Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

Just over a week ago, my little brother and I decided to hit the gym as I was down in California visiting my family. We were both having a rough week and needed to 'de-stress' in order to shake off the negative vibe cobwebs.

I had a feeling that my brother had formulated in his mind that we'd be counting reps and peforming reps out on the weightroom floor. Little did he know that we'd be knocking it out in the gym's 'training studio'.

In there was a FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross, dumbbells, BOSU balance trainers, stretch/exercise mats, stability balls and medicine balls. Add my interval timer....and we had a recipe for a kickass workout!

To make a long story short, my brother and I cranked out a HIIT workout in under 40-minutes which included soft tissue work, dynamic warmup/movement prep, 3 groups of 4 exercises performed in 40/20 intervals and a 20/10 Tabata Finisher consisting of glute bridge marching, planks and side planks!

When we were done, my bro told me that the workout we did was fresh, new and it was something that he had never seen done before at this particular gym....EVER!!

That got me thinking.

If this type of workout and/or training has never been done before, then what are the majority of the members doing? What are they spending their time with?

I'll tell you.

They're spending their time doing the same thing they did in their last workout session. How do I know? Because no matter what 'big box club' I walk into, I see the same activities being performed and I also see the same look on the faces of the people doing them - boredom, frustration, some even look angry and demoralized.

Funny as it may seem, despite being in another state and seeing different people, the outlook on personal progression in terms of the exercises and protocols that these people are doing in the gym is almost always the same, hence the lack of results! Things such as long, boring, steady state cardio, single-joint isolation or body part training and lots of work on resistance machines that force you to sit.

The problem is quite simple - people have a fear of breaking out of their 'comfort zone'.

I’ll start by declaring your comfort zone – it's not just a physical zone, but also a state of mind – in which you're 'comfortable'. It could be your home, your room or somewhere else. Note that you're not pressured when you're in your comfort zone, and you have total control over the situation. When you’re in your comfort zone, you're familiar with the environment and NOTHING IS NEW!

Self-growth (whether it's physical, mental, or spiritual) occurs OUT of your comfort zone! When you're in your comfort zone, you're not learning nor growing! Doing what you already do will not get you forward. In order to grow, you MUST do the things that you don’t do now.

The way I like to put it - getting out of your comfort zone is 'where the magic happens'!

If you expect to see any type of physiological progress and results, you must step out of your comfort zone - whether it's fat loss, lean muscle growth, losing the 'muffin-top', fitting into your dream pair of jeans, etc.

If you do the same, you get the same! If you want to see change, you need to create change!

Simply put, you need to get comfortable with getting uncomfortable!

In the case of my workout with my brother, I took him out of his comfort zone and we both worked hard! We were huffing it, breaking a sweat and felt our hearts pounding in our chest!

Was it easy? Hardly!

Did we enjoy the workout? Depends on what the exercise was! Just kidding. Of course we did.

However, we both knew that in order to take it to the next level, we had to dig deep and give it our 100% effort as best we could - we needed to go above & beyond to what felt comfortable!

In the end, we survived 40-minutes of mayhem and madness. We also reaped the benefits of the workout as our reward was an elevated metabolism, we torched body fat, stimulated our lean muscle growth potential and we both felt a surge of energy which impacted the rest of our day for the better!

All of this through the simple concept of getting 'comfortable with getting uncomfortable'!

Whether it's your training, diet/nutrition, applying for a job, asking out the girl of your dreams, you need to break out of your comfort zone if you plan to get ahead and see results.

Think about every achievement that you've gained in your life – I bet most if not all of them are the result of doing something new, rather than sticking to your old habits.

So, what experiences will you create today?



Bobby Ray said...

I know when I walk into the Gym " Comfort " is the last thing I'll be feeling in the following hour!

What you wrote is so true...nice write up!

Adrian Robles said...

Thanks Bobby Ray! I appreciate you taking the time to check out my blog.

Keep doing your thing, train hard and definitely stay out of the comfort zone - it's a dangerous place to be in, which hinders progress!