Sunday, July 15, 2018


I understand that, with my normal approach to blogging being that I write everything all in one shot and never go back to proofread it that my regular readers most likely believe that I made a typo in the topic title, but let me assure you I DO in fact mean “get uncomfortable being uncomfortable.”  And haven’t I said explicitly in other topics exactly the opposite: to get comfortable being uncomfortable?  Yes, this is true, but this needs to be addressed.  “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” is a call to people to step out of their comfort zones and go do something that makes them uncomfortable, and to keep doing it to the point that it becomes your norm.  It asks you to exist in discomfort so much that you are comfortable with it.  However, I ask you to get UNCOMFORTABLE being uncomfortable, for I am telling you that you need to keep pushing the envelope to the point that you CAN’T get comfortable.

Image result for navy seal flutter kicks water
Reminder: Flutter kicks suck BEFORE you try to do them on the surf

That’s dizzying isn’t it?  Here is what it boils down to.  Discomfort is alien to most people, as humans instinctively seek comfort whenever possible.  When it is cold, we seek warmth, and when we are hungry, we seek food.  However, we seek enough to create equilibrium and homeostasis.  We don’t sit on a stove to get warm from the winter, but seek gradual heat.  We don’t eat to the point of vomiting, but eat until satiated.  The course correction we seek is moderate to battle extremes. 

Once we introduce the concept of seeking discomfort, we find it takes little to exceed the happy medium of comfort.  Setting the heat in the house to 70 in the winter is comfortable, 80 becomes uncomfortable.  The same becomes true of exercise.  Going on a walk is comfortable, making it a jog is uncomfortable, making it a run more uncomfortable, making it a sprint VERY uncomfortable.  The issue here becomes that, once people start to practice being uncomfortable, they become “comfortable at being uncomfortable” because they simply never take the discomfort to the next necessary step.  They go from walking to jogging, experience that discomfort, master it, and then never move on.  Yes, they have become “comfortable being uncomfortable”…but not by much.

Image result for thermostat at 80

I state again that one should get UNCOMFORTABLE being uncomfortable.  They should be seeking the next necessary step in discomfort, finding no comfort in BEING comfortable, as it is the path to complacency, which is the path to stagnation, which is the path to regression, which is the path to weakness.  One needs to continue to push themselves to the point that they never get to experience the comfort that comes with adaptation, as this is simply an indication that they have rested instead of pursued something greater.  This is the “Will to Power” compelling one to continually find greater and greater discomfort to encounter, experience, and overcome on the way to the next bit of discomfort.

And why should one BE uncomfortable?  Because it is discomfort that promotes growth!  It promotes action!  When one sits on an unlit stove, one remains still.  When the stove is lit, one moves, because one is uncomfortable, and is driven by the human instinct to seek comfort by escaping the discomfort.  Put yourself in these uncomfortable situations and watch what your brain and body do to try to seek comfort.  Unrack the bar, have your training partner take off the j-hooks and agree that you only get them back after 20 reps, and observe your body perform these reps as powerfully as possible in pursuit of eventually discovering comfort again.  Walk your keg 400m away from its home and observe your body carry it back against all odds.  Push the volume and the food to the point of discomfort and observe your body add muscle in forced adaptation in HOPES that this will stem the discomfort.  Push the intensity and reduce the food and watch the body strip away fat in hopes of reducing metabolic demands.  Be uncomfortable and watch action occur!

Image result for squatting on a bosu ball
I am uncomfortable with how often I use this photo

You shouldn’t be comfortable when you are uncomfortable; you should still strive for that feeling of discomfort in your pursuit of progress.  That same uncomfortable feeling you felt the first time should be the sensation you continue to feel, and this means you have to increase the intensity of your activity to match your growing tolerance for discomfort.  Like a junkie getting a fix, you gotta keep upping the dose to overcome your own inherent tolerance.  Your body craves homeostasis, and if push comes to shove it will simply recalibrate itself to accept a new baseline of misery so that it CAN be comfortable being uncomfortable, and that is why it becomes incumbent upon you, the owner of the body, to continue to push well beyond the acceptable levels of discomfort.  Why?  To continue to force the body to move, act and adapt in hopes of doing something to mitigate this discomfort.

Being uncomfortable promotes action, so go get uncomfortable being uncomfortable.


  1. Eh ... Damn. Such ideas make me have a cognitive dissonance breakdown. It's like, almost every human attempt aims to make the uncomfortable a bit more bearable. To make stuff unbearable, going against your own instincts because of it, feels like treading right on the border of insanity. ( And on purpose, too ? Now that's something. It is one thing being thrown amidst the chaos and having to cope without wanting to and another one to throw yourself willingly into it. The second one flirts with self destruction, almost masochism, don't you agree ? )

    1. I have addressed this notion in a few posts, but masochism would defeat the purpose here. A masochist loves the pain, and as such, the pain does not force improvement. The whole point is to NOT love the pain and misery, so that you adapt and evolve into something better in the process of overcoming. A masochist does not overcome: they exist in the pain and relish it.

      Self-destruction? That I'd agree with. Through the process of self-destruction one will eventually reach their zenith of self-improvement, but ultimately it ends in defeat and death. That's the "Will to Power" taken to it's logical conclusion.

  2. I want to thank you for both the training and philosophical advice you put up on this blog. Inspired by your posts and frustrated with the lack of progress over my lifting career, in the last 12-18 months, I have been doing 5x the volume I used to, along with 3-4 days of fairly hard conditioning. I decided, fuck it, I'm either going to overtrain and utterly break my constantly injured lower back or actually get somewhere. I built a bunch of muscle, got rid of nagging pains and injuries, and brought up my conditioning and work capacity to levels I previously thought impossible. And I have to say that your blog helped me reach some important philosophical insights as well, though I don't have any kind of formal education in that. A sort of a revolt against slave morality in training.

    In short - fuck low volume advocates, conditioning dodgers, anti-bodybuilders, training fatalists that believe natty lifters are doomed to be these poor, miserable weaklings and mere victims of those mean supplement pushing juicers (and their evil training advice). Thank you.

    1. For real. If I had read this blog when I had access to weights, I think I would have turned my 5x5 into 2x25 for lifts I stalled on, and probably would have gotten results.

    2. Redbeard, that really means a lot dude. I am incredibly happy to hear about the changes you've been able to make in your training, and I'm glad I could help give you some inspiration, but you were the one that had to take the leap and go through the grind to get the reward. I'm proud of what you've done and what you've become. Thank you so much for the comment.

      And Chris, thankfully it's never too late.

  3. Oh yeah, i i know.

    I just need access to a gym and not a life schedule that is rather insane.

    Mostly just gym access though.

    Calisthenics has been treating me well at least.