What a cliche. We hear it's vital for progress and growth but is it really?
I see so many people in the gym and on IG just jacking up weight, trying to do more workout all time all the time, getting out of the comfort zone without really knowing WHY or having a plan.
I'd squatted 130 kg (285 lbs). On 3rd attempt. Got lectures by angry dad that I will break my back and must stop powerlifting (ehm, I'm a bodybuilder but let's roll with that). Let's start with WHY.
I was updating PRs to calculate the ranges for the next phase of my training. I grew in off season. It is time to figure by how much and move on. After all, if you're not keeping score... it's just practice.
So, yes yesterday was definitely out of the comfort zone. So are bodybuilding shows, traveling and meets... but it those are calculated, carefully planned and prepared for events. If I tried squatting this heavy a few months ago, that would be reckless and dangerous.
I do the same with clients. We have lower volume days, higher volume, lower and higher weight days, circuit workouts, exhausting supersets, isometric work... DEPENDING on their goals and where they're at!
We take ONE variable at a time to put slightly out of the comfort zone while everything else is in control... when the person is ready for it. Some people NEVER ARE. And it's ok. For some - simply making it to the weight room is hella lot out of comfort. For some, it's simply starting to track what they eat, or put devices away and turn TV off.