In the last couple years, I compiled what I believe are the top 10 fitness motivation quotes to help motivate you to exercise, eat well, and improve your health. I think they are very powerful and thought provoking, so I hope you enjoy them:

Master Your Mindset…

Fitness Motivation 1

1) “The greatest discovery of my generation is that you can change your circumstances by changing your attitudes of mind”
-William James

2) “He who conquers others is strong, he who conquers himself is mighty”
-Lao Tsu

3) “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”
-Winston Churchill

4) “That which holds the attention determines the action”
-William James

5) “Our life is what our thoughts make it”
-Marc Antonius

When it comes to mastering our mindset, most of us harbor negative thoughts. In fact, most of our approximately 60,000-70,000 thoughts each day1 may be negative and the same as the previous day. It’s not by chance that half of the 10 quotes I chose relate to mastering your mindset. Your thoughts and your mindset determine your outward actions.

Have a Plan…

Fitness Motivation 3

6) “Failing to plan is the plan to fail”
-Effie Jones

7) “If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else”
-Laurence J Peter

Changing our bodies is very challenging, but with a well defined plan of action to follow, it becomes much more manageable.

Take Action…

Fitness Motivation 2

8 ) “The real risk is doing NOTHING”
-Denis Whitley

9) “We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor”
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

It’s so easy to flail in the wind, but you can take action right now to change how you look and feel.

Believe in Your Potential…

Fitness Motivation 4

10) “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”

I really love this last quote, because when I look at someone who has fallen off the proverbial wagon, I see a lean, confident, and energetic person just waiting to be revealed.

Wow, I LOVE these quotations! Reading over these quotes frequently can be a life changer. It’s so hard for me to choose a favorite quote, but I would have to go with Michelangelo, because it encapsulates what I do for a living.

Do you have a favorite quote either from this list, or another that has helped keep you motivated? If so, leave a comment below!

Show 1 References

  1. Available at: Accessed February 11, 2013.


  1. profile avatar
    Dave May 11, 2010 - 10:15 #

    Interesting quotes. It seems that are applicable not only to fitness but also to business and life in general. Here is one of my favorites from John D. Rockefeller “Do not many of us who fail to achieve big things. . .fail because we lack concentration–the art of concentrating the mind on the thing to be done at the proper time and to the exclusion of everything else?” It would be nice to see in a future post how you translate and internalize these quotes to reach fitness goals.

  2. profile avatar
    Craig May 11, 2010 - 10:38 #

    Perseverance & Determination

  3. profile avatar
    Pat May 11, 2010 - 10:42 #

    All these quotes are great but I LOVE #6 (“Failing to plan is the plan to fail” -Effie Jones)…. it’s very close to my mantra which is “Plan your work, Work your plan.”

  4. profile avatar
    Ken May 11, 2010 - 11:25 #

    Antonius (Our life is what our thoughts make it) is pretty powerful stuff…def my favorite

  5. profile avatar
    Hank May 11, 2010 - 12:26 #

    The key to success in life in general is your attitude and a willingness to change. My favorite quote is “you can change the world as much as you can change yourself.”

  6. profile avatar
    Marc Perry May 11, 2010 - 15:29 #

    Hey Craig, you’re absolutely right. I should have included some quotes on determination and perseverance. I may have to update the post.

  7. profile avatar
    Mary May 11, 2010 - 21:45 #

    My favorite is Winston Churchill’s “Attitude”. The quote is framed in our home. We have found it to be very inspirational.

  8. profile avatar
    GaryAnderson May 13, 2010 - 02:04 #

    the number 8 is definitely the best.. If you never start doing anything, you will never achieve anything1

  9. profile avatar
    aghaali May 14, 2010 - 02:54 #

    great information about fitness. i hope if we use these steps we will have a fit and mantes of body

  10. profile avatar
    Brian May 28, 2010 - 18:39 #

    The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. If you can go through the pain period, you make it to be a champion. If you can’t go through it, forget it. And that’s what most people lack: having the guts – the guts to go in and just say . . . “I don’t care what happens.”

    How did this Arnold quote not make the top ten???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?

  11. profile avatar
    Jamie Mar 12, 2011 - 00:08 #

    I agree, you must get out there and get started. If it’s just a couple times a week. Get started!! I agree with number 8

  12. profile avatar
    Toni Jul 04, 2011 - 09:36 #

    I love Oprah Winfrey’s mantra: “When you know better, you do better.” I typed this out and stuck it to my refrigerator so I’ll never forget. There’s no need to beat yourself up about past mistakes, just move forward and continue onward.

  13. profile avatar
    Paul May 19, 2012 - 18:53 #

    I really like these quotes. I collect my own because it helps keep me going.

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT May 24, 2012 - 10:52 #

      @ray – thanks for the comment. Happy you liked the article!

  14. profile avatar
    Sankar Oct 15, 2012 - 12:56 #

    I don’t mind losing but it should never be because i give up (this quote somehow helps me :)).. Another one is “A ship will always be safe at the shore but its not what its built for” – Einstein

    1. profile avatar
      Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT Oct 19, 2012 - 20:03 #

      @Sankar – cool quotes, thanks for sharing.

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