You come to a point in your exercise regimen where your results become stagnant or even start regressing. You wonder how this is happening? – You are going to the gym almost every day. The problem could be that you have fallen into the comfort zone routine trap. You are checking off the miles/reps/laps, but your effort is less than optimal, your body says, “Hey I’m good, I have done this before, – no changes needed.”  You are comfortable, but you absolutely need to invest in a change in order to progress physically.  

Many people don’t take this step or make this push because it’s uncomfortable, it’s hard. Why disrupt a rhythm, especially when it is becoming easier. They’ve finally hit a great rhythm and things are starting to become easier. That is the perfect time to start the challenge. Stepping out of the comfort zone is only going to further your improvement and help reach your goals of a healthier lifestyle.  Only through new stressors can we have the resultant adaptive gains.

Personally, I became somewhat stagnant in my swim, bike run workouts over a lengthy triathlon career. I did way too many of the same workouts over and over again, the workouts were like “comfort food” yet I needed more of a variety of Physical nourishments to make any significant progress.

I recently had a revelation; found through my 16-year-old daughter.

Beginning on January 1st of this year, I began a routine of early morning swims with my daughter at an outdoor pool in Colorado. With the sun coming up, a snow-covered landscape and the steam rising it was magical. However, ‘magical’ was far from the correct adverb to describe the workouts, – more accurate would be excruciating, exhausting and yet exhilarating.  I can hang with my daughter on freestyle, but not only is she talented but also smart and she knows I cannot keep up on Butterfly, so she does what all good teenage daughters do – she punishes me with a heavy butterfly focused workout.

As a triathlete, I had swum almost no butterfly previously and she obliterated me, my body would be absolutely screaming in order to make the interval and she would be grinning at the wall waiting for me.  Out of my comfort zone was an understatement. But I continue to push through as I wanted to be able to keep up, have a stretch goal and ultimately gain transformative fitness.

So if you’re a freestyler, swim butterfly; if you are a runner, swim; if you are a yogi, lift …. Vary your routine, each and every time – vary the intensity vary the exercise, vary the sport.  Whatever it is, explode out of your comfort zone and you will be rewarded with real fitness gains,