Russ Howe PTI's Dropset City

11 Popular Fitness Quotes That Are Dead Wrong!

Fitness quotes are super motivating, but you know what? Many of the most popular fitness quotes are actually DEAD WRONG!


This article:

8 min read

Ah, fitness quotes… you gotta love ’em!

While some of them will motivate the bejesus out of you (like Apollo Creed yelling “There is no tomorrow!!!”), others just leave you scratching your damn head.

Today I want to focus on the latter.

fitness quotes that are wrong

“Nothing Tastes As Good As Skinny Feels.”

This is wrong on so many levels.

First, do they even pizza? Because if this quote was true we wouldn’t be in the midst of an obesity crisis.

Second, losing weight should be about eating healthier, not starving. Although they mean well, slogans like this can be a gateway to an eating disorder because they create an unhealthy relationship with food which inevitably comes back to kick your a** one day. (1, 2)

popular fitness quotes that are wrong

“A Woman At The Gym Is Sexier Than A Girl At The Club”

Are you saying the women who go to the gym don’t also go to clubs?

Orrrrrrr are you saying you enjoy perving over ladies while they train?

Let me tell you something, bro: In both cases they just want you to f**k off.

no pain no gain

“No Pain, No Gain!”

The person who came up with this clearly couldn’t tell the difference between pain and gain.

They are not the same thing!

Pain is when you stand on an upturned plug (ouch!), and if you are feeling anything remotely similar while training it means something’s wrong.

Gain is achieved by pushing your muscles to an uncomfortable, burning, challenging stage, but it’ll feel nothing like pain.

fitness quotes that are wrong

“What’s Your Excuse?”

True story: I was in a wheelchair as a kid.

Also true story: I’m in great shape now.

So what’s your excuse?

See how adding that phrase instantly makes me sound like an atomic thunderc**t?

That’s because in my 20 years working in the fitness industry I saw countless examples that fat shaming doesn’t work – it just makes people feel like crap.

Speaking at the 2019 Canadian Obesity Summit, researchers explained that roughly 60% of people experience body shaming at some point in their adult life, and that it can very easily lead us down a dark path of anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The researchers also noted that many victims of fat shaming began internalizing the issue (i.e. the more they heard it, the more they believed it and began putting themselves down!). So don’t do it. (4)

“If A Third Grader Can’t Pronounce It, You Shouldn’t Eat It!”

Natural this, organic that.

I get it.

But can we stop basing our dietary choices on the pronunciation skills of an 8 year old?

Heck, while writing this article for you I’ve already consumed two glasses of dehydrogen monoxide and a methylxanthine alkaloid 1,3,7-trimethylpurine-2,6-dione capsule. If I’m to believe uneducated food bloogers then I expect to blow up like the balloon guy in Big Trouble In Little China!

(That’s water and caffeine, by the way!)

So here’s the thing…

People who say bulls**t like this are usually trying to convince you that “big food” is working in conjunction with “big chemicals” to fill you with “big toxins” until you get so unwell you need pills from “big pharma”.

And the solution?

Why they just so happen to be selling an expensive range of supplements, of course!

(While conveniently enouraging you to ignore the fact that all supplements are processed, and that everything is a chemical. Oh, and pay no attention to the 2009 review study which discovered that none of the leading manufacturers in the ‘detox’ industry could name any of the so-called toxins their products were designed to eliminate.) (5)

couples who train together stay together

“Couples Who Train Together Stay Together!”

Have you ever seen gym couples implode?

Oof! It’s spectacular!

So an orange guy meets a girl who only trains glutes, and in the early days it’s all cute stuff like gazing into each others eyes while strolling on the treadmill (which is really uncomfortable if you’re on the treadmill inbetween), and him guiding her around the weights room with his hand on her low back like she’s a delicate little flower who might blow away if the air conditioning gets turned up too high…

… until one day someone forgets to like a social media post and all hell breaks loose. Suddenly the guy is training with his male friends, the girl is training with her female friends, and they trade scornful looks across the cable stations until one of them cancels their gym membership and drops a nuke on the relationship by posting a photo of the sea with a caption about “never making someone a priority if they treat you like an option!”

You’ve been warned.

I mean, if your husband is a f**knuckle at home, they’ll still be one at the gym – the only difference is that now you can drop weights on ’em.

eat less move more

“Eat Less Move More”

The overall message here is true, but it still makes the list.

As well as being a sure-fire way to make yourself sound like a c**t, over-simplifying a weight loss transformation doesn’t actually help the person who is struggling.

If anything it makes them feel worse.

Most of the people you meet at the gym who are struggling with their weight have done so throughout their entire lives, and in order to be successful they need to create new habits which overwrite the way they’ve been living for years, sometimes decades.

This requires a lot of determination, and cuttting it down to a trendy soundbite just makes them feel useless. It’s kinda like telling a drowning woman to “sink less, swim more” or yelling at a homeless man to “poor less, rich more”.

obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated

“Obsessed Is A Word The Lazy Use To Describe The Dedicated”

Is it, though?

I mean…

Jack the Ripper was both obsessed and dedicated. He was still wrong.

Yeah, some people are probably just jealous, and them labelling you ‘obsessed’ helps to mask their own unhappiness. But maybe, just maybe, they’re saying it because you never shut the f**k up about Herbalife, Susan!

get knocked down seven times get up eight

“Get Knocked Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight!”

Do you even math, bro?

