Pain is weakness leaving the body
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.
Origin of the term
“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.
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 of the term
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.
- Lupus News Today – I Reject the Mantra that ‘Pain Is Weakness Leaving the Body’
- Urban Dictionary – Pain is weakness leaving the body