The Keys to Pushing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

It is easy to read and read this quote from Fred DeVito, executive vice president Of Exhale Spa: “duh.”But how often do we really hold back from challenging ourselves during training and wonder why we are not seeing the desired results?

“A little discomfort is the way we grow,” says Jacque Crockford, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and head of exercise physiology content at the American Council on Exercise. “Our comfort zone is like a comfortable and safe bladder. Where growth, change and Magic happen is exactly on the other side of this bubble. It’s not in another Galaxy — it’s something outside.”

This means that it is quite feasible. And every time you give a little more, it helps you not only to develop a new comfort zone that is larger than the previous one, but also to add to it. If you give somewhere 1% in every workout, you will soon be 10% superior or further, Crockford says.



What it literally takes to go further is intuitive: to make the exercise more difficult. When doing strength training, do more repetitions, lift harder, or move slower or faster. You can also hold a movement (for example, at the bottom of a squat) or, if you want an exercise to be static, move (think of the Pulsation in a lunge).

“It doesn’t have to be a big leap,” Crockford says. “You just want to overload your body a little outside your comfort zone to get gains in what you want to improve”, such as strength or muscle mass.

You can make these adjustments when working out on your own or in a fitness class, regardless of whether the instructor tells you to work harder or not.


You only need to push 1% harder if you are new to training, Crockford says. Not much. But tell it to your mind.

“It’s our brains that hold us back most of the time,” Crockford says. “It’s okay, it’s new, it’s scary, it’s something I can’t do. But your body is capable of anything you want.”

In order for your body to do what it can already do, you can use external or internal Motivation.

If you are more motivated by the extrinsic, it may be a good idea to train with a partner who is slightly higher than your fitness level. However, if you have had negative experiences with others in the past, it can motivate you, warns Crockford.

Music has also been shown to improve performance by increasing pain tolerance, increasing pleasure, and helping you work faster and harder. The key is to choose the right music for you.

Other external motivators can be a healthy reward, such as a Massage or new workout clothes, when you reach a specific workout goal, such as doing 5 real push-ups or setting a new time record.

If you are naturally more motivated, think about why you are doing what you are doing — and dig deep, because the answer is not to adjust a certain trouser size or to look “superior”.”

“Really understanding this might be what you need at a critical moment when you decide, ‘I don’t want this, but I can and I will,'” Crockford says.

For example, you may want to be healthier and longer for your children, return to the life in which you felt happiest or regain confidence. Or maybe you’re training for someone who can’t, and it’s a reminder that you have a body and that you’re healthy and that you can do things that other people can’t do.

Find your why, and if you find that your comfort zone is getting too comfortable, use it to push yourself.


Discomfort is given when you go to the next level in a workout. But if you feel pain, it’s superior to stay in your comfort zone. Knowing the difference can be difficult.

The discomfort is, “It’s new and a little uncomfortable, but I can still breathe here,” Crockford says. Often you receive emotional signals that you are just on the edge of your comfort zone, she adds. Any hint of panic or uncertainty indicates whether you can take up this challenge and be there for a while.

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