Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable


I woke up earlier than normal today.

It was tempting to stay in bed, shut off my alarm and just wait until my kids jumped on my bed to wake me up. The temptation lasted all but a few seconds.

The thought of even considering to hit the snooze button fired me up and so I got out of bed immediately. The mind often tells you one thing and the body another. You must remember, the mind drives the body. Your habits can make or break you.

If I slept in, it would have eaten at me all day and I would have questioned my edge, and if I'm losing "it".

I understand the need to Get Comfortable Being UNcomfortable. It's something that was drilled into me as a high school wrestler. 

Of course, this phrase is thrown around quite often nowadays. People on Instagram, etc love catchy quotes but who cares about Instagram. Do it for YOU. Understand that comfort is the enemy.

Embracing discomfort is the Key to much of my success. 

It's also the key to many other people's success.

Success comes from Struggle. Read that again....

It got me thinking about "What it Takes" and so I wanted to share my thoughts, or, a little rant with you. Hopefully you will read this article, get fired up and do something about it.

I often tell the athletes I train, You will NOT get strong until you're tired of being weak!

You have to get pissed off for Greatness!

When an athlete struggles to do push ups for months on end, I tell him, You do NOT need a Strength Coach to get better at Push Ups. 

Strength begins in the mind. You must WILL yourself into being STRONG. If you don't care about it, you will not achieve it. I also see that if you have NO threats in your life, then you don't chase Strength. When I was a kid, there were bullies everywhere. Someone always was waiting to steal your bike, beat you up in front of your friends, etc.

If you looked skinny and weak, you were a target where I grew up. I started training for life, NOT for sports.

Successful people in business are doing what they love because at some point in time they had to deal with a lot of tough times, down times, overcoming mountains in the process and often times doing what others would NOT dare do.

I don't follow someone else's rules or their creed, I follow my own creed, and create my own path. If it doesn't agree with me in my heart, I am NOT doing it, regardless of the money.

I'd rather lose money or go out of business than do something that does not agree with my heart. What doesn't agree with my heart? Lazy people. Excuse makers. Those who accept mediocrity make me vomit in my mouth.

At The Underground Strength Gym, if an athlete is not following through on the work OUTSIDE of the gym or interrupting the focus of the gym, that athlete is removed from the gym and their money is refunded. I Refund their money, even if they trained with us that entire month.

You see, I do NOT want to be owned by anyone. I also do not want to OWE anyone anything. I describe this as  being painted in a corner with no options. I do NOT run The Underground Strength Gym by NEEDING the money for rent, bills, etc. I have other facets of my business to grow my income so the gym will never rely on accepting the wrong people.

"Weakness a Crime. Don't be a Criminal."

I can see myself eventually returning to my roots of the garage gym days and going fully private again, much like Dr. Ken Leistner did.

Each passing year, society grows more attached to comfort and convenience. These 2 things are the very things that work against strength. Strength requires struggle!

Many people thought it would be impossible for me to be as strong since I was natural and took drugs. Many also doubted my ability to be as successful as I am in business, especially back when I first began running my business because The Underground was the complete opposite of all the fancy BS. They laughed at me, talked behind my back and hoped I would fail.

As the weakest kid on the sports team, I was fired UP to get stronger. My fire led me to train 7 days a week, sometimes twice a day. Partying on the weekends? NO. My best friend was a track athlete, so on the weekends we went running. That was our idea of "having fun"!

I remember on Saturday nights we hopped the fence and ran on the Rutgers Football field after the game was over. We would run laps, sprint the stadium stairs and do push ups at midnight on the field.

In my mid and late teenage years, I was accused of being on steroids once I began to surpass others. It's funny how people accuse others of steroids or cheating as if being strong and getting jacked can only happen through steroids. I have NO time for that weak mindset.

Often times, these people who pass judgement are simply lazy and have ZERO clue regarding what it takes to push beyond average and normal.

Prepare for the haters to come out of the wood works when you begin to achieve any amount of success, whether it's life or business, the haters are always there.

Others laughed at me when I was talking of opening a unique gym where members could only be invited and would have to do a "Trial Workout" to be accepted ala Fight Club Style.

When it comes to the training, my business and life in general, I focus on attacking and getting things done. I forge ahead and get up every time I fall down. And trust me, I DO stumble and fall. This what happens when you're pushing the envelope in LIFE.

Gone are the days of being stopped by others.Who cares what other say about you? Are you going to allow drama and words to slow you down, let alone stop you? Come on, THAT is weak.

When you're 70 years old are you going to be OK with the fact that you gave up? Accepting of the fact that you let other people's judgement on you be the very thing that held you back?

I have no special skills, other than the fact that I know how to be a work horse and I believe in myself. I am highly motivated to WIN at everything I do. Others are a laundromat full of excuses.

