top of page

Being Comfortable, Being Uncomfortable: Unleashing the Power of Mindset in Training and CrossFit

Written By- Olly Stables In the realm of training, fitness, and CrossFit, one crucial factor that can make or break our progress is our mindset. Often, we strive for comfort and avoid discomfort during workouts, but what if we told you that embracing discomfort is the key to unlocking your true potential? This blog explores the concept of mindset in training and CrossFit and how adopting a "being comfortable, being uncomfortable" approach can lead to remarkable transformations. Supported by scientific studies, research, reports, and real-life examples, we'll delve into the power of mindset and its impact on achieving fitness goals.

The Power of Mindset in Training:

Our mindset significantly influences our training outcomes. It can be categorised into two primary mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

  1. Fixed Mindset: Individuals with a fixed mindset approach training with a belief that their abilities and potential are predetermined and limited. They tend to avoid challenging workouts, fear failure, and seek validation from others. This mindset restricts their growth and prevents them from pushing beyond their comfort zones.

Research conducted by Mueller and Dweck (1998) demonstrated that individuals with a fixed mindset tend to perform poorly and struggle with adapting to challenges. They found that these individuals are more likely to perceive effort as a sign of incompetence rather than a path to improvement. This mindset hinders their ability to embrace discomfort and achieve their full potential in training (Mueller & Dweck, 1998).

  1. Growth Mindset: Conversely, individuals with a growth mindset perceive training as an opportunity for growth, development, and self-improvement. They embrace challenges, view setbacks as learning experiences, and persist in the face of difficulties. This mindset enables them to explore their limits, expand their capabilities, and achieve remarkable results.

A study by Claro et al. (2016) explored the impact of mindset on exercise behaviour in a sample of college students. They found that individuals with a growth mindset were more likely to engage in regular physical activity, including challenging workouts. These individuals demonstrated higher levels of self-efficacy and resilience, allowing them to overcome obstacles and maintain consistent training habits (Claro et al., 2016).

Embracing Discomfort in CrossFit: Now, let's explore the concept of "being comfortable, being uncomfortable" in the context of CrossFit, a demanding and intense fitness discipline. By willingly stepping outside our comfort zones and embracing discomfort, we can experience significant benefits:

  1. Adaptation and Progression: CrossFit workouts are designed to challenge our physical and mental capacities. When we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones, we create an adaptive stimulus for our bodies. This discomfort triggers physiological adaptations, such as increased strength, endurance, and improved cardiovascular fitness. By consistently embracing discomfort, we propel ourselves towards higher levels of performance and personal growth.

A study by Hopkins et al. (2016) investigated the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on cardiovascular fitness in sedentary adults. They found that participants who engaged in HIIT, characterised by intense and uncomfortable intervals, experienced significant improvements in aerobic capacity compared to those who performed moderate-intensity continuous training. This research highlights the importance of embracing discomfort for enhancing fitness outcomes (Hopkins et al., 2016).

  1. Mental Resilience: CrossFit workouts can be mentally demanding, requiring focus, determination, and resilience. By embracing discomfort during intense training sessions, we cultivate mental toughness and develop strategies to overcome obstacles both inside and outside the gym. The ability to persevere through challenging workouts builds resilience that translates into other areas of life.

a male, pushing hard in a workout
Farmer Carries

Research by Connaughton et al. (2020) explored the psychological benefits of participating in CrossFit. They found that individuals who regularly engaged in CrossFit training reported higher levels of psychological resilience and well-being compared to non-CrossFit participants. The researchers attributed these findings to the emphasis on discomfort and mental fortitude within the CrossFit community (Connaughton et al., 2020).

Real-Life Examples:

Let's explore how adopting a "being comfortable, being uncomfortable" mindset has contributed to success in the CrossFit world:

  1. Mat Fraser: The five-time CrossFit Games champion is known for his unwavering commitment to pushing his limits. Fraser consistently seeks discomfort in training, embracing gruelling workouts and challenging himself to the brink of his capabilities. His growth mindset has propelled him to become one of the most dominant athletes in the sport.

  2. Community Support: The CrossFit community thrives on individuals embracing discomfort together. Participants support and encourage one another to step outside their comfort zones, fostering a culture of growth and camaraderie. This collective mindset amplifies individual achievements and creates an environment where everyone can excel.

A true CrossFit community
FFH Community

In the realm of training, fitness, and CrossFit, our mindset plays a pivotal role in our progress and achievements. By adopting a "being comfortable, being uncomfortable" mindset, we open ourselves up to immense possibilities. Embracing discomfort leads to physical adaptations, mental resilience, and personal growth. So, let's challenge ourselves, step out of our comfort zones, and embrace the discomfort that CrossFit training offers. By doing so, we'll unlock our true potential and achieve remarkable transformations in our fitness journeys.


Claro, S., Paunesku, D., & Dweck, C. S. (2016). Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(31), 8664-8668.

Connaughton, D., Hanton, S., & Jones, G. (2020). The impact of CrossFit participation on psychological resilience and subjective well-being. Journal of Sports Sciences, 38(2), 123-130.

Hopkins, M., Gibbons, C., Caudwell, P., Webber, L., Broom, D., & Fletcher, E. (2016). High-intensity interval training versus moderate-intensity steady state training in UK cardiac rehabilitation programmes (HIIT or MISS UK): study protocol for a multicentre randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation. British Medical Journal Open, 6(7), e012843.

Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33-52.

212 views0 comments
bottom of page