An Overview on Applying Mental Toughness Training to Your Life (part 1)

download (22)

Here is a repost that I published about a year ago. In this article, it will summarize the upcoming information on how to transfer the four mental strategies to your home, work, business and interpersonal life. This material on developing inner strength outside of the gym with be the bulk of in the coming months. Here is an overall synopsis of what is coming up:

In this article I wrote for Mark’s Daily Apple, I wrote about the four mental strategies that you will need to help you get through the brutal workouts in this mental toughness program. It more like an introduction to the four mental strategies as I will go into greater depth explaining them to you all on this site. However, due to a limited word count on the article, Mark’s Daily Apple was only able to publish the first part of the article. The second half of the piece was on using the same 4 mental strategies to help you get over adversity in your personal life as well. Reading only the first half is incomplete and not enough if your goal is to be able to persevere in all areas of your life and not just in the gym.

When you read both sections you will get a better understanding behind the principals to get you to be mentally tougher in the gym and when you walk out of the gym. In other words, you want to be unstoppable regardless of where you are. 

Here is the original second part of the article that will help you overcome anything that stands in the way of your career goals, health issues or stopping you from reaching your life long dreams:

How to Become Mentally Tougher in Your Personal Life


Jackson Yee

The whole concept behind the mental toughness training in the primal world is that you must go through some pretty awful misery and then becoming tougher because of it. With the physical aspect of this training, you have some very brutal challenges with the CrossFit and primal blueprint workouts. In life, you don’t have to manipulate any external factor to make you go through some miserable situation. Just living a daily life and you will have an abundance of problems to deal with. This mental toughness program will teach you how to triumph over your personal adversity, but how to decipher and deconstruct the process so you can become stronger because of it. If emotional pain is enviable in life you might as well be taught a skill to help you gain benefit from the suffering.

One of major problems with how the masses workout is they don’t see the direct relationship with what they do in the gym and how they live their life. They see strength training as how much they can lift and not how one can be emotional stronger in life. The typical gym goer is preoccupied only with physical strength and rarely considers how to improve the mental aspects of their life. They may have huge arms, but weak minds. Some may have the ability to bench press a lot of weight, but are major pushovers in their daily life. They don’t see the connection with how physical strength training can improve their mental power.

The goal of this mental toughness program in the primal world is teach you how to feel unstoppable in all areas of your life. The system is designed for you to be physically stronger in the gym and mentally tougher when you walk out of it. If what you do at the gym only makes you feel confident while you work out and not when you get home, you are not getting the full potential of strength training. The more you understand how everything is linked together, you will improve your chances for making it through this long process of mind strength progression.

In order to do so, your thought process when facing adversity should be the same when you are in the gym or out of it. You must use the same 4 mental strategies that you in use during the physical training as well in your personal life.  So it doesn’t matter if you need to find a way to help you get through a tough WOD or finding a solution so you don’t lose your home to the bank. The goal is still the same. You got to do whatever it takes for you to overcome the adversity.

Strategy #1 Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor

Many people think of aggression as only physical action. Toughness is not about beating the crap out those who have done you wrong. In a civilized society, violence is never the solution. Being aggressive is not about how “mean” you can be or look; it is about your attitude. Never allow adversity to get the best of you. The brashness you displayed during the WODs must now be applied to your personal challenges as well.  Life is about multi-tasking. It is a balancing act between doing many different things.

The main problem we all have when threaten by adversity is that we become way too passive. During the part of my life when I was most mentally weak, I would spend days and weeks fantasizing about me coming ahead of the situation. My action plan back then was wishing that things would go my way and hoping that somebody would come save me. Looking back at the many missed opportunities in my past, there could have been a millions things I could have done, but I did very little.

The best way to get yourself in aggressive state of mind is start off the day by reviewing your current challenges. It could be anywhere from your unfinished adversities, health fitness goals, career objectives, life-long dreams, or any situation that poses a great challenge to you. Pick a couple of these challenges and come with at least three things that you do today to help you come closer to achieving your difficulty. They could be small behaviors, but an action plan that is attainable is one hundred times better than relying on luck or fate.

(To be continued)

Today’s Litvinov WOD

5 sets

Deadlift – 5 reps (use a heavy enough weight so that by the 5th rep, you are feeling very uncomfortable)

400 meter run (it doesn’t have to be exact. A good rule of thumb is a run about 1:30 or half a block and back)

If today is your first time doing a Litvinov WOD, get ready for some merciless suffering. The first couple of sets even for us veterans in this brutal high intensity protocol is just misery. However, something about the Litvinov that begins to take over you mentally when you get past the halfway point of the WOD. The worse is over and you begin to pick up steam. Instead of slowing down, you lift with more speed and go all out during the last 50 yards of the run. You begin to get really aggressive with your mind-set and actions and sometimes, down right mean. For me and my clients, when we get into hyper this state of aggressiveness, we just look like we are pissed off and it is expressed in our body language. And when we do the 400m run, people watch out. We will run your ass over if don’t get out of our way. That’s the rush of confidence and assertiveness you get when you overcome a brutal physical challenge that almost broke your spirit. This high just makes you want to kick more ass and everybody around you can sense it too.

So the lesson I want you to gain and hone in on today’s Litvinov WOD is to reverse from feeling at your most weakest to feeling at your strongest. This is a skill that you will practice throughout your mental toughness training. It may sound like an impossible task to most of you, but it isn’t once you focus on your mental thoughts and believe in the power of the mind. It is the mind that dictates strength and energy and not the body.

The first thing you must believe in is that just because the body is fatigued does not mean the mind is. When the body is close to being out of energy it has no effect on the mind. In fact, when the body is tired, your mind needs to automatically become active and calculating. It must be infused with aggressive thoughts to promote you to action. The point of all this suffering and misery from the Litvinov is to teach you that your mind has the capacity to turn extreme exhaustion to sudden adrenaline. A mind that is proactive and unrelenting can energized your body to do what you wish it to do.

For today’s WOD, learning to channel aggressive and defiant statements will be your test today. When the workout is making you have a hard time moving, you must not have passive thoughts like “Please let me get through this“ You must have unyielding thoughts like “I refuse to be slow down. Nothing will stop me.” When the Litvinov is close to making you quit, you can’t have wishful thoughts like “I hope I can get through this workout.” You must learn to put your foot down on the threat of quitting with strong reassurance statements like “I know I can get through this.” 

Your thoughts effect your actions. If you have weak action thoughts like “I just want to finish this WOD.” You probably will pace through the WOD with no intensity. On the other hand, if you have aggressive action thought patterns like “I’m going to steamroll this last set,” you will more than likely finish the WOD with authority. And finally, when the negativity starts to seduce you with statements like “I can’t do this”, you mind retaliate with strong positive statements that can’t be argued like “I must do it.” 

Goal for today – learning how an aggressive mindset will always lead the body to do what it wishes.

Now go experience this for yourself.

Scaled down version of this classic Litvinov WOD:

1. Do only three sets.

Acceptable substitutions:

1. Run on treadmill or jump rope for a minute in place of the 400m run.

2 thoughts on “An Overview on Applying Mental Toughness Training to Your Life (part 1)”

  1. Really made strong gains with my inner toughness and body that last couple of months. Thank brother!

    Now looking forward to linking everything together to my personal life.


Leave a Reply