Uncomfortably Comfortable

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”

Michael Phelps

In my career as a personal trainer, I constantly got asked “What’s the best exercise routine to get fit/lose weight/build muscle?” I didn’t like that question because I don’t think there is one perfect routine. The word “routine” is where we have it all wrong. The human body is amazing, and its ability to adapt is like nothing else in the world, so when it come to exercise we don’t want it to adapt. Becoming too comfortable means we aren’t getting the results we could be achieving. I believe that putting our bodies under physical stress can help achieve two things:

1. Putting our bodies under physical stress will help us learn how to handle stress in a safe environment. By physically experiencing stress, we will teach our brain how to handle other kinds of stress.

2. The body responds to stress. Many fitness regimes are focused on being “easy” to do. Why not focus on what is functional and will help improve our lives the most?


Why You Should Embrace Being Uncomfortable 

If you found out that you were going to be thrown into a boxing match and you had no choice but to fight, would you train, or would you let some guy punch you in the face? Prepare for life to punch you in the face. Neither you nor I can predict what life is going to be like. One minute everything can be picture perfect, and within seconds your whole life could fall apart. Living in such an amazing country we aren’t faced with the same stress as others, but there are still many things that can go wrong. While we can’t know exactly what those things are, the least we can do is prepare to face stress. How you handle physical stress will transfer over to how you handle mental stress. Building a body that can adapt to new and unique situations will help you when life tries to punch you in the face. I have noticed that these days most people do their absolute best to avoid stress. Rather than learning how to deal with stress, we avoid it until something hits us so hard we aren’t sure we can get back up. So train for the unknowable.

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Variety is Key

When talking about fitness regimes it’s important to remember that your body will get used to anything repetitive. If every single day you jog for 20min at 60% of your max heart rate, your body will eventually not recognize it as a stressor. It will figure out the least amount of energy your body needs to get through the activity, and the positive changes you were seeing will begin to slow. If instead you decided that one day you were going to do sprints at 90% of your max heart rate, your body would be confused, and there would be a greater response to the new stress.

Try New Things

Make fitness fun! Remember when you were in college, and some classes were engaging while others were so boring you skipped them whenever possible? Don’t let fitness become like that boring class, or it will be too easy to skip. Sign up for a yoga class, try rock climbing, or drop in on a CrossFit class.

Want to see change? Start making some changes!

If your current exercise program isn’t resulting in positive change, it’s time to change your exercise program. So many people complain about how they can’t lose weight, and that they are doing everything they are supposed to. If you’re doing everything you are supposed to, you will see change. We are unique. No one can tell you what’s perfect for you. Whining about how you want to change is not making a change.

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Why I do CrossFit

I don’t ever want people to think I am a CrossFit only girl. That being said, if you’re looking for a program that is constantly changing and has positive results long term,CrossFit is what I would recommend.CrossFit has been given a bad reputation because people have tried to do it without proper instruction, and failed miserably. With the proper coach, CrossFit is just as safe as any other form of exercise. It is programmed to target all the energy systems, and is constantly varied so that your body will continue making adaptations. Most CrossFit classes last 45-60 minutes. You can fit it in before or after work. It is also a great choice for all levels. Everything can be adapted to suit your current fitness level. Am I physically uncomfortable during my workouts? Yep, but that’s how I know they are working. I have been CrossFitting for eight years, and I am still getting better and seeing amazing positive changes in myself.  If you don’t have time to get to the gym, you can attend a session with a personal trainer once or twice a week, and then they can prescribe you at-home workouts.

Whatever you choose, let it stretch you. Be willing to learn something new and never be afraid to fail.

Eat Your Veggies,

Charity

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