Pain is weakness leaving the body


What does Pain is weakness leaving the body mean?

Pain is weakness leaving the body is a quite unhealthy inspirational quote used to pressure people to work harder than they should.

While pain is the body’s national response to overload, and a mental signal for you to stop, people with ulterior motives will argue that pain, in fact, is a good thing.

Even if we could use some type of high tech camera to see the physical shape of “weakness”, most scientists agree that “weakness” does not leave the body when you feel pain.

One part that can be considered true, in some cases, is that some levels of pain can make you stronger, making you less prone to weakness in the future.

This does not mean that you should pressure yourself way across your pain limits in order to not be weak, as it will likely make things worse.

Pain is only weakness leaving the body…


What's the origin of Pain is weakness leaving the body?

“Pain is weakness leaving the body” is an expression originally used as propaganda by the US Marine Recruitment in order to encourage more young people to enter – and stay – in the marines. It has been used in this context for quite a while, popularly attributed to Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller.

Besides toughening you up and making you physically stronger, one of the main purposes of the bone crushing marine training is to break down your psyche, in order for you to follow every order given.

That’s why the recruiters must lead you to perceive pain as a good thing.

Spread & Usage

How did Pain is weakness leaving the body spread?

In 2006, YouTube user McBrideOKC uploaded a video of a US Marines’ Delayed Entry Program speech aimed towards highschoolers.

The video is named “Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body”, and has over 200K views.

As a positive turn to the psychological propaganda, modern fitness influencers and instructors have adopted the proverb in order to motivate people to workout.

While you should still never push yourself to experience excruciating pain, some suffering is usually required during exercise to see results, hence showing a positive side of the expression.

External resources

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