This post we’ll tackle the first C:
I have been in the sports and fitness industry for enough years now to notice that 90% of the people who go to a gym and who workout on their own don’t even come close to challenging themselves enough. I know that because I am one of those people. If my daily routine calls for leg day and walking lunges, I know I will find a way to do bench press or biceps instead.
So why is that?
To paraphrase Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory:
“It’s called the comfort zone for a reason!”
Most of us do not want to get out of that comfort zone
And sometimes it makes us really, well, uncomfortable!
Most of us do not consistently maintain the mental or physical fortitude to push ourselves past a certain point – to that point of total exhaustion, muscle fatigue or failure.
But, you know how the old saying goes:
“There’s no growth in the comfort zone!”
So what can get you to push yourself out of that comfort zone and into the challenge zone?
I really appreciate what CrossFit has done for the fitness community. Back before CrossFit, most would workout to accomplish something:
To get better at a sport
Enter a bodybuilding competition
Look better in a bikini
The sport of CrossFit has allowed us to see working out and getting stronger as the competition in and of itself. Working out is no longer relegated to back rooms and sweaty gyms, it has become elevated as a competition worthy of prizes, acclaim and national attention. At 614Fitness, we routinely use competition to drive our success and push our limits.
A Good Plan and a Goal
For some people, a well thought out plan with a beginning and end strategy is enough motivation to work out hard enough and push themselves. Of course developing a good plan is hard and sticking to it even harder. It takes a special kind of motivation and person to put in the hours and enough effort over a sustained period of time to get real results. That’s why we get new members all the time that say they’ve been a member of this or that gym but stopped going or didn’t get the results they wanted.
A good goal is also important. One that is difficult to achieve… challenging. I know a lot of our runner athletes have been struggling with their running routines due to the cancelation/postponement of so many of their races. Most have had to pivot and find other more intrinsic goals. Unfortunately, some have found their motivation lag and drop off right along with their miles.
A Fitness Community
Ask any 614Fitness member athlete and they will tell you that working out in our small groups motivates them to push harder, lift more and go beyond their comfort zones. The camaraderie, support and banter help to make those difficult reps go faster and the weights to seem lighter.
When you look over at that workout neighbor and feel their effort, energy and shear will, it motivates you to push and challenge your own limits.
(And we’ll talk more about this in the next ‘C’)
Many times I will see an athlete pick up a weight knowing that they can lift more. Not only does the athlete tend to underestimate themselves, they also may be trying to unconsciously stay in their comfort zone. Good coaching can recognize your strengths and limitations and challenge you to push past those artificial limitations. Having that coach set high expectations and then providing the support and encouragement to meet them will get you those fitness benefits you have been looking for.
Challenge is critical in realizing your fitness gains. It is far too easy to fall into that comfort zone. If this is you, try some of the tips here to push past those limits. Your fitness and your gains will thank you for it.