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No Pain No Gain

Man doing push up in building. no pain no gain

No Pain No Gain Definition

No pain no gain.

  • It takes effort or even suffering to make great progress and great achievements.

No Pain No Gain Examples

  • To achieve my workout goals, I need to train twice as hard. Like my trainer always told me, no pain, no gain.
  • No pain, no gain. All these late nights will pay off when my business is profiting enough to quit my job!


winners see the gain; losers see the pain.

Shiv Khera

Many climate change deniers would have you believe that addressing climate change is all pain and no gain. This is simply not true. We can tackle this challenge while improving our personal health and the health of our economy. These are not competing interests; they go hand in hand.

Paul Tonko

No Pain No Gain Origin

Our modern-ish proverb today was popularized by the American actress Jane Fonda. Jane Fonda’s Workout is a popular workout video released in 1982 created by Fonda and Leni Cazden. In the video, Jane uses catchphrases like “feel the burn” and “no pain, no gain”. The latter has been used widely to express that you can’t make progress with your body unless you exercise to the point of soreness.

Literary Origin

He that lives upon Hope will die
fasting. There are no Gains, without Pains

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758

While Jane Fonda certainly popularized the phrase in the modern day, A very similar instance of this proverb appears to originate in Poor Richard’s Almanack. The almanac was a yearly publication written by famous American inventor Benjamin Franklin, under his pen name Poor Richard. Incredibly popular with colonial Americans, the almanac included many useful and entertaining things such as calendars, poems, weather, proverbs, astrology and more!

Spiritual Origin

To you, foolish Perses, I will speak good sense. Badness can be got easily and in shoals: the road to her is smooth, and she lives very near us. But between us and Goodness the gods have placed the sweat of our brows: long and steep is the path that leads to her, and it is rough at the first; but when a man has reached the top, then is she easy to reach, though before that she was hard.

Hesiod, Work and Days, 700 BC

While Benjamin Franklin may have coined our proverb as we use it today. That true success can only be achieved through hardship is an idea that is far, far older.

The quote above is from Work and Days, a poem written by the ancient Greek poet Hesiod. The poet was alive around the same time as the Greek Poet Homer. Ancient authors have credited these two profound authors with the establishment of Greek religious customs.

Written as a farmer’s almanac, Work and Days showcases Hesiod instructing his brother Perses in the ways of farming and agriculture. Only three works survive from Hesiod. Work and days, Theogany and Shield of Heracles.

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