Workout Motivation: Famous Quotes from Joseph Pilates

Posted on Aug 24, 2017

Are you losing the urge to reach the finish line? Sometimes, no matter how intrinsically driven we are with our goals, we tend to get sidetracked. The next thing we know, we have already lost our motivation to continue. The same is also true with our fitness goals.

Joseph Hubertus Pilates was a German-born physical trainer who wasn’t just well-known for having invented and promoted the Pilates method of physical fitness, he was also a deep thinker, a man known for his wisdom and influential words.

Right up until his death in October 1967, this fitness guru never ceased to spur his practitioners and non-practitioners to maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

So let us dissect some of his famous quotes to motivate us to stay in shape:

“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.”

Echoing the infamous exercise motto, “No pain, no gain,” Joseph Pilates stressed that great results can only be accomplished if one decided to do something about it.

This physical fitness coach believed that the “modern” lifestyle, bad posture, and inefficient breathing were the key causes of poor health. To solve these issues, he designed a set of physical exercises and training techniques to help correct muscular imbalances; improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility. These exercises also aim to normalize breathing capacity and organ functions.

“Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends on it.”

In line with his idea concerning inefficient breathing, Joseph Pilates has also developed several proper breathing techniques to promote relaxation, stimulate blood circulation, and reduce cramping.

These so-called Pilates respiration techniques also lower blood pressure, make you feel more energized, and activate specific muscles that aid in improving posture and endurance. 


“Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it but to maintain it.”

It should be noted that Pilates was sickly as a child. He suffered from asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. For this reason, he dedicated his entire life to improving his health and physical strength. This paved the way to his very own life-enhancing workout regimen which is now very popular worldwide.

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 you’ll see the difference, and in 30 you’ll have a new body.”

This quote typically sums up the Pilates method. You can’t improve your stamina after just one hour of sweating. You can’t strengthen your core after just one session, nor gain proper posture after just a few sets of workouts. Pilates promises a changed body, mind, and spirit, but a practitioner must do his part as well. After all, great things take time to happen.

“The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.”

Joseph Pilates, the author of “Return to Life through Contrology,” seeks to gain mastery of the mind over the complete control over the body. His “Contrology” teachings encourage the use of the mind to control muscles, focusing on core postural muscles that aid in keeping the body balanced and well-coordinated, and in providing support for the spine.

The Pilates method strives to bring about a sense of enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calmness, and spiritual peace to all its practitioners.


“Concentrate on the correct movement each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all vital benefits.”

Pilates requires practice and proper guidance. When executed correctly, this workout routine can improve posture, strengthen the core, and promote better flexibility. Pilates exercises also improve performance in sports, correct the alignment of the spine, and it provides effective rehabilitation after an injury. It offers a series of stimulating training and different variations of exercise, some of which are performed with or without equipment.

To avoid injuries and maximize the results you get out of your Pilates class, it is imperative to be mindful of the common Pilates mistakes that most beginners and practitioners make.

“Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.”

Devoted to achieving fulfillment in life, Joseph believed that physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. A healthy body depicts a positive outlook in life. A person who is physically fit is capable of doing all his or her tasks better.

The Pilates method is a highly effective full body exercise that aims to strengthen and stretch the entire body to create a well-balanced physique.

“Man should bear in mind and ponder over the Greek admonition: Not Too Much, Not Too Little.”

Joseph emphasized the principle of moderation and balance. He was fascinated by the idea of a man who is balanced equally in body, mind, and spirit. According to him, people should not become fixated or obsessed with something. The Pilates method can help improve mind and body awareness.

“Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”

This noteworthy quote is applicable to whatever situation a person is in. Success does not happen overnight. For a sickly kid like Joseph, overcoming his illnesses could not be achieved if not for his determination, patience, and persistence. He realized that people could make radical changes in their lives if they are willing to commit to it.

“We retire too early and we die too young, our prime of life should be in the 70’s and old age should not come until we are almost 100.”

Do you think it’s time to put the old horse down? Think again. You are never too old to do Pilates. True to his words, Joseph continued his workout routine even during his later years. He died at the age of 83. He also once said, “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”

For older adults, who have limited movement, Pilates is a very good exercise routine for a lot of reasons. Pilates is a gentle exercise, which means there is a lower risk for injuries. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis, and reduces aches and pains especially in the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees. These body pains are all very common for aged people.

The master has spoken. Are you motivated to set your fitness goals again? Ready to get back to your physical exercise routine? Then pack up your gym bag and head to Pilates Plus today! Bring your workout buddies so you can help motivate each other to achieve your desired healthy body. Get in touch with us to book an appointment or for any inquiries. See you!


Photo credit: Love of movement