Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

While in San Diego recently I was invited to participate in a workout with my buddy Travis Stoetzel (with whom CJ Easter and I recently launched Hardcore Finishers).

I am Mike Whitfied and I’ve lost 105 lbs (no, not just from that workout – c’mon, seriously?), and I certainly work hard when it comes to my workouts. But Travis brought me, well, out of my comfort zone, and I had the best workout I’ve had in months.

First, we went to the stairs at the convention center. As I looked up at the 1.3 billion stairs, I knew he was up to no good. He had a crazy idea of doing stair sprints and mixing pushups in there.

Travis said, “We’ll go up one flight, do 10 pushups and then walk down. Then we’ll go up two flights, followed by 20 pushups….”

“Cool”, I replied in my head. “This is going to rock and I’m going to show these youngsters what I’m made of…”

Then Travis continued, “Then we’ll go up 3 flights and do 30 pushups, and finally we’ll go 4 flights followed by 40 pushups”.

“That’s it. I am so tired of you putting me in these situations… Look at me, look at me! I’m the finisher guy. I can do all kinds of cool stuff because I lost a little weight,” were the words going through my head.

I braced myself. I was going to perform a finisher for a full workout. This was going to challenge me physically and mentally.

I kept up with the youngsters for at least 4 steps. I know, right? Go me. But here’s the deal. I was certainly the last one to finish, but the truth is… I did finish. And that’s all that matters.

As I struggled after each and every pushup, I would pause, look down at CJ and Travis, and then keep going. I didn’t want to let them down. Finally, I pushed through my very last pushup in slow motion …. Forrrrrty.

I was exhausted but invigorated at the same time. Travis is the kind of guy who has a way of bringing out the best in you. It’s no wonder his clients and athletes look up to him.

As we looked across the beautiful harbor, Travis wanted to continue the annihilation. We made our way to a local park. I did something I’d never done before… which was a squat and press with a big rock. We also did ring pull-ups and sprints.

Just when I thought I had nothing left, Travis made me dig deep and discover that I had an inner beast.

The truth is – we all have an inner beast. Sometimes, that beast is stress from work, bad relationships, lay-offs, and grief. Sure, we can release most of that through exercise. But what about at the end of the workout, just when you think you’ve spent yourself to your limits?

That’s when it is really time to step out of your comfort zone and show the world, but most importantly, yourself, what you’ve got. Maybe you’ve been in unproductive meetings all day, talking about a project that needs to get done, but you can’t seem to get it done because you always have meetings about the project that needs to get done.

Enough with that – this is YOUR time. Use the last 8 minutes of your workout to let go and just unleash everything that has been bottled up inside of you all week.

  • Grab a kettlebell and swing the life out of it – trust me, it doesn’t feel it.
  • Use a prowler? Don’t have one? Travis can show you how to make one. Once you try it, you won’t go back.
  • If you plan to do 10 burpees, do 20. Don’t underestimate yourself. Remember, this is you getting out of your own way and out of your comfort zone.
  • Grab that sandbag and toss it. Where? Who cares?! Throw it! Throw it as far as you can, with your aggression tagged onto it.
  • Drop down and do 30 close-grip pushups… not because that’s all you can do, but because the finisher called for 20. The manual isn’t the boss, you are.
  • And when you finally perform that final rep of some hardcore exercise that you’ve never done before in your life, use every last ounce of juice you have left in you to raise your arms above your head… in victory.

That’s leaving nothing on the gym floor (or your backyard, for that matter). Now that’s releasing the inner beast inside of you that you didn’t even know existed until about 38 minutes after your workout started. You thought you were done, but your spirit said, “Not yet”.

Mike Whitfield, CTT
Co-Author, Hardcore Finishers

Release your inner beast and step out of your comfort zone here:

Here is a little video explaining a few of the common FAQs about Hardcore Finishers:

10 Compound Kettlebell Exercises for Increased Strength