“And two of the key features of this [New Frontier] that these adventurers have inadvertently pointed out are the prominence of women and the acceptance of strength training.” (2)


“I might have considered that the brain is part of the body, that the two are in fact one: if you’re treating yourself like a sewer, you’re bathing your brain in shit.” (6)


“…it dawned on me that the state of your body isn’t something you either choose to care about or leave be, for your body never just is—it is always either decaying or getting stronger. Not choosing is still a choice.” (7)


“The practicing life demands one continually reform and reevaluate one’s habits as part of a process of deliberately shaping one’s existence.” (9)


“…the New Frontier athlete trains for life—to improve how she meets it and to deal productively with its pathos.” (20)


“The more committed somatic explorers of the New Frontier embrace an asceticism that harks back to the old Greek forms, a secular stepping aside from the rush of life to train, focus, meditate, learn, and recharge.” (22)


“The beautiful means is training, and the painful labor entailed by it makes training a romantic endeavor, a heroic endeavor.” (38)


“This too is another way that in ancient Greece beauty is invested with moral goodness, for in perfecting his appearance through training the athlete is also studying himself, examining his life.” (40)


“Greek images of ideal male forms were not simply artworks to behold or worship, they were the outward embodiments of something each citizen carried within himself—an ideal inner statue that we must work hard to reveal.” (45) 


“Exercise for health or aesthetic reasons tends to occur only at times when there is reasonable expectation of a long life and when people have the material abundance and leisure to formulate conceptions of what the Greeks called eudaemonia, the good life.” (67)


“From Jahn to Yasin-Bradley, people have recognized what the Greeks first proposed, that gymnastics is inherently political: the state is not only like a body, it is composed of bodies whose physical expressions can either support or rebel against it.” (103)


“And therein lies a truth that hasn’t fully penetrated into popular consciousness—that our standards of beauty (and attractiveness), be they for people or artworks, are entirely conditioned by our experience. There is no pattern of the beautiful, no essential form that all people find attractive.” (123)


“Rather than a series of startling new advances, the history of fitness seems to be a cycle of forgetfulness and rediscovery.” (133) 


“…appearing fit and being fit (or looking good and feeling good) are not the same thing: there are plenty of guys with muscles (some who smoke or take steroids) who can’t run a mile; there are sleek women who can’t do a single push-up; and there are skinny-fat people who drop dead of a stroke or heart attack, every day.” (136)


“…how we look is not an accurate guide to what we can do, and that workouts designed to sculpt the body to a particular standard are not necessarily those that will make us fittest.” (137)


“Rather than shaping the body, the performative mode shapes a life—its aim is a better person, internally as well as externally.” (160)


“[Bonnie Prudden] blamed their lethargy on what she aptly called the ‘tyranny of the wheel’—the stroller, school bus, and car, which is to say the inherently sedentary conditions of modern life.” (210)


“And, as the catalyzing agent of the fitness boom of the seventies, women didn’t just open doors for themselves—they fundamentally altered the way a vast number of people in the world relate to their bodies.” (233)


“…NFF devotees whose lives are similarly structured by their physical practice—affecting how they eat, how much they drink, when they go to bed and how long they sleep, what clothes they wear, who they spend time with, the sorts of information they might want to gather about themselves, their sense of their abilities and limitations—can seem freakish. Fitness as a life-shaping practice is strange because it is so new thus unfamiliar.” (254)