no pain, no gain

No pain, no gain.

Fig. If you want to improve, you must work so hard that it hurts. (Associated with sports and physical exercise.) Player: I can't do any more push-ups. My muscles hurt. Coach: No pain, no gain. Come on, everybody! Run one more lap! No pain, no gain!
See also: gain

no pain, no gain

Suffering is needed to make progress, as in I've worked for hours on those irregular French verbs, but no pain, no gain. Although this idiom is often associated with athletic coaches who urge athletes to train harder, it dates from the 1500s and was already in John Ray's proverb collection of 1670 as "Without pains, no gains."
See also: gain