One of the most challenging things you can do is step outside your comfort zone. It’s not easy to do something that makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, but doing so is incredibly rewarding. Stepping out of your comfort zone forces you to grow and learn new things about yourself. You expand your knowledge, build your self-confidence, and discover hidden strengths that you never knew existed.
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 Whitfield, and I’ve lost 105 lbs (no, not just from that workout – come on, seriously?), and I indeed work hard on my activities. But Travis brought me 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. Looking up at the 1.3 billion stairs, I knew he was up to no good. He had a crazy idea of making stair sprints and mixing pushups.
Travis said, “We’ll go up one flight, do ten pushups and then walk down. Then we’ll go up two flights, followed by 20 pushups….”
“Cool,” I replied in my head. “I’m going to rock and show these youngsters what I’m made of.”
Then Travis continued, “Then we’ll go up three flights and do 30 pushups, and finally we’ll go four 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.
And I braced myself. I was going to perform a finisher for a complete workout. This was going to challenge me physically and mentally.
I kept up with the youngsters for at least four steps. I know, right? Go me. But here’s the deal. I was undoubtedly the last one to finish, but the truth is. I did finish. And that’s all that matters.
As I struggled after 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 last pushup in slow motion, Forty.
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.
Travis wanted to continue the annihilation as we looked across the beautiful harbor. 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.
Travis made me dig deep and discover that I had an inner beast when I thought I had nothing left.
The truth is – we all have an inner beast. Sometimes, that beast is stressed 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, when you think you’ve spent yourself to your limits?
That’s when it is time to step out of your comfort zone and show the world what you’ve got, but most importantly, yourself. Maybe you’ve been in unproductive meetings all day, talking about a project that needs to be done, but you can’t seem to get it done because you always have discussions about the project that needs to be done.
Enough with that – this is YOUR time. Use the last 8 minutes of your workout to let go and 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.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. If you plan to do ten burpees, do 20. Remember, this is getting out of your way and out of your comfort zone.
- Grab that sandbag and toss it. Where? Who cares?! Throw it! Throw it as far as possible, 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.
You thought you were done, but your spirit said, “Not yet.” That’s leaving nothing on the gym floor (or your backyard, for that matter). Now that’s releasing the inner beast inside of you. And you didn’t even know until about 38 minutes after your workout started.
Mike Whitfield, CTT
Co-Author, Hardcore Finishers
Here is a little video explaining a few of the common FAQs about Hardcore Finishers: