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I remember a Kettlebell course I did around 10 years ago, it was in a gym in Naas and there were trainers from all over Ireland at it.

A couple of things really stand out in my memory from it. First off we trained brutally hard and being honest at times I felt out of my depth with the intensity of some of the tasks we had to do.

The second thing was the guy who was running the course had a t-shirt with a really impressive logo and the following sentence on the back of it.

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

I’m kinda embarrassed to admit now that as he spoke at the end of the course and told us “we should always have a slightly sick feeling in our stomach (with nerves) before starting any workout we do” that I was impressed. With his t-shirt and what he was saying.


I read over the last couple of days I’ve been reading some interesting stats. Apparently 44% of Americans have given up all hope of really getting into shape. 49% stress about even working out in a gym, 65% of women fear going to a training centre for fear of judgement and 49% fret about their clothing choice (I wonder how many of the above people ever walked into a gym and saw a coach getting turned on looking at themselves in a mirror wearing a t-shirt saying something like “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Then left. Immediately).

You can say that they are an American figure which is true, however in the 10 years since that course I have met enough people to guess that Irish/European figures would be very similar. People who I would consider to have done some really great things that I would be way out of my depth doing being unable to look me in the eye as they explain about needing to get their energy/confidence back but being nervous about joining a gym.

A woman I saw speak recently gave a brilliant talk about our comfort zones and the best thing to do with them. She differed from the usual advice of jumping outside to slightly pushing the boundaries of it and increasing the size of your comfort zone. To an extent the same thing as pushing yourself to do things that you can’t do now eventually but in a manner that will ensure you progress long term.

Ultimately I’m definitely not saying don’t train hard or push yourself in the gym. But pushing for one person will be a different thing for another. So if your comfort zone right now involves getting out for a walk 3 nights a week for example, adding some resistance work to your exercise regime could be the next step. If you only drink a glass of water a day, increasing that to 2 is already a move in the right direction. If you’ve taken a break from training and are struggling getting back at it, start with one or two sessions a week and build from there.

But seriously enjoy the process. You’ll get far better longer term results if you do.

Another stat I’ve seen is that 85% of people hate their job (can’t be true!?). So between stress at work, potentially family/relationship/life stuff going on etc, adding “feeling sick in your stomach” every time you walk into a gym is not something that I would advise.

Think I might get CFC t-shirts printed with the following line on it:

“Life’s too short not to be as healthy as possible to enjoy it.”


If you’re looking for somewhere that you’ll be able to extend your fitness comfort zone and enjoy the process at the same time, click here for a free fitness strategy session now…