Although people have been exercising for millennia, the practice of “going to the gym” is actually relatively new. The first commercial gym in the world was opened in Brussels, Belgium, in the 1800s by French gymnast and strongman Hippolyte Triat. He added a second location in Paris in the 1840s, around the time that the YMCA was founded in London.
The opening of these gyms kicked off a health club frenzy. “Body building” and “exercise classes” came onto the scene in 1881 at the Boston YMCA, and the health club chain phenomenon kicked off with fitness icon Jack LaLanne. He opened the first official health club in the United States in 1939 in Oakland, California.
Many of us know, though, that the drive to work out can be elusive at times. If you ever find your motivation flagging, check out these nine quotes from some of the greatest athletes of all time. Whether it’s about the power of missing a crucial shot, building up weaknesses, or understanding just how much you’re accomplishing every time you work out, these quotes will give you that pump of mental adrenaline to get you back in the zone.
Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points.
— Football player and coach Knute Rockne
At times I think, “Why should I push myself all those long hours in the rink?” But then I think, “How will I ever know how good I could have been?”
— Figure skater Michelle Kwan
Going through the pain barrier, that's what makes the muscles grow. There's this pain, this aching, and going on and on and on. That's what divides a champion from a non-champion — having the guts to go through the pain barrier.
— Arnold Schwarzenegger
Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.
— Michael Jordan
There is no fountain for youth. What you put in your body is what you get out of it.
— Fitness guru Jack LaLanne
It's not how you start, but it's how you finish.
— Michael Phelps
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
— Bruce Lee
If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.
— Football player and coach Lou Holtz
Number one, love yourself. Have a lot of self worth. Number two, lower your calories and watch your portions. And number [three], move those buns!
— Richard Simmons
Photo credit: Izuddin Helmi Adnan/ Unsplash