Fitness motivational quotes serve one purpose, to fuel us with such adrenaline and willfulness that, to quote the White Stripes, a “seven nation army couldn’t hold us back!”
Below are twenty-three of our favorites that, on multiple occasions, have helped us get back up on our feet, lift our head up and be filled with so much willpower which lasted far beyond the gym workout.
Motivational Fitness Quotes and Super Inspirational Sayings
Feel free to unleash your inner greatness with these and share them with other in need of a some motivation.
1. “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” – Mark Rippetoe
2. “Biceps are like ornaments on a Christmas tree.” – Ed Coan
3. “Sell yourself short on nutrition and you’re selling yourself short on maximizing your physique development.” – Ernie Taylor
4. “Your love for what you do and willingness to push yourself where others aren’t prepared to go is what will make you great.” – Laurence Shahlaei
5. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson
6. “For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
7. “If you’re capable of sending a legible text message between sets, you probably aren’t working hard enough.” – Dave Tate
8. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
9. “A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.” – Jack Dempsey
10. “The road to nowhere is paved with excuses.” – Mark Bell
11. “I’m not the kind of guy who tries to run between the drops. Sometimes you gotta get a little wet to reach your destination” – Erik Fankhouser
12. “Discipline is doing what you hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you love it.” – Mike Tyson
13. “Learn it all, then forget it all.” – Bruce Lee
14. “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
15. “Once you can squat with 180 kilograms, your arms and shoulders will come along much more receptively…If you want big arms and shoulders, your first priority is to be sure that your leg/hip/back structure is growing and becoming powerful” – Stuart McRobert
16. “Don’t ever believe you have nothing to lose. There’s always something to be lost when you change something or try something new. Nothing is ever free. Not even experience.” – Paul Carter
17. “Not only are squats not bad for the knees, every legitimate research study on this subject has shown that squats improve knee stability and therefore help reduce the risk of injuries.” – Charles Poliquin
18. “After being taught sets and reps and working at it for a length of time you can’t paint by numbers anymore. It must come from within. Any artist has an emotional contact with their work. A true bodybuilder doesn’t just build muscle he creates muscle. You can’t be a robot.” – Tom Platz
19. “Did you ever notice those who criticize the strong or the elite are usually weaker or less successful than those they pass judgment on. And those who are strong or elite in their respective sports rarely condemn those who are not as strong or as successful as they are.” – Louie Simmons
20. “No. I don’t ever give up. I’d have to be dead or completely incapacitated.” – Elon Musk
21. “They can crack jokes. They can sit back and analyze and criticize and make all the fun they want. But I’m living my life, I’m doing it. What are you doing?” – Kai Greene
22. “You’ve got to block out all distractions when you train. Your focus has to be 100% into the rep. You’ve got to get into a zone. You know you’re in the zone when guys in the gym look you in the eye and then quickly turn away ’cause they see the fire. You’ve got to be all business.” – Mike Matarazzo
23. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
The People Who Uttered the Fitness Motivational Quotes
- Mark Rippetoe
Mark has been a member of the fitness industry for decades, an accomplished author, he has written and published numerous books as well as some peer-reviewed articles. He is known for his brash teaching style, quick qit, and humor. Mark’s most notable work is his Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training venture.
- Ed Coan
Ed is an American powerlifter, and not only is he considered the greatest American powerlifter, he is also considered by many as the greatest powerlifter of all time. He has set over 71 records in the sport, including being the lightest person in history to cross the 2,400lb barrier in powerlifting total; meaning a sum of three lifts: deadlift, bench, and squat.
Additionally, he set the all time powerlifting record total of 2,463lbs even though at the time he was not even in the heaviest weight class. In short, Ed is a powerlifting legend!
- Ernie Taylor
Ernie is one of those few gifted people who came in and took the IFB Pro Bodybuilding world by surprise. In 1997 Night of Champions, out of 44 contestants, he placed 3rd. He then qualified for the 1997 Mr. Olympia but decided not to go as he felt he wasn’t ready and that he was not complete enough; it takes a lot of courage to turn down such an invitation and make such an important decision.But Ernie felt that, at 27, there was no need to rush to one of the biggest stages in bodybuilding unprepared.
- Laurence Shahlaei
Laurence is the winner of Englands Strongest Man as well as Britians Strongest Man competitions. In addition to this, he is a regular competitor at the World’s Strongest Man. A fun fact about Laurence is that he competed in a TV game show called Deal or No Deal and won 20,000 British pounds!He then proceeded to lift the host up above his head. A year later he opened his own personal training business.
