20 Motivational Exercise Quotes to Get You Through (or to) Your Next Workout

Conceptual modern photo with sports equipment.
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It's an unfortunate truth that often when we're most in need of a workout, we're least motivated to actually get active. Sometimes we need practical strategies to pull us out of the funk, and other times we need some words of motivation.

They say just getting to your workout is half the battle—and whether you believe that or not, it's undeniable that being clear about your goals and what's actually motivating you will help ensure your success. There have been some standout quotes spewed at me off-the-cuff in workout classes over the years, and many have stuck with me when I'm in need of a push. Equinox's Loi Jordon noted that if she can do the cycling class while instructing, surely we can do it given that we aren't exerting extra energy speaking and hyping up a room. In the middle of a particularly grueling sprint, Barry's instructor Todd Mendiola told the class to think of all the people who would give anything just to run for a minute any time we're considering giving up and walking. While Rumble co-founder Noah Neiman put it simply: "If you want to look like you walk, walk; if you want to look like you run, run."

For all the exercise-themed words of wisdom that stick with you for years, there are plenty of cheesy, cringe-worthy lines doled out on the regular—but we sorted through countless snippets to highlight a few of the most inspirational quotes to get you up and moving. These sayings might be just what you need to keep you from skipping your next workout, giving up when the going gets tough, having negative self-thoughts, or caving to your desire to plant yourself on the couch with a sleeve of Oreos.

01 of 20

"The hardest thing about exercise is to start doing it. Once you are doing exercise regularly, the hardest thing is to stop it."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
Mehroz Kapadia

– Erin Gray

02 of 20

"Success isn't always about 'greatness', it's about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
Mehroz Kapadia

– Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

03 of 20

"All progress takes place outside the comfort zone."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Michael John Bobak

04 of 20

"My father used to say that it's never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, 'You never know what you can accomplish until you try.'"

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Michael Jordan

05 of 20

"I love how I look. I am a full woman and I'm strong, and I'm powerful, and I'm beautiful at the same time."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
Mehroz Kapadia

– Serena Williams

06 of 20

"Take care of your body. It's the one place you have to live."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Jim Rohn

07 of 20

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for 20 years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
Mehroz Kapadia

– John Bingham

08 of 20

"Going to the gym is great for your body, but it's also great for your mind."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Rory McIlroy

09 of 20

"An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Henry David Thoreau

10 of 20

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Jim Ryun

11 of 20

"If you're tired of starting over—quit giving up."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Anonymous

12 of 20

"It's going to be a journey. It's not a sprint to get in shape."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Kerri Walsh Jennings

13 of 20

"Know that you can start late, look different, be uncertain, and still succeed."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Misty Copeland

14 of 20

"There is always going to be a reason why you can't do something; your job is to constantly look for the reasons why you can achieve your dreams."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Shannon Miller

15 of 20

"I think it's good to see somebody saying: I have a belly. And I have cellulite. And I still deserve love."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Amy Schumer

16 of 20

"It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wears you out; it's the pebble in your shoe."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Muhammed Ali

17 of 20

"When I feel tired, I just think about how great I will feel once I finally reach my goal."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Michael Phelps

18 of 20

"What I know for sure is this: The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal for this year is, you can get there—as long as you're willing to be honest with yourself about the preparation and work involved. There are no back doors, no free rides. There's just you, this moment, and a choice."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Oprah

19 of 20

"It's not so much that I began to run, but that I continued."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Hal Higdon

20 of 20

"Obstacles can't stop you. Problems can't stop you. People can't stop you. Only you can stop you."

Motivational Exercise Quotes
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– Jeffrey Gitomer

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