Training Outside Your Comfort Zone

Health and fitness and interconnected, but so is meritocracy, rationalizations, and comfort zone.  As humans, we naturally prefer exercises that we are good at, and we have experience in.  The problem with training in your comfort zone is that your body adapts to doing the same thing, whether that’s playing basketball, running 5K, or doing an elliptical machine.  In order to improve, you have to change.  Arnold Schwarzenegger explained this topic as “Muscle Confusion” in his book the Encyclopedia of Body Building.  The same concept was also discovered by Izumi Tabata in 1996 in what now is referred to as HIIT or high intensity interval training.

But what is muscle confusion or high intensity interval training?  Collectively, they involve pushing the body past its normal limits.  Dr. Tabata said they that he had his clients train at 170% of capacity, and Mr. Schwarzenegger is infamous for training well beyond the point of puking.  What these systems have in common is pushing the body safely beyond “false limits.”  That’s where proper form and supervision play a role.  Schwarzenegger’s method of muscle confusion is now incorporated and integral to the Crossfit methodology of “constant variation.”  That can take the form of introducing new movements, new equipment, or simply changing the sequence of a workout.  This concept of sequencing is very popular among fitness professionals; accord  Muscle and Fitness, Popsugar, and Davywavyfitness.

So what does this mean for you?  You have train hard to improve, but you also have to change to improve.  Foundational movements are foundational because they work, but one can vary a foundational movement like a clean and press by using barbells, sandbells, kettlebells, surge, slosh pipes, sandbags, etc.  Each has a slightly different feel and stimulus.  And when you practice with different loads sources, weights, reps, and durations you will improve your general physical preparedness (GPD).  And improving your GPD leads to better health

About Coach Dawn

Bodybuilding for women. I coach women who are are interested in getting strong and building some real definition.
1. Muscle Activation Techniques: Corrective Exercise and Therapy
2. National Counsel on Strength and Fitness: Certified Personal Trainer
3. CrossFit Level 2: Weight loss and Metabolic Training
4. CrossFit Powerlifting: Strength Training
5. RKC Russian Kettlebell Club: Strength & Conditioning
6. TRX Suspension Training: Core and Bodyweight
7. CrossFit Flexibility: Range of Motion and Flexibility