If we don't challenge ourselves, we will not change.
The human body is epic. We can train ourselves to lift twice our bodyweight or run non-stop for 50 kilometres. But it can't happen unless we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. The body wants to survive and will response to physical stress. When you push yourself that little bit harder, go for an extra rep, or run half a kilometre further, you force your body to adapt.
Have you been slogging it out in the gym for months or years, and haven't gotten to where you want to be? Perhaps you are not challenging yourself enough.
I love Albert Einstein's definition of insanity:
"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
The only way to progress and change is by pushing our boundaries, pushing past our comfort zone. Evolution has designed the human body to be extremely efficient, which means being complacent is way too easy. We have to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. My workouts are equally as brutal for myself as they are for my clients, because I also want to change.
Here are some simple ways to challenge yourself to change:
- Step up the weight in your strength workouts
- Try a week of lower weights and up the number of repetitions
- Grab a spotter next time you squat and get a couple of extra reps in
- Do an exercise you've never done before
- If you come to the gym twice a week, I want to see you in there three times next week
- Bump up the resistance on your next cardio session
- If you usually do slow steady state cardio, try some interval sprints
You'll notice that it's not always about going hard. Sometimes, different, is enough stimulus to create change.
So challenge yourself and you will change.