Mental Toughness WOD YouTube Channel

youtubeMy YouTube channel is finally up! It’s called “The Mental Toughness WOD Project,” Here’s the link:

My first challenge I have is called “The 100 Days of Mental Toughness Challenge.” Everyday for 100 days straight, I’m giving a new mental toughness tip. If you do some of these tips, you’ll strengthen your resilience skills. However, if you do ALL 100 of these skills, I have no doubt you’ll make incredible headways with your mental toughness growth.

Check it out and let me know what you think of my new YouTube channel!

Mental Toughness Book is Out!


My book is finally out! If you want to check it out, go to It’s called “Mental Toughness – Strengthen Your Mind with CrossFit.” If you get it, shoot me an email and let know what you think.  Also, my youtube channel should be ready to be go public in about a week.

Been very busy, but will have a new blog post up soon. Take care!

Preparing Yourself to be the Aggressor

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(In this continuing series on how to get you in the mind-set to aggressively dealing with life’s road bumps, I talked last time about how to avoid a mental regression. I see this all the time in my practice – a client works extremely hard in the first couple of months and makes noticeable gains with his body composition and self-confidence. He feels so good about himself that he foolish thinks the training is over as his motivation starts to wade. The client begins to get lackadaisical with his training and all his gains begin to skid backwards. To avoid any form of regression, you must be on the constantly lookout for any signs of lack of motivation. If you are not inspired to train, I’ll prove you some instant reality to get you to train hard.  The hard truth is that as fast as it took for you to make all your gains, you can lose everything just as quickly. It only takes a handful of bad meals and missed workouts for your waistline to bulge and your mental strength to go down the drain.

One of the best ways to avoid physical and psychological regression is to confront yourself with self questions with negative connotations. These types of reflection questions will make you feel uncomfortable, but they may the best medicine you need when you are prematurely over celebrating your success or feeling like a being a couch potato.)

I don’t like to use fear arousal techniques to inspire myself as they can lead to negative self talk and criticism. But, when given the choice of having your mental strength continuing to grow or relapse to back to state of weakness, the choice becomes crystal clear.  Continue reading

It All Comes Down to Your Interpretation (Part 1)

index 200In my last blog, I talked about how I was training outside and was about to go inside due to the cold weather. When suddenly, I saw an overweight neighbor smoking and coughing uncontrollably. Instead of packing it in, I was motivated to fight it out in the freezing weather and ended up getting a tremendous mental toughness builder and  bodyweight workout.

The difference between those that are mentally tough and those with feeble souls is in their interpretation of a problem. In simplest terms, one can interpret a bad predicament as something that will defeat them or something that they must conquer. Continue reading

Your Challenge Has Arrived (Part 1)

index 20The only absolute in life is that it is full of disappointments and letdowns. You may be very successful with where you are in life, but a potential tragedy that can negatively alter your life is right around the corner. You can eat strictly organic foods and shop only at Whole Foods, but a deadly disease can strike any time. Although this may sound like a negative outlook, it is not. On the contrary, it’s a very positive one because when you are mentally tough you expect the unexpected, but more importantly you know you can handle the darkest of obstacles. Continue reading

Mental Toughness and Being Competitive (Part 2)

compete(Here is part 2 to a section on competition from my upcoming book.I last left off talking about how you should make being a competitor one of your goals. I’m a huge believer in competing and striving to do be the best you can be. If you missed part 1, just back pedal to last week.)
With traditional workouts, there is little to be competitive for. In fact, this society is general, has got gotten too soft and less competitive. When I used to teach elementary school, competitiveness was seen as undesirable trait and was heavily frown upon. Subduing one’s competitive spirit is terrible thing to do to a child and to an adult. Reawaking your competitive juices is rejuvenating. This mental toughness program urges you to be competitive in everything you do because life is all about the competition. Once you achieve this competitive spirt, it will set you apart from others. Continue reading

Mental Toughness and Being Competitive (Part 1)

goals (Here’s another excerpt from my upcoming mental toughness book. Guideline #1 was on being independent with your training. You can read it by checking it  out a couple of blogs back. Looking forward to your comments. I appreciate any suggestions!. Thank you all!)

Guideline #2 Have Clear and Specific Physical and Life Goals

The main objective of this program is to be psychologically stronger. However, you also need physical goals to shoot for as well. The more specific your physical goals are, the easier they are for you to visualize. If you goal is to lose weight, really see yourself losing that 20 pounds by visualizing a leaner and more muscular body. Visualization is a powerful tool in this situation. The images you have in your mind of you reaching your physical goals should provoke you into wanting do the demanding Crossfit, barbell complex or Litvinov workout. Whatever images you have, they must be strong enough to motivate you to train, especially those times when you want to be a lazy ass like (unfortunately) your lovely friends and neighbors. Continue reading

Mental Toughness and Failure

faiure (On vacation and training in Northern California this week. I’m having fun visiting family and friends, but I’m still work diligently on the book. Will publish more excerpts from it in the very near future. For those who commented on the last piece, thanks so much for the wonderful feedback. Appreciate all the help! In the meantime, I hope the mental toughness army enjoys this future article I wrote for on overcoming you health setbacks.

Saying good-bye from sunny No-Cal).  Continue reading

Depend Only On Yourself for Mental Toughness

alone(Hello Everybody! For the summer, I made it my goal to finally finish my book on mental toughness development. Been writing non-stop and hopefully, I will be finish by the end of the August. So for the next couple of blogs, I will be posting excerpts from the book. Let me know what you all think. Looking forward to your helpful comments!

The first excerpt is from the survival guideline chapter I have for upcoming mental toughness newbies. I have 10 bylaws that I’m sure will help not only rookies to this training, but veterans as well.)

