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Comfort And Chaos

This is a topic I have learned from Jordan B Petersen; he is a phycologist and author of Maps of Meaning and his most recent book 12 Rules for Life, An Antidote to Chaos. Everyone could benefit from investigating some of his material.

Applying his idea of comfort and chaos to training works simply

1. If training never reaches outside the range of comfort the body will never have the proper demand to physically or mentally grow.

2. If training lives completely inside the range of chaos pain and injury are surely bound to happen.

So, what do we do? We walk the line as I would say. We find the perfect balance of comfort and chaos to push the body and mind to the goal at hand.

Too Much Chaos

If our goal is to lose weight, but our plan is to work out

seven days a week, stop eating all sugars and go completely keto we are going to find that unsustainable for most individuals. By having your training be too chaotic it becomes either too much for the body to handle or too much for your schedule to handle and it never gets done, especially for beginners. How would I change this? What is the right way to start off losing weight? without giving a blanket answer, for this person I would reduce the work out days for now and suggest just start off with a simple reduction of calories. (as a trainer we must be careful, if a client really wants to do a diet all we can do is educate

Too Much Comfort

If the goal is to gain weight, but the individual only works and eats within a range of comfort not progressing or challenging their body, it will not change. The body has a lot of strength and capability, if we are looking to tap into this strength we need to dive in and find it from time to time.

How would I change this? How do we walk the line between comfort and chaos? Really, for most its “how can I lift weight or workout, feel like it’s really working, and not fucking hurt myself?” Right?

Walking the Line Between Comfort and Chaos

To start walking the line properly we need a goal, an end point for the line. Once we have focused that goal, we can set the boundaries for what is comfortable and what is chaotic. As we travel towards that goal if we remain in the boundary of comfort then we will arrive the same as we started. Not growing or changing into our potential future selves. As we travel, we must expand into the boundary of chaos. If we remain too long the journey will never be completed, and the goal won’t be reached. To keep on track as we expand, we must come back into our comfort zone. It may be to sleep, plan for the week, meal prep or eat, all important aspects of recovery. As we return into the depts of chaos we find that our comfort zone has expanded and what was once a challenge is now easy. Thus, we must go further into the chaos to find what is truly hard for us. After you discover the right process and apply it to your particular goal you will not only be able to achieve that goal, but you will have made permanent changes to what you perceive is “hard to do”

How Can You Tell if You are Walking the Line Properly?

As you move towards a goal you should feel like you have a zone of comfort or rest while at the same time a way to safely push your self's in what might be new exercises, more reps, or even heavier weight. That is where a good gym or home workout space is important, treat it as your lab of chaos. On the flip side you also need a solid recovery plan. You need to have life in order to have time to rest, meal prep/eat, and even plan workouts. For example, if I don’t prepare myself for the week ahead not only do my meals and workouts suffer my client’s workouts haven’t been programed and they suffer. I let the people who rely on me and myself down and those are the things that will eat away at us. If you come home or wake up and all of you comfort time is spent dealing with the chaos of life that has been push aside left to build up, it defeats the purpose of recovery. By becoming better at taking care of our self's we become better at taking care of those around us. We no longer tier by the labors of the day because we know we have a place to rest and recoup. This is where I believe most people past the beginning stage have the hardest time. We could say beginners have a hard time starting and more experienced people have hard time stopping.

Applying This New Philosophy

Setting goals or deciding what you need to change is a very personal matter. That is why they call us personal trainers, but we help facilitate the process of individuals looking inward to find what they want change. So, to apply this to your own training you need to look inward. Find that thing you are willing to clean up your life up for and ready to dive into chaos chasing after. Once you have pinpointed that desire things will start to come together, and your motivation will lead you in the right direction. If specifics about training are the only thing stopping you, shoot me an email and we will get you squared away. However, if we don’t know what we want we won’t know how to get there.

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