Mental Toughness and Health Issues (Part 1)

healthFor the over 15 years, I have struggled with hypertension. When I was first diagnosed with the health issues, I knew nothing about it. My doctor prescribed drugs for me because he said my blood pressure was approaching a dangerous level.

That shocked me out so I took them without thinking twice about it. Since I was always working out and relative healthy, I assume the drugs would be a temporary solution.

As a couple of weeks went by, I asked my doctor if I could get off the drugs since my blood pressure was now normalized. He looked at me with a deep gaze and said my blood pressure was a sign that my heart was having problems and that I need to be on the drugs for a bit longer. Again, I was frighten by his comment. I never consider myself as having a weak heart as I was in my early 40’s. Once more, his fear arousal approach coaxed me into feeling it was OK to take the drugs.

After the fear has settled down about a month later, I did some research and found out how dangerous hypertension drugs were. I was bodybuilder-health freak at the time so I made it my goal to get off the drugs as soon as possible. Continue reading

Enough With Your Excuses (Part 2)

excues 2(This is part 2 in this blog about shutting up and just training. I been wanting to write about the philosophy of stoicism so here was the perfect opportunity. I just had a tough workout and I wanted to whine and complain the whole time, but I didn’t. By keeping my big mouth shut and suppressing my negativity from infecting my workout partner, I would say the WOD was a success. Not just for finishing the session, but for not reverting back to my former self when I was a chronic whiner.)

Working out and training without making excuses is a huge step towards your resilience skills. Keeping your mouth shut may not seem very beneficial, but in my book, silencing negative remarks is monumental.

Most people are not only mentally weak, but they can’t shut the fuck up and stop themselves from constantly complaining. Verbalizing your list of can’t-does will disable your actions and pollute your intentions. Once this bad habit of being the constant whiner becomes ingrained in your personality, it becomes very difficult to break. Extremely problematic. Continue reading

Enough With Your Excuses (Part 1)

excusesI had a very challenging Olympic lifting workout last month with a new gym friend. His name is James and he has a lot of experience with the lifts and I need all the help I can get. The workout wasn’t planned and was improvised when we at the gym training at the same time.

When I first start to train with somebody new, I make a lot of effort to show I can handle anything thrown at me. That’s the problem of living a former life of being weak. Pathetic memories are still vivid and I’ll never be able to completely rid myself of the bitter after taste that almost ruined me. Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Final Wrap-up)

handle(Here is the final wrap up for this continuing investigation on how to be impervious to pain during your CrossFit or HITT WOD. I’m glad this intensive research has helped many of you tolerate your agony and manipulate your suffering to your advantage. Below is a review of the 14 mental strategies that you can use to up your game when it comes to elevating your ability to handle physical stress.) Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Part 13)

break(This is possibly the final suggestion on how to lower your perception to pain, at least for now. I’m sure I’ll discover and experiment with other mental tools to help you deal with your upcoming discomfort. This is a never-ending pursuit that I will continue to investigate. In the meantime, you have a myriad of strategies to help you fight through the suffering of any high intensity or CrossFit WOD).

Tip #14 Break down the WOD to workable segments. The worse part of a CrossFit class is walking up and seeing a dreadful WOD on the whiteboard that you know is going to suck royally. The immediate reaction is a sick feeling in your stomach and a hidden desire of wanting to run away and hide. Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Part 12)

mean(This is 12th tip on changing your perception of pain for a CrossFit or HITT WOD. I’m about to wrap up this report soon so keep your email coming. BTW – I got lots of responses from readers saying how caffeine really lowers their tolerance to pain. Also, some readers report how sleep improves their pain levels as well. Scientific studies have shows that both caffeine and long nights of shut-eye does indeed raises your perception to pain. You can add this two tips your painkiller list.

Even though I’m a huge proponent of both green tea before WODs and at least 8 hours of sleep every night, I choose not to write about these effective methods. What I wanted to investigate were mental and psychological strategies that can raise you insensitivity to discomfort. I didn’t want to explore non-mental strategies in this series. Maybe in the future, I can do this.

Caffeine is an external stimulant while sleep is a physical need. Both will help you overcome a challenging WOD.

I always have some caffeine before a WOD and if I don’t at least 8 hours of sleep per night, my performance and pain tolerance will drop. I factor in both caffeine and quality sleep in my training regimen and so should you.

Now, back to the mental stuff.)

Tip #13 Make the training meaningful to you. The main problem I see at any commercial gym is the void or empty looks with most gym participants. I can’t read their minds, but most people just look lost. They walk around mindless, thoughtless and without any purpose. The other day, I asked one regular gym rat what he was doing today.

His response was “I don’t know. I’m just going to wing it.” Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Part 11)

grateful

(This is part 10 in this never-ending discussion on how you increase your pain tolerance during a high intensity or CrossFit WOD. I would like to say thanks for all the kind words of encouragement from all of you on this series and glad it is helping you all, especially for those who are participating in the CrossFit Open. I have a couple of more suggestions and then I will have one final wrap up.)

Tip #12 Be grateful for what you can do now. One of the powerful emotions you can have is feeling grateful. When you create a sense of gratitude it can lead to whole cascades of other positive attributes like strength, courage, ambition and of course, pain tolerance. Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Part 10)

torrow(The following blog is part 11 in this extensive exploration how to lower your pain perception for a hard CrossFit WOD. I’m about to conclude this series and move on. So, I would love to hear about your experiences in using some of these techniques to dealing with your suffering. Look forward to reading some of your emails. Thanks)

Tip #11 Train hard today so it will be easier tomorrow. For the last month, I knew I had an upcoming devastating WOD featuring heavy deadlifts and car pushes with my group of hardcore CrossFit friends. The last time we did this workout, I struggled badly and felt some of the worse pain ever from a WOD. I was very sloppy with my form and I barely finished alive. It was that tough.

I vowed the next time I do this workout; I won’t suffer as much and will be better prepared for it. Continue reading

Increasing Your Pain Tolerance for CrossFit (Part 9)

think of others(Welcome to the 9th installment on this in depth discussion on how we can strengthen our coping skills to suffering. Again, the overall response have been very positive so if what I’m writing is giving you ideas on how to go on when you don’t want to, I’ll continue my investigation.)

Tip #10 Think about how others will benefit from your toughness development. Being mentally weak affects your whole life. You can’t run from it or pretend that it doesn’t exist. You can try your best to suppress it, but soon or later, your true ways will be exposed. In fact, I hate to break the bad news to you, but those around you already know your true weak self. How? Because your weak ways affect all those around you. Continue reading