We all need motivation to go and lift sometimes. So it pays to listen to the great people from history who have achieved greatness in their field. If you are struggling to get to the gym, or you are looking to feel inspired to conquer your particular trials then keep reading. Let’s look at 13 quotes that will give you an insight into the mind of a winner, and in turn push you forward.

Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.” -Frank L. Gaines

As well as having the most badass lifting last name, Frank L. Gaines reminds us of an important truth. That is, if you want to achieve something great, you must first be able to picture it clearly. Your vision must be as clear as the reality you can see when you open your eyes.

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Without this vision, a goal that you may have can seem impossible. Squat 220kg? Impossible. Set up your own business? Impossible. If you are to achieve these feats of greatness, seeing the invisible reality of them is the first step. Try it yourself, visualize your physique goal, see yourself with your new body, make that an invisible reality.

Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.”– Marv Levy

A simple quote that tells us how to think when we feel like quitting. The small maybe mundane steps that we take are what build that extraordinary achievement. Prepping your meals, waking up at 5am to train, all of these things are just stepping stones to greatness. If you are persistent, these small steps will pay large dividends in the future, so keep chipping away, and you will accomplish your goal.

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.”– Ben Hogan

You might not be the most naturally gifted at something. Perhaps you are a skinny kid naturally, you aren’t “talented”, none of that matters. No one can control what they are born with, so forget about those limitations. Instead, focus on what you can control, your work rate. You aren’t to blame if you have crappy genetics, but you are to blame if you aren’t the hardest working person in the room.

Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”– Liane Cardes

A similar point to quote 2. Remember this when you are feeling clueless about your next step, or if you have failed at something. The thing that matters most, and the thing that will see if you succeed or fail is you effort. Keep on pouring yourself into your goals, and you will “unlock your potential”.

“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”– Michael Jordan

Set your sights high. Michael Jordan was notoriously brutal with himself. He scrutinized every part of his performance, not replicating mistakes, and not settling for average. This goes beyond just visualizing something, or having an ambitious goal. This is about an obligation to yourself. You must expect it from yourself. You demand a certain level and nothing less will be tolerated.

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“Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.”– Bobby Knight

You are not competing with other people. Even if you are faced with another human opponent. Your real struggle is smashing through the barriers of human nature. Look at most people, they are not world class at anything. Only the precious few who completely override our human nature succeed at being world class. That is what you are fighting. Most people give in to the tendency to be average, you don’t have to.

“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”– Joe Paterno

Just wanting to achieve a goal isn’t enough. You may see yourself holding that trophy so clearly in your mind, but that is just a fraction of what you need to be seeing. Preparation, grinding day in and day out is what you need to be seeing. Slacking off, justifying finishing early, procrastinating. These are all signs that you are not willing to prepare. The success of your goal depends entirely on the success of your preparation.

“A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.”– Jack Dempsey

Doing things when they are impossible. Those few extra reps in the gym. That morning cardio session, those few moments where you feel you are going to fail your rep but you keep pushing. This is what develops the mind of champion within you. The willingness to push yourself further than anyone knew was possible. That is what makes your a champion.

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I don’t care what you USED to bench” – Serge Ceralde

Holding on to the past is a useless exercise. You can only judge yourself by what you are now. Don’t belittle your past achievements, and make sure you learn from your past mistake. But to live in the past means you are moving through life going backwards. That isn’t the way to move forward. Always have a goal, always strive to be your best now.

“Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.” – Jack LaLanne

We can all fall prey to the idea that our bodies are our masters. If our bodies are sore, or tired, it is tempting to allow them to make decisions for us. But if you need to do something, don’t let a bunch of flesh and bones dictate to you. You are in control of your body, get it to do exactly what you want, not the other way around. Master yourself, and you will succeed in whatever you want to.

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“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

When you push yourself to get that extra rep, or that last set, or to even get to the gym, you are developing strength. This strength will not just manifest itself in the gym, it will be used in many different aspects of your life. The more you train this strength of character, the stronger it will become, the more courageous your decisions will be, and the greater success you will have. Remember that you are not just training your body, but also your character is being shaped into something truly excellent.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

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