Sometimes, you just need that extra push. Weight lifting and heavy lifting is difficult at the best of times, and when you’re running low on motivation, some inspirational words can go a long way.
Whether you’re lifting heavy weights and looking for bodybuilding success or working on your lean body mass and just trying to clock workouts, there are countless quotes with a strong message from leading names in the lifting industry and beyond.
So, if you want to make your weightlifting program successful and improve your mental approach, here are 30 of the most inspirational weightlifting quotes to help you build true strength and hit your bodybuilding goals.
1. “In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.”
– Rich Froning Jr., CrossFit Games champion
2. “To be a champion, you must act like a champion.”
– Lou Ferrigno, actor & bodybuilder
3. “If you’re training hard and heavy with the goal of lifting something awesome, something is always going to hurt. Whether it’s your wrists, elbows, knees, hamstring, or even something ridiculous like a serratus muscle, one body part or another is always going to be giving you some bullshit. The elite athletes train in spite of or around those injuries.”
– Jamie Lewis, powerlifting world record holder
4. “You shall gain, but you shall pay with sweat, blood, and vomit.”
– Pavel Tsatsouline, Chairman of StrongFirst
5. “If something stands between you and your success, move it. Never be denied.”
– Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, actor and pro wrestler
6. “You have to push past your perceived limits, push past that point you thought was as far as you can go.”
– Drew Brees, NFL quarterback
7. “Discipline is the bridge between your bodybuilding goals and bodybuilding success.”
– Felicity Luckey, former athlete and coach
8. “If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.”
– Bret Contreras, trainer and author
9. “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.”
– Muhammad Ali, former boxing heavyweight champion of the world
10. “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former bodybuilder
11. “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
12. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
– Michael Jordan, 6-time NBA Championship winner
13. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
Babe Ruth, MLB Hall of Famer
14. “The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment.”
– Justin Langer, former cricket player and coach
15. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
– Jim Rohn, entrepreneur
16. “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
– Sean Patrick Flanery, actor
17. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
– Fred Devito, trainer
18. “If you ever lack the motivation to train then think what happens to your mind & body when you don’t.”
– Shifu Yan Lei, kung fu master
19. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
– Thomas Jefferson, US President
20. “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. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and former bodybuilder
21. “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”
22. “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”
– Tony Robbins, motivational speaker
23. “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”
– Miyamoto Musashi
24. “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
25. “The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back. The Iron never lies to you.”
– Henry Rollins, singer, and actor
26. “Being strong doesn’t start in the gym. It starts in your head.”
– Lisbeth Darsh, writer
27. “There’s no secret formula. I lift heavy, work hard, and aim to be the best.”
– Ronnie Coleman, eight-time Mr. Olympia
28. “Most people give up right before the big break comes — don’t let that person be you.”
– Michael Boyle, strength and conditioning coach
29. “There are two types of pains, one that hurts you and the other that changes you.”
– Jetti Woodruff, author
30. “Bodybuilding isn’t 90 minutes in the gym. It’s a lifestyle.”
– Lee Priest, bodybuilder
As you’ll see, not all of these quotes are specifically about muscle building and many aren’t necessarily weightlifting sayings, but they can all be applied to exercise conditions and help you push your physical capacity to the limit.
These motivational weightlifting quotes come from people in the know, people who are familiar with the pain of discipline and the pain of regret, and know which one they prefer. So, the next time you feel a half-ass workout coming on, tap into the mentality of these quotes and find your true strength.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does lifting weights burn belly fat?
Yes, as studies have shown resistance training can help improve your basal metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn calories while resting. That being said, it’s impossible to target fat in specific areas like your belly, but instead, weight training will help burn fat everywhere in your body.
How many times a week should I lift weights to gain muscle?
In order to help a muscle grow in strength and size, you need to train it at least twice a week. You need to allow recovery time in between those sessions, which means resting entirely or training other muscles.
Can I workout twice a day?
If you’ve got the time and energy, absolutely. The two workouts should be different though, for example, if you train the upper body in the morning, don’t then do the same in the afternoon or evening. Splitting the workouts between strength and cardio is usually effective, though this depends on your goals. Also, ensure that you incorporate sufficient recovery periods into your workout regime.