You want to WIN? Everyone says they want to win, far and few between are willing to do the work it takes to win. Winning means doing the work that others will NOT do in business, the gym and life.

Success is a choice, as is mediocrity.

I don't fear the painful workouts, or getting under heavy loads, or wondering if I'll throw up during a workout or not. Instead, I chase the WORK.

I don't lose sleep when some internet guru talks down on me or how I train, because I know in the REAL World those "talkers" could never hang with me during a workout. They only feel strong when they put others down. THAT right there is a sign of their weakness. Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength. I do not need to talk down on others to lift myself up. Drama and Gossip is the language of the weak.

This is why I believe in training the mind and the muscle together, through HARD workouts. Training for me is not just physical, it is mental and physical, always.

Because you are reading this, I am committed to YOUR success. I get fired up to work with the action takers.

I don't want you to experience my painful past..... whether it be in life, training and / or business. This is why I create so many videos, write articles, create podcasts, etc in an effort to help others, but only those who have integrity, honesty, commitment and work ethic. That's what I call "Living The Code".

These are the 4 BIG traits I look for when working with people, I call it Living The Code:

1) Honesty

2) Integrity

3) Commitment

4) Work Ethic

If you want to dominate in life AND lifting, then you're in the right place. But.... being here alone doesn't mean a thing. It's when you begin DOING and BELIEVING that things begin to add up.

Lead from the Front & Live the Code 365.


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Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

~ William Ernest Henley ~

15 Responses

  1. That first picture defines your site really well Zach.

    1. @PB: PB ha ha that pic is amazing!! Thanks so much 4 the props!

  2. Inspiring and a reality check to all of us wanting to make it as a successful coach, PT or whatever. It won’t just land on our laps, we got to work for it no matter how much crap we have to go through and take from the haters and uneducated / uncommitted – keep it rolling and work strong, lead out from the front.


  3. Powerful words Zack, more importantly power ACTIONS.

    You have to have a TANK-LIKE mentality and run over and crush any
    obstacles that get in your way. Obstacles are just natures way of filtering out
    the strong from the weak and testing how bad you want success.

    Survival of the fittest and fearless brutha!

    Sean Barker

    1. @Sean Barker: dude, sometimes I gotta slap myself in the face and DO shit, it happens 2 us all but I push through barriers!

  4. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable I love it! Great post Z

    1. @John: Gags hells yea bro, wrestlers KNOW this and must live the code!!

  5. Ian Perry says:

    Great Article Zack! I’m finding out that more and more late nights and the brutal wake ups in the morning all translate to more time to be successful. Thanks for the article-making running a business and being in school seem less “crazy” than everyone tells me it is. Keep doing what you’re doing bro

  6. Great motivational blog post and good choice of videos. Keep it coming every week man. I trained with Jon Hinds out in Wisconsin and stumbled upon your site from MBG. Your site is official, man! Keep the inspirational post coming every week! Peace.

  7. As somebody who had an amazing and intense outdoor workout yesterday, then gave myself the free pass to some Monday Night Football beers and sleeping in today… this was just the kick in the ass I needed on this fine morning. Great post and great video accompanying it. One must make the DECISION to be successful and not play victim to the universe. Let’s go! Thanks Z

  8. Zach,

    This post is awesome. I am being hated on by many other hockey players because they saw my to do list in my dorm room(prep school hockey). I will continue to say SCREW the haters and let success come to me through MY hard work. I wake up earlier than everyone else, I am at the rink/ gym more than anybody else, I study and do schoolwork more than anyone else, WHY? because I WANT IT more than anybody else. I WILL NOT let anything or anybody come in my way between me living my dreams. I do the things that the other players are afraid to do. Only taking cold showers, doing mobility, stretching, eating healthy etc. I WILL NOT STOP. I will only get stronger and better. I will CHOOSE to move onward and upward no matter how great the resistance. I may be smaller, not as strong as some of them, not as good as some of them, but by the end of the hockey season I WILL be the best on my team because they WILL NOT work harder than me. I have tryouts coming up in 20 and 1/3 days. I will be prepared for my season. I will put it all on the line. I will MAKE myself better no matter how many naysayers, haters, and obstacles I encounter because I WILL PREVAIL. I will come out on top. I will not let anybody bring me down. I will be the first one there and last one to leave everyday. Success comes to those that WORK for it, so that is EXACTLY what I will do. I will push past limits and soar to new heights. I will be stronger than yesterday in every aspect of my life.You are truly an inspiration. Keep it coming.


  9. Frank DiMeo says:

    Laying on the line! I like that it’s right up front like a double barrel shotgun.
    Thanks for the example you have set for many years.
    Keep crushing it, brother!

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