No Pain, No Gain

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No pain, no gain is an exercise motto that promises greater value rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. Under this conception competitive professionals such as athletes and artists are required to endure pain and pressure to achieve professional excellence. It came into prominence after 1982 when actress Jane Fonda began to produce a series of aerobics workout videos. In these videos, Fonda would use ‘No pain, no gain’ and ‘Feel the burn’ as catchphrases for the concept of working out past the point of experiencing muscle aches. It expresses the belief that solid large muscle are the result of training hard and suffering sore muscles repeatedly, implying that those who avoid pain will never reach a professional level as bodybuilders. In terms of the expression used for development, the discomfort caused may be beneficial in some instances while detrimental in others.

American author David B. Morris wrote, ‘No pain, no gain’ is an American modern mini-narrative: it compresses the story of a protagonist who understands that the road to achievement runs only through hardship.’

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