- Thomas Jefferson
This one should be a no-brainer to any history buff, but for those who happen to not know, Jefferson was one of Americas Founding Fathers, one of it’s Vice Presidents, and eventually was President himself. Jefferson was the main author of the Deceleration of Independence in 1766.
A study of Jefferson’s writings and speeches will produce many more amazing motivational and inspirational quotes, that can be applied not only to fitness and bodybuilding, but pretty much any aspect of life.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
He is back! Borrowing from the famous quote from Arnold’s famous Terminator movie, “I’ll be back!” It feels as though this bodybuilding legend never left us and his motivational fitness quotes continue to live on; what many thought would be his five minutes of fame, turned out to be a lifetime of celebrity.We even saw Arnold become the Governor of California! The motivation and inspiration that accompany his life are truly admirable even for the harshest of his critics.
- Dave Tate
Dave is the founder of Elite Fitness System and currently serves as their CEO. He has been in the sport of powerlifting for about 25 years, as well as an elite weight lifter in three different weight classes. Dave also has put in over 10,000 as a personal trainer, a strength consultant, and is a regular contributor of not just inspirational fitness quotes, but health and fitness content to many of the biggest magazines such as Men’s Fitness.
- Mary Anne Radmacher
Self described as, “I continue to push the edges of what creativity looks like and means to me and I document those explorations in a variety of ways and articulate the results in a diverse offering of service and product.” Mary Anne makes our list because her quote on courage is one of the best there is. People often think of courage as an in your face loud animal, but true courage can and often is much more subtle than that.
- Jack Dempsey
Perhaps we don’t hear much of Jack Dempsey these days, but back in the 1920’s he was a boxer who became a cultural icon. He held the world heavyweight championship boxing belt for 7 consecutive years.So when Jack says that a champion is someone who gets up when they can’t, he knows what he is talking about; he’s lived it, he’s been there, it’s hard enough to be a champion, let alone defend it for 7 years straight. His aggressive style and immense punching power made him a joy to watch back in the day. (At least that’s what all the old folks used to say).
- Mark Bell
Another great powerlifter, a native New Yorker, and a former professional wrestler as well. At the peak of his career, Mark benched an astounding 500lbs at a body weight of 240lbs. Once he finished with professional wrestling, Mark went on to join the world of powerlifting and hasn’t looked back, until he announced his retirement back in 2014. We love the “the road to nowhere is paved with excuses” motivational fitness quote because it is the most sobering and truthful string of words ever spoken!
- Erik Fankhouser
2005’s MR. Virginia himself, “The House” as he is called, Erik is a professional American bodybuilder in the sports heavyweight class. He played fullback for his schools football team and did track as well before turning his attention and focus on his passion for bodybuilding. The House is sponsored by the supplement companies Animalpak and Universal Nutrition, in his spare time he writes for Muscular Development Magazine.
- Mike Tyson
If you do not know who Mike Tyson is, chances are you never discussed or watched the sport of boxing in your life, or you just haven’t seen the original Hangover movie. Tyson is one of the most prominent boxing figures, he was the sports youngest champion (WBC, WBA, and IBF) at just 20 years old.He was popular for his explosiveness, winning 19 of his first fights via KO, and 12 of them ending in the first round. A career plagued by his own personal internal struggles and constant controversy tend to distract from Tyson’s greatness in some peoples eyes.
- Bruce Lee
The founder of Jeet Kun Do. Bruce Lee is one of martial arts most icon figures of all time, as most people tend to directly associate the term with him. He is certainly one of the most influential martial artists to have ever lived, and with good reason, Lee not only had the technique, but the philosophy and the will to teach as well.The meaning behind his quote in this post is to not let your knowledge cloud your instinct, but rather you should internalize what you’ve learned and let it go, becoming natural.
- Mahatma Gandhi
Ghandi’s name has become synonymous with non-violence and a peaceful approach, no matter the circumstances. Ghandi led India to Independence from the British by employing non-violent civil disobedience and subsequently inspired movements for freedom and civil rights around the world. Ghandi was ultimately assassinated by an Indian nationalist who did not believe in his non-violent approach, but Ghandi’s will never wavered and continues to live onto this day.
- Stuart McRobert
Founder and publisher of the bodybuilding magazine Hardgainer. He started weight training at the age of 15! He went on to write strength training articles while in college and had his first article published in Iron Magazine back in 1981. McRobert is known for stressing the importance of proper form to avoid injury, as well as endorsing active release techniques and trigger point therapy between workouts. Stuart is also a big proponent of yoga to increase flexibility.
- Paul Carter
Note: The following is taken directly from Paul’s Facebook. “Devoted father, loyal friend, author, coach, undateable asshole. Sponsored Athlete at True Nutrition, Venusian Arts Messiah at Sexual Jesus and Chief Executive Officer at Lift-Run-Bang.”