Guideline #1 – Expect to be Alone

Self-discipline is the most important factor in your pursuit of mental strength. Self- discipline is about doing things when you don’t want to do it. It is about giving up something something temporarly rewarding for something that has a greater payoff down the road. You understand that hard work, pain and sacrfice comes now and the real rewards comes later. Continue reading

Three Easy Tips for Pain Tolerance

avoid painThe following is a future article I wrote for Whenever I write for another publication, you get the see the nicer, no-profanity version of me. It’s not my regular voice, but more my “professional” one. I don’t know when this piece will be published, but in the meantime, you all can have the first look to it:

How to Increase Your Pain Tolerance and Take Your Training to the Next Level

In order to get our physiques to the next level, we must increase the intensity in our workouts. The best ways to break plateaus is to learn how to train in the discomfort zone and beyond. Going easy is not an option. Whether it’s CrossFit, HIIT, sprints, 20 reps back squats or a double-drop set arm routine, the biggest obstacle you will face in a high intensity workout is when the awful muscle burning sensation starts to set in. When the pain comes, you either tough it out or quit. By having a low tolerance of pain, you will miss out on all the bodybuilding and anti-aging hormones that are generated when training near the red-line zone.

No wonder most people remain looking the same even after putting tons of hours in the gym. Their capacity for staying in the pain cave sucks.

Your body has the ability to withstand loads of hurt and extreme levels of fatigue. The problem is most gym goers don’t have a strategy on how to deal with the pain when it hits them. After reading this article, you’ll be more prepared to handle and manage the pain to your advantage. By elevating your skill to suffer, you will lift more weight, run faster and longer and get your name on top of your CrossFit white board. Not only will you perform better, but a little pain will help you look better the next time you’re wearing next to nothing at the beach.

Here are 3 mental tips to teach you how to deal with the discomforts in your upcoming battle in the gym. By managing your perception of pain, you will take your body to places you have never been before or thought you could never achieve.

Get ready to feel unstoppable.

Tip #1 – Understand the benefits of the pain. Before I go on, I want to state the difference between physical joint or muscle pain and the pain of the burning and breathlessness from a workout. If you are experiencing any sort of acute or sharp discomfort, STOP what you are doing immediately. You probably have an injury and you need to rest. Any sort of activity may aggravate the problem and make the situation worse. High-pain tolerance training is not about working through an injury. It is about working through the physical discomfort and stress from a challenging task. I hope this distinction is clear.

So having said that, understand when you are doing a workout and your legs are burning and your lungs are pounding, you are at the right place where good things will happen. Understanding the benefits from the suffering will help you stomach the agony.

When you work out this intensely, your body goes through a neuroendocrine adaptation or hormonal change. Your body begins to release human growth hormones, testosterone and other fat-burning hormones to enhance your body composition. In order to get these amazing physical benefits, you have to push your body as close to your limits as possible. Taking a slow jog or casually pumping up with pink dumbbells just won’t get you these hormonal advantages.

Knowing that the burning and gasping has fantastic benefits should make the misery less painful. You want to train yourself to get a positive association of the uneasiness. It won’t make the suffering go away, but it will at least help reassure yourself that if you feel awful, you are at the right place. I know this doesn’t sound fun but it is only through this physical discomfort that change is possible. You’ll realize that all the great things you’ll get from the pain will just outweigh the suffering. It will enable you to push a little further.

Most of the time that “little” push is all you need to motivate yourself to grind it out instead of quitting.

Tip #2 – Get Angry. Many scientific studies have shown that anger can raise your pain threshold. I’m not suggesting you to train in an anger state because that can lead to being out of control. When it comes to training, you never want your emotions to get the best out of you.

However, anger as a last resort can be a powerful coping skill when you find yourself quitting prematurely. Sometimes when I’m feeling unmotivated, I know I am very susceptible to giving up when I know I can go further. When I catch myself in this wimp mode and stop at the very first sign of discomfort, I get so upset at myself for almost wasting a training day. Instantly, I can transform myself from being a pansy to paint to being an unstoppable machine.

Being upset at myself fires me up to the point that I can bulldoze through a workout no matter how difficult it can be. The discomfort is still there, but training while being pissed off can override the negative sensation of your muscles hurting.

This is an example of how I used anger wisely. If you channel your rage to help you focus and finish a workout, it can be a powerful way to elevate your pain tolerance and defeat any thoughts of quitting.

So get mad to look better.

Tip #3 – Recall Your Past Painful Workouts. When you commit yourself to training with more intensity, pain will be inevitable. When the suffering comes, so will memories of workouts that were equally as difficult. Quickly go through your mental Rolodex of past training sessions that were just as uncomfortable.

By doing so, you will recall workouts that were not only just as painful, but way worse than the one you are currently battling against. Knowing that you got through bigger challenges will help make the current workout seem a lot easier.

Reflecting and comparing your past accomplishments in the gym will immediately uplift your energy level and lower your perception of pain during your current workout. Revisiting your past victories will give you the concrete proof that you have the ability to endure and outdo pain. Once you see that you are reminded of your superior skill to handle physical stress, it will motivate you to push through the WOD and finish in the strongest manner possible.

Welcome your memories of your past accomplishments in the gym. They’ll make you feel invincible so you’ll be able handle the anguish from any HIIT or CrossFit WOD. Once you remind yourself how strong you were in the past, you’ll bust your old personal records with more impressive ones.

Use the past to help you look more awesome in the present.

In summary, our bodies have the capacity to do amazing things. What hold us back are our mental barriers. By learning how to push through our perception of discomfort, we can get to the next level of athletic performance and body composition.