If you get knocked down 7 times, you can only get up 7 times!

When social media influencers aren’t sharing bum pics with 900 word captions that essentially just say “don’t give up”, this is the sort of s**t they post! So while we’re talking crazy, I’ve heard that if you fart and sneeze at the same time your body takes a screenshot.

worst fitness quotes

“Unless You Puke, Faint Or Die… Keep Going!”

I guarantee this quote is written across the t-shirt of that guy who dry scoops his pre workout while listening to the 300 soundtrack.

You see, I love a good Rocky training montage but training is not about killing yourself every single time. That’s a fast-track to your local physio room.

Contrary to what social media tells you, it’s perfectly normal if many of your workouts just feel like regular days where you didn’t go at 100%, or you had other things on your mind. What’s important is that you did it anyway. This builds consistency, and that’s what gets you to the end goal.

You’ll also have a sprinkling of terrible sessions where you felt bloated and hangry, as well as some workouts where you felt like a tank. They’re all part of the journey.

fitness quotes that are wrong

“Haters Are My Motivators”

You know the most popular reason for joining a gym in January?

Not to lose weight or live a healthier life, but to prove someone wrong.

Maybe you’ve had one too many fat jokes thrown your way, or nasty little digs about how they expect you to fail. This is what motivates most people to eventually hit the weights room and say “F**k you!”

Heck, I joined my first gym after a doctor told me I’d never walk again!

(F**k you!)

But here’s the thing…

You can only stay angry for so long, and it’s not healthy to give other people this kind of power over you. If you’re going to become the best version of yourself it has to be for you.

That’s why I’ve never been a fan of using hate for motivation.

I wrote a piece of content on this right here which explains the different motivational drivers involved in a successful body transformation, but the crux of the matter is that we get better results when we replace external motivation with intrinsic motivation. (3)

(This means learning how to set your own goals, training for your own reasons, etc.)


  1. Smith C. F., et al. Flexible vs. Rigid dieting strategies: relationship with adverse behavioral outcomes. Appetite (1999).
  2. Leibel R. L., et al. Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition . Am J Clin Nutr (1992).
  3. Teixeira, P. J., et al. Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act (2012).
  4. Vogel L. Fat shaming is making people sicker and heavier. CMAJ (2019).
  5. Blachford A., et al. The Voice Of Young Science brings you; the detox dossier. (2009).

Who Is Russ Howe PTI?

russ howe pti

As featured in Men’s Fitness magazine and voted in the world’s top 50 fat loss coaches by HuffPost, Russ is among the UK’s most subscribed personal trainers with 105,223 men and women receiving his free weekly fitness tips e-mail.

In the gym, clients range from busy parents, to models, to athletes and actresses. Russ also worked alongside the UK government for 8 years in a venture combating childhood obesity in England.

Outside of the gym, he’s a proud Dad to three young lads.

You can receive free tips by joining the e-mail list above, or you can hit the big button below to unlock full workout programs!


Response to “11 Popular Fitness Quotes That Are Dead Wrong!”

  1. Simone avatar

    Another golden article Russ. So happy I discovered your website, if only I did years ago!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

russ howe pti programs

Grab a membership to have access to all training programs, diet plans, supplement research and the famous Daily Trainer workouts from Russ!

Click here to see more.

russ howe pti musclefood live clean

I’ve partnered with Musclefood to make meal prep easier than ever. Tell ’em your calorie goal and they’ll send your entire diet to your door. Bosh!

Click here to see more.

  • How To Get In Photoshoot Shape In 2 Months

    In this article I’m going to give you a quick and easy nutrition plan you can use to whip yourself into photoshoot shape in just 8 short weeks.

    Click Here To Read

  • The Rules To Ripped

    These ten tips will help you to lay the foundations of a rock solid body transformation. I call them “The Rules To Ripped”.

    Click Here To Read


    What is the best pre workout of 2020? Don’t waste your money – it’s time for The Russ List 2020, my yearly breakdown of the best pre workout supplements!

    Click Here To Read

  • How To Make Your Own Pre Workout Supplement

    Want to learn how to make your own pre workout from scratch? This guide teaches you the four ingredients you’ll need.

    Click Here To Read

  • How To Use Periodization For Better Results

    Proper periodization is the difference between a good workout program and a great workout program.

    Click Here To Read

  • How Much Volume Do You Need For Muscle Growth?

    Explode your results by hitting each muscle group with the correct amount of volume to grow.

    Click Here To Read

  • Did You Spot These 4 Easter Eggs?

    There are several little Easter eggs built into which most readers never notice.

    Click Here To Read

  • Why Arnold Is Still The Best Bodybuilder

    Many people are hailing Chris Bumstead as the greatest bodybuilder of all time. Here’s my take on why Arnold is still #1.

    Click Here To Read

  • Creatine Myths Busted!

    There are many myths surrounding creatine and it’s potential side effects. This article addresses them one by one.

    Click Here To Read

  • Eating Fat Won’t Make You Fat

    Fat was demonized in the 1980s and is still misunderstood today. Here’s the science on optimizing your fat intake for results.

    Click Here To Read

  • Eat More Protein For Muscle Growth

    How much protein should you eat per day to build muscle? More than most people do. Here’s the lowdown on protein requirements for athletes.

    Click Here To Read

  • Omega-3: Behold The Alpha Omegas!

    Omega-3 supplements are an afterthought for most people, but more fool them!

    Click Here To Read