An Overview on Applying Mental Toughness Training to Your Life (Part 3)

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(Here is the third and final piece on applying mental toughness training to your personal life. Again, this series is an overall summary on how the CrossFit training can have a direct impact on improving all areas of your life. Transferring the fortitude you are developing from the physical training to your personal world will be the primary topic to the months to come.

Being a terror with a six pack in the gym is only part of this training. You want to have the capacity to smash all obstacles that get in the way of your goals in the gym and out of the gym. Sometimes that means you will have to tell the assholes of the world to go fuck themselves. When that time comes, you won’t hesitant to pull the trigger and assert yourself. Putting your foot down and refusing to be pushed around is an indicator that this training is working for you.

Getting what you want thought hard work and taking a stand for what you believe in is what mental toughness training is all about.)

Strategy #3 – 0ptimizing Positive Self-Talk

If during your time of chasing down your adversity and negativity is dominating your thinking patterns, remind yourself that this inner unsupportive voice isn’t from you. But, an accumulation of those negative people in your life that have put your down or told you what you can’t do. Even if these voices are from people in your past that you may not associated yourself with, they still control how you behave. Unfortunately, they limit you as you continue to believe what they all have told you what you can’t do. You wrongly accept their negative words about you as true. But, there is no actual truth and only perceptions of truth.

Override their negativity by taking control of your life with positive self-talk statements. As you begin to overcome more of your personal obstacles, you will hear less of the negative voices from you past and hear more encouraging thoughts. As you begin to develop your mental toughness in the gym and outside of it, you will hear this voice even more.  Instead of “I can’t” it will be more “I can” to eventually “I must.” This voice isn’t from me or another outside source, but from your true inner self.  The voice you hear is the voice you should’ve heard all your life but stifled by those trying to run or ruin your life. But, with this training, you will discover it again and when you find out how empowering your positive voice is, you will never suppress it again. This program is more than about getting mentally stronger, but about relearning who you really are and discovering your purpose in life. When you can do this, you have a lot to be positive about.

Strategy #4 The Power of Mantras

Many times in life, the pressure and stress is so great we can barely think straight. You just don’t have the focus and mental clarity to give yourself a long and drawn-out positive pep talk. When this happens, mantras are very helpful.  In order to prevent myself from getting overly despair I repeat a calming mantra over and over to help myself keep my composure like “Stay cool and don’t panic.”  This type of mantra is hypnotic and can slow your breath and clear your mind to help you reassert the situation. Mantras will help ground you during these life straining moments when your mind is racing, heart pounding and you simply just can’t be rational.

Other times, when I feel that I don’t have a chance in hell to overcome an insurmountable problem and am so mentally drained to even think straight, I’ll declare a mantra like “I refuse to quit and let people walk over me” repeatedly. Sometimes, a mantra works immediately, but other times, I have to repeat it often during the day. If a proven mantra that has worked in the past, be patient and stay with it; it may some time to strike a chord with you. A powerful mantra that incites you is like a good slap in the face from a buddy. Not only are you suddenly reloaded with determination, but also loaded with fury at yourself for nearly giving up. This double shot of enthusiasm is typically what you get from mantras that light a fire under your belly.

So create a variety of mantras that inspire you, calm you down and provide some much needed rage when necessary.  If a mantra works for you during the physical aspect of your training, it will most likely have the same effect on you applied them to your personal struggles. All you have to do is make some slight adjustments to them so they can be more applicable to your current life situation.  For example, when I’m near to the point of exhaustion of any WOD, one of my most potent mantras that I use is “I refuse to quit.” You can extend this mantra to fit the current circumstance that you are in. If you are having a frustrating day at work, the mantra that you can say to yourself is “I refuse to quit at work.” If you are feeling a huge road block while pursing your lifelong dream, the mantra could easily be “I refused to quit at reaching my dream.”


Final Thoughts

So in a way, this mentally tough program is training for you to handle life’s worst case scenarios. It is preparing you to deal with the evitable phone call we all will receive at some time from a doctor that tells you – “The blood test are in. Can you come down today so we can talk about it?” Having big biceps or tight buns will do nothing to help you in a situation when you or a love one has a life threatening disease. When the bad news comes, you better be mentally prepared to go to war for those who need you. Facing these brutal workouts day-in and day-out will help you transform your mind to become the fighter that never quits. Even if it is very unlikely that you will overcome the problem, you relentlessly persist with the fight until you finally overtake it. This is what mental toughness is all about and why it is a must for everybody.  Father or mother, young or old, rich or broke, we all need to learn how to stay in the fight. No matter how hurt, sad, poor you are, you have a reserve of unbelievable strength inside of you that can always be summoned from within.

Today’s Litvinov WOD -6 sets:Front squats – 4 repsPull-ups – 6 repsWaiter’s walk with a 45, 25 or ten pound plate over your head – one minute

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Today’s  WOD has the waiter’s walk movement thrown in it. If you have never done them before, I just want to warn you now. They are bitch to do. After front squats and pull-ups, holding a loaded weight over your head and walk around for a minute will be quite a challenge. If you don’t rely on your mental toughness to get your this WOD, there will be a strong chance that you will give in and drop the weight on your head. 
You want to avoid having a concussion as much a possible during any WOD. So go into this WOD knowing that you will have to rely on yourself to get you through this brutal WOD and nothing else. That double espresso may have given you a rush before the WOD and last night’s high carb dinner may have filled up your muscles with glycogen, none of it will matter when your legs are quivering, shoulders are killing you and your hands are starting to feel numb. If you do not rely on your mental fortitude to get you through each one minute, long torturous waiter’s walk, the load might just come tumbling down on you.
So for today’s WOD hold back on the extra scoop of creatine and go into WOD depending on the strength of your will to make it through.You don’t need anything else.The only thing you need, you already have. 
Now go use it. 
Scaled back version of this WOD – 
1. Do only 4 sets. 
2. Omit the pull-ups or the waiter’s walk. 
3. Do this alternate rep scheme: 
Front squats – 2 reps
Pull-ups – 4 reps
Waiter’s walk  with hands in the air with no weight for 30 seconds
Acceptable alternatives – 
1.  Use a Woody band for the assisted pull-ups2. Horizontal body rows can be done instead of the pull-ups. They look like this – images (18)
3. Jumping pull-ups are good too. Here’s what they look like – download (2)
4. You can use dumbbells for the front squats if you wish. They look like this: download (13) 
5. You do a waiter’s “walk in place” for 30 seconds.
6. Jumping jacks, treadmill sprints or jump rope for a minute are all acceptable.  

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