Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

I was training at a gym in Florida recently when I was approached by a fan who told me “Lee I’ve been working my abs religiously for months now, and I’m not seeing any change!”

After asking him some questions about his abs program, I found out that he had been stopping at 10 repetitions on each set, regardless of whether he could do more. In other words, he wasn’t pushing himself. He had gotten comfortable with his routine. It had worked at first, but now… Nothing.

Human beings are creatures of habit. We all too easily get lulled into the complacency of our daily routines.

This is especially true when it comes to exercise and nutrition routines. Many of us lock ourselves into doing the same exercises, or eating the same things every day.

We get “comfortable” in our routines and when we get comfortable, we stop challenging ourselves.

Most of us start working out and eating right to change our bodies and improve our health. Going from not exercising and eating badly to getting regular exercise and eating nutritiously is a challenge in and of itself, right?

But it’s easy to get comfortable with your program. You reason that it has worked for you, and you’ve seen improvements. That’s good. But what do you do if it stops working?

In order to create further improvements and gains, you have to make changes. You have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You have to get comfortable with making yourself uncomfortable.

Your body will change only when it is subjected to a stress it can’t handle. Your body responds to physical increases in stress. It adapts to the stress by getting stronger and growing. So to keep making changes, you have to incrementally increase stress.

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone starts with your mindset. You should embrace purposefully taking on what is more difficult. If it’s too easy, make it harder. That’s the mental paradigm that you should bring to your program.

You can make getting comfortable with discomfort into a game. You can do this because you realize that the physical discomfort is only momentary. In your mind make the connection between this discomfort and your eventual success. Make the mental connection between what you are feeling and the body you want. When you feel the discomfort, it’s the feeling of you improving.

Here are some examples of how you can incrementally push yourself out of your comfort zone:

• Add a little more weight on your last set of an exercise.
• Push for one more rep than you normally do.
• Add a little time to your cardio workout.

Making yourself comfortable with the uncomfortable can be done with mental mini challenges. There is no set way to do this. Just pick a challenge and push yourself a little.

You’ll be surprised how the feeling of accomplishment will make you feel. It’ll put the fun back into your workout too! Challenge yourself this week.

Yours in health,

About the Author: Lee Labrada

Lee Labrada is the founder and CEO of Labrada Nutrition, makers of Lean Body protein shakes. Lee’s mission is to empower you with the nutritional products and the know-how to get into great shape and be healthy for life.

One of the world's best-known bodybuilding legends, Lee Labrada holds 22 bodybuilding
titles, including the IFBB Mr. Universe. Lee is an inductee of the IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Hall of Fame. He has appeared on the covers of more than 100 fitness magazines and has been featured on CNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and ESPN as a fitness and nutrition expert. Lee is the best-selling author of The Lean Body Promise and co-founder of Lean Body Coaching. He is also the Host of The Lee Labrada Show. Check out his podcast here.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.