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Turn Down For What!!– Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

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The art of getting comfortable, with being uncomfortable.


by: Dave Lima


One of the most common phrases in CrossFit has fast become, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” What does this mean?   You’re moving in a workout, why do I have to push it???? Why is it important to be uncomfortable in my workouts?  Most of us found CrossFit because we were looking for something different, something where we could get different results, something that could change our current regiment.   But, like life, you only get out of it, what you put into it.

Your old routine wasn’t working. Gone are the days of reading about the Kardashian’s while jogging (pronounced with a soft J) on a treadmill.  But, you are moving right? You are breathing a little heavy. Do you really need to push harder? Is it really that important to get uncomfortable in a workout???

The answer is unequivocally, YES!! The pain of the “same” is going to be exponentially greater than the pain of change! And yes, being uncomfortable sucks…but being uncomfortable is what gets results. When we get uncomfortable, it is human nature to back off, or slow down.  This includes many things in our life, such as, going upside down, running, hanging from the bar, jumping on a box, presenting at work, having a hard talk with your boss, moving, change, dieting, or anything.   The problem is, although these activities are uncomfortable, these are the times when results are forged.

CrossFit is actually defined as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movements.” You cannot have one without the other if you want results. If you’re constantly working at the same rate and doing the same movements, it’s going to yield the same results.   Old Line takes care of 2 of the 3 components for you, you just have to bring the intensity, or the uncomfortable part yourself.


So what does it mean to be uncomfortable? It doesn’t mean letting your form go, and trying to PR by 75lbs. Safety is still, paramount. It also doesn’t mean you have to puke after every workout. It does, however, mean that being tired does not mean it’s time to stop. It means holding that bar for one more clean, when your head is telling you to drop it. It means not letting go of the pull-up bar, even though it would be easy to drop down and rest now. You are going to start thinking of a way out, a way to quit. It’s too hard. It hurts too much. Don’t QUIT!!!   Push through it!! Don’t be afraid to fail!!!! Fear kills more goals and dreams than failure ever will!

Greg Glassman’s (the founder of CrossFit) said in an article in the CrossFit Journal, “Intensity and results are directly proportional, but intensity and comfort are inversely proportional. Choosing for greater intensity is choosing for more fitness, but also greater personal sacrifice in the form of discomfort.”  You have to realize the struggle for growth/results includes a steady dose of a “good” kind of pain and suffering, but it is generally a long process and not just a quick event. Your biggest breakthrough will be one step outside your comfort zone. Whenever I hit a plateau in my growth, it is because I have relaxed on my commitment to learning.



Results are definitively a bi-product of being uncomfortable. So embrace the suck!!

“The human body is an incredible machine, but most people only get out of that machine what their mind allows them too.” –Rich Fronning (4 time CrossFit Games champion, individual; 2 time CrossFit Games champion, team)