muscular stimulation and growth, connective tissue stress and strength, psychological demand and toughness, and overall systemic conditioning than the correctly performed full squat.” Mark Rippetoe

“Humans are built to move. We evolved under conditions that required daily intense physical activity, and even among individuals with lower physical potential, that hard-earned genotype is still ours today.

The modern sedentary lifestyle leads to the inactivation of the genes related to physical performance, attributes that were once critical for survival and which are still critical for the correct, healthy expression of the genotype.

The genes are still there, they just aren’t doing anything because the body is not stressed enough to cause a physiological adaptation requiring their activation.

The sedentary person’s heart, lungs, muscles, bones, nerves and brain all operate far below the level at which they evolved to function, and at which they still function best.” Mark Rippetoe

“If your expectations are always those of someone content to live without physical challenge, then when it comes time for mental, moral, or emotional challenge you fail to meet it because you are out of practice.

Meeting and overcoming obstacles are skills that can be honed, as opposed to talents with which we are born. The best way to prepare for the inevitable shit that life occasionally hands us all is to live in a way that prepares you for it. If you can treat personal tragedy like a heavy set of 20 squats, you’ll do better than someone who has never met any challenge.

Intentionally placing yourself in the position of having to complete a task when you don’t know if you can is the single best way of preparing to be in that position unintentionally.” Mark Rippetoe

“Regardless of your chosen profession, being the best means taking advantage of every opportunity that each day brings. Success is not achieved by an occasional heroic response, but with focused and sustained action.

Excellence can only be achieved today—not yesterday or tomorrow—because they don’t exist in the present moment. It’s the not-so-hidden secret to extraordinary success: clarify what you really want, then work as hard as you can for as long as it takes.” Ben Bergeron

“This is the process—acknowledging where you are, identifying where you want to be, and breaking it down into pieces. Excellence is a matter of steps. Excel at this one, then that one, and then the one after that.” Ben Bergeron

“But talent without grit is just potential. Talent plus grit is unstoppable.” Ben Bergeron

“What is grit, really? It’s a word that’s been used to describe everything under the sun, but it means something specific: when things get hard, you push harder; when you fail, you get back up stronger; when you don’t see results, you don’t get discouraged, but you just continue to pound away day, after day, after day, with relentlessness, consistency, heart, and passion — that’s grit.” Ben Bergeron

“Success is a decision, not a gift.” Ben Bergeron

“I wish I could discover why people quit. I’ve often wondered if it’s because of how they were raised. Among the college athletes I’ve worked with, I’ve seen too many who simply weren’t mentally tough. They had all the natural gifts in the world, but they were lazy.” Rich Froning

“The human body is an incredible machine, but most people only get out of that machine what their mind allows them to.” Workout Quotes from Rich Froning

“It doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective.” Rich Froning

“No, no. I do not have an addiction to suffering. I hae an addiction to what the product of suffering is.” Workout Quotes from Mat Fraser

“I consciously seek out every day ‘what am I bad at?’ and ‘how can I pound this weakness until it’s a strength?’

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” William Faulkner

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” —Johnny Cash 

“Victory is in having done your best. If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.” Workout Quotes from Billy Bowerman

“Everyone want to be strong, but not everybody wants to lift some heavy ass weight.” Workout Quotes from Ronnie Coleman

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go” Herman Hesse

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COACHES, ATHLETES AND WRITERS THAT THESE WORKOUT QUOTES ARE FROM

Pavel Tsatsouline

Pavel Tsatsouline introduced the Russian kettlebell to the West in 1998 and started the kettlebell revolution.

A former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, Pavel became a Subject Matter Expert to the elite of US military and law enforcement, including the Marine Corps, the Secret Service, and the Navy SEALs.

His training system has been implemented by special operations units in two countries closely allied with the US. Pavel founded StrongFirst, the “school of strength”, to bring “low tech/high concept” methods of achieving high performance and resilience to men and women from all walks of life, not just elite warriors and athletes.

Dr. Stefi Cohen

Stefi has an extensive list of achievements in the athletic field but she is also very well accomplished in the academic field. Not only is Stefi a multiple world record holding powerlifter, she is also an exercise physiologist and doctor of physical therapy.

In Olympic Weightlifting Stefi was the Florida senior state gold medalist (2015). Illinois senior state gold medalist and record holder (2015). In Powerlifting Stefi is the current all-time world record holder in squat, deadlift and total, she has 11 total all time world records so far in her career and is the #1 123lb Powerlifter in the world.

Prior to strength sports Stefi was an accomplished NCAA (D1) Soccer Player for San Diego State 2009-10, she was also a member of the U17 Venezuelan National Soccer Team 2006-09.

Workout Quotes from Mark Rippetoe

“Rip” was a competitive powerlifter for ten years, retiring from competition in 1988. For the next 10 years he announced most of the powerlifting meets in North Texas, while coaching lifters and training the members of his gym, the Wichita Falls Athletic Club, for strength and athletic performance. He retired from powerlifting involvement in 1997, to focus more on Olympic weightlifting.

Katrin Davidsdottir

Katrin Davidsdottir is a two time CrossFit Games Champion. A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, the former gymnast and track athlete took 30th in her first Games appearance in 2012 after less than a year of CrossFit, improving to 24th in 2013.

Famous for recouping her mental strength after a devastating event at the 2014 Europe Regional sidelined her from the Games that year, she returned in 2015 with an improved focus and took the title of Fittest Woman on Earth. Now living in Natick, Massachusetts, she proved it was no fluke with a repeat victory in 2016.

Workout Quotes from Ben Bergeron

Ben Bergeron trains some of the world’s fittest athletes. A former Ironman triathlete turned CrossFit Games competitor, Ben has coached athletes to six world championships…he is considered one of the top coaches in the sport of CrossFit.

Ben’s approach to creating the world’s fittest athletes starts with building better people. It’s his belief that behind every champion, regardless of sport or discipline—better people make better athletes. Mental toughness is the hallmark of all Ben’s athletes, and the secret behind their success.

Despite what we’re led to believe, greatness is not for the elite few. The mindset of a champion is uncommonly rare, but it doesn’t have to be—every one of us is capable of it. Ben has dedicated his life to helping others become the best version of themselves.

He founded CrossFit New England in 2007, where he coaches regular people on their quest to improve their fitness, health, and approach to life beyond the gym.

He currently programs for tens of thousands of competitive athletes on both CompTrain and CompTrain Masters, and shares best practices for gym owners and coaches through seminars and events around the world.

Workout Quotes

What other workout quotes do you like? Check out these Climbing and Hiking Quotes.

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