Bodybuilding

| August 1, 2021

Comfortably Uncomfortable: Reaching New PRs when Training

There is a very strong distinguishing characteristic between simply exercising and training, exercise is a day to day process that every human should be doing, this includes things that fall under any type of physiological movement, not including reaching for the tv remote!

By Steven Fitzpatrick

Read time: 3 min.

There is a very strong distinguishing characteristic between simply exercising and training, exercise is a day to day process that every human should be doing, this includes things that fall under any type of physiological movement, not including reaching for the tv remote!

When we exercise, we keep our systems running smoothly, we make sure that our body functions healthy on a day to day basis, this is why steps per day are so important.

When we look at training, the only possible way to see adaptations or improvements is simply getting uncomfortable. Can you look at your training regime and genuinely say you are giving it your all and pushing yourself outside of comfortable boundaries, if the answer is no, then you should look at your day to day consistencies and programming and do your best to figure out a solution to that question, you have to ask yourself, the real reason why we as humans go through adaptations, it is to deal with whatever obstacle that is in front of us, and being fit to handle these situations accordingly. When the body undergoes stress, it has no other choice than to adapt and grow.

This is why I believe it is important to use a measure such as percentage or RPE to keep yourself accountable, especially if you are a new lifter, applying both objective (percentage) and subjective (RPE) methods allow for you to reach for one and get a response from another, if you follow day to day by recording your efforts versus what you are trying to reach for, eventually you will begin to narrow the gap, each day of training is always going to be different, some days you will come in with more energy, output, vigour, what have you on that specific day, you can cross reference and compare your good day to your not so good day, when you do this, you learn how to truly push yourself and see what type of stress you can currently handle.

As far as training goes, our reach often exceeds our grasp. Effectively managing fatigue is also a skill that is developed with time, you always want to push yourself, but you do NOT want to push yourself typically to absolute failure although from time to time it does happen, managing stress and the nervous system takes time and learning how to stimulate growth without burning out takes time.

Generally at that point that we want to quit, we always have more in us, this is something that everyone goes through at a beginner stage of training, it is good to push around a sub maximal load every so often to establish how far we are willing to go, or in the instance of someone like a runner pushing ourselves to where we want to quit, every time that you say no to that voice in your head telling you to stop you are not only adapting physically but mentally as well, perseverance of the mind is something that is trained.

We need to be clear on the difference between actual pain and true discomfort that leads to adaptation, not every single movement is going to feel comfortable, in fact most will not, but there is a difference in feel between true pain and muscle undergoing stress, where when you are dealing with pain, it is very likely that you are moving wrong or compensating under load, this is something that needs to be addressed immediately if you are to train effectively. Being uncomfortable means that you do not want to do whatever you are doing anymore mentally, but by overcoming that resistance and however long you stay in that discomfort zone over the course of your training session, will determine just how much adaptive response you get to the stress and will lead to muscular and psychological improvements.

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