- Charles Poliquin
Charles is a strength coach, originally from Canada he relocated to the United States in the late 90’s. He is the author of the extremely well researched and postiviely recieved “The Poliquin Principles: Successful Methods for Strength and Mass Development“, a bodybuilding and strength training book, with the main intent being to help athletes improve at their sports and non-athletes gain muscle.
- Tom Platz
Nicknamed, “The Golden Eagle” and the “Quadfather,” Tom is an American retired professional bodybuilder. He enjoyed a prolific bodybuilding career and is today one of the most sought after guest speakers in the world of bodybuilding, nutrition, and general fitness. Tom was in six movies and participated in twenty-three professional contests. He holds a Masters Degree in Fitness Science and an MBA from the University of California.
- Louie Simmons
Louie is a powerlifting and strength coach who also invented a few strength training equipment pieces. He owns a private powerlifting gym called Westside Barbell, which is per invitation only. We know, he’s a badass! Guess you can do that when you are one of only five powerlifter to total Elite in five different weight classes in powerlifting. He has competed in powerlifting for over 50 years, has coached many elite powerlifters, and many students swear by his methods long after they have left the gym.
- Elon Musk
You may be asking yourself what Elon Musk has to do with fitness or bodybuilding motivational quotes. But we urge you to scroll back up and re-read the quote from the real life Iron Man. When it comes to sheer dedication, discipline, and strong will, Elon is unmatched.The man is who trying to revolutionize three industries simultaneously should definitely deserve a spot on this list, especially with such a motivating quote as the one above. Apply his principles to the sport of bodybuilding and your training will know no bounds.
- Kai Greene
The winner of the recent 2016 Arnold Classic, Kai is by no means new to the game! He has been runner up at Mr. Olympia three times (2012, 2013, and 2014). Kai was sponsored by Flex, and then launched his own supplement line called Dynamik Muscle in 2015. He is a proponent of the mind-muscle connect, stating:
“The mind-muscle connection is the number one factor in training. You develop it over time by posing your muscle, and also by paying close attention to how your muscles feel when you work them. Eventually, you get to where your mind can read the feedback your muscles are providing, and your muscles can react to the stimulus your mind is providing. Practice posing between sets or anytime. And feel your muscles working throughout your sets. Eventually, your mind and muscles will speak the same language and communicate back and forth.”
- Mike Matarazzo
Mike was an IFBB professional bodybuilder, and the world of bodybuilding lost a legend with his passing in 2014. He had a 10 year active professional career, and it was a wild ride. But his courage to ultimately denounce all the things he did on his journey and admit that they contributed to his heart failure is a testament of the man he was. We’ll just leave this here:
“Oh, God, where do I begin? I’d have to say that everything that led to my heart problem began the minute I started getting serious about competitive bodybuilding. In order to get bigger, I’d eat five, six, seven pounds of red meat a day, no vegetables. And I’d stay away from fruits because of their sugar.
Worst were the chemicals. I have so many memories of being alone in a hotel room the week, five days or two days before a contest, and doing unspeakable things to my body—steroids, growth hormones, diuretics—anything and everything that we as bodybuilders do to achieve a certain look.
It has affected my whole life, so to all those guys who are on an eternal quest to have 21″ arms and 20” calves, and who are so vain about their never-say-die attitude, I say, “Change your attitude.” Worry about keeping that body of yours as healthy as possible, because it’s going to have to last you not just through your next contest or to the end of your bodybuilding contract, but for a long time. And a long time for a human being is nothing. It goes by real quick, even quicker when your health is gone and you have nothing to stand on.” ~ Mike Matarazzo
- Ayn Rand
Playwright, novelist, philosopher, and screenwriter. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring true knowledge. Notorious for endorsing rational and ethical egoism and denouncing altruism.Traditionally, Rand’s work was ignored by Academia, however recent trends of academic interest in her works have been observed; additionally libertarians and American conservatives seem to be big fans.We stay away from the politics and just think the words are completely awesome and can easily be taken to be a fitness motivational quote.
All of the above fitness motivational quotes serve to inspire you on your best and worst days. Bodybuilding and fitness in general is a journey, a venture. With certainty, we can factually say that no one has successfully ventured into the world of fitness long term without needing motivation along the way.
There are so many doubts that cloud our minds, so many other things we must do and tend to on a daily basis, that our fitness regiment can easily be put aside as “secondary.” But it is then, in those moments, that you should come back to this post, or have these pictures saved to your phone or computer, and read them again. They are bound to lift you with the much needed extra energy!
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