I was doing some of my daily reading the other day and came across an article written by Coach Robert “Dos” Remedios (Strength and Conditioning coach at the College of the Canyons, located in Santa Clarita, CA) where he discussed “comfort zones.” As I have said before, we’re creatures of habit and it’s only natural that we have a hard time stepping out of our comfort zones.
I mean, it took me a long time before I realized that making the woman pay for the first date by “accidentally” leaving my wallet at home wasn’t the smartest thing to do. It wasn’t till I got out of my comfort zone and suggested we play “rock, paper, scissors” to see who picked up the tab that girls started hanging out with me more.
All kidding aside, in his article, Coach Dos discussed how the majority of trainees fail to ever sway outside of their comfort zones in the gym. As a result, they rarely (if ever) make any significant progress with their body.
1. The guy who only trains the muscles he can see in the mirror, otherwise known as the “beach workout” (and has horrible posture to boot).
2. The woman who performs her 45 minutes of aerobic exercise on the same elliptical machine day after day, while watching “The View” no less (and is still 30 lbs overweight).
3. The teenage boy who never trains his lower body (and still wonders why he can’t gain any weight).
The list could go on and on, but I’m sure you get my point. The fact of the matter is, you NEED to get out of your comfort zone. You need to start doing things that you’re normally not accustomed to in the gym to get the results you want.
It’s been my experience that when left to their own vices, trainees will typically do what is “normal” and what they view as easy. Hence why you tend to see more people performing leg curls than deadlifts; or performing steady state cardio rather than ball busting intervals (sprints). Many trainees fail to realize that it’s supposed to be hard work. It’s not supposed to be pleasant. Next time you’re at your gym, do yourself a favor and watch the people train who have a physique you desire.
Are they reading People Magazine while they’re walking on the treadmill?………………………No.
Are they talking on their cell phone or sending text messages to their friends while they’re exercising?……………………No.
Are they starring at the television watching the latest highlights on SportsCenter in between sets of tricep kickbacks?………………No.
Are they checking out the hot new personal trainer?…………………..Um, yeah. Duh. She’s hot. They get a mulligan for that one.
Needless to say, many people would bode well by learning to get out of their comfort zones and start incorporating exercises or programs that they have never tried before. You might be surprised at what kind of progress you can make in a short amount of time.