Dealing with the pain and suffering from the WODs have only one purpose. Sure, a high pain tolerance in a CrossFit WOD to muscle burning and your heart pounding wildly like you’re going into cardiac arrest can make you fit as hell. However, building muscles and having a beach ready six-pack is not high on my priority. I careless about how shredded you get from this mental toughness program.
My main and only concern is that it is improving your perseverance skills.
The pain you get from the WODs must have value and be transferable to your personal life. If not, you are missing out on the true benefit from this protocol.
As I talked about on part one of this series, I have grown immensely on how I am able to cope with the suffering from the physical training. In the past when I lived a weak life, I was mentally fragile and vulnerable to frustrations and setback. If I had a major disappointment, I didn’t know how to deal with the letdown. Instead of striving to get past the obstacle, I would retreat in my sissy cave and accept defeat.
I just didn’t know how to handle the emotional pain back then.
When I was younger, I was never quite strong enough to reach my most ambitious goals. I came very close to many of them. Some of them were way in my reach. If I had the strength and balls to persist, I would have achieved personal greatness. But, when the roadblocks began to pile up, I emotionally fell apart and thus, repeatedly lived the life of a perpetual quitter.
I failed because I didn’t have the skill or wherewithal with how to handle loads and tons of rejections and negative stress.
So the map to learning how to be tough in life when shit ain’t going your way is to first learn how to be physically hard.
This may not sound very logical and somewhat backwards, but it has worked for me and it will do the same for you. In order to deal the worst thing that can happen to you in life, you must first learn how to handle physical suffering you will get in your mental toughness gymnasium.
Handling and dealing with the discomfort are the key words. In other words, if you can handle and deal when things are going wrong with your personal life, you have the ability to go, no matter how bad the situation is.
Let me stress once more handling and dealing with adversity. For the average person, when their problems begin to over whelm them, they get so frustrated, they begin to lose their focus and eventually give up. They just don’t know how to work with the negative stress.
What I am trying to teach you all is that you have the ability to keep going on life, no matter how deep a hole you have dug for yourself. You can and must continue to pursue your goals even if you just caught your girlfriend in bed with your best buddy or unexpectedly been handed a pink-slip or just been told by your oncologist that your cancer is spreading. Unfortunately, life is full of major pain. When shit happens, you must feel the hurt and find motivation in it to go. This is very difficult to do, but what I am teaching you all that you are way stronger than you think you are. In your own time, you must not let heavy disappointments destroy you, but instead throw more fire in your fuel. As you get tougher from this program, you will begin to view your obstacles as temporary and not permanent.
Just like in the WODs, when you know the burning in your legs isn’t going to last forever and you can’t get any air in your lungs. As soon as you stop, your legs will feel normal and your heart rate will be drop dramatically. In real life, the headaches don’t go away this fast, but eventually they will subdue.
Emotional issues and adversity derail weak people from reaching your ambition. Tough people are not invincible to pain and suffering. They feel it just bad as everyone else. The only difference is that they go on despite the current bad luck that is trying to ruin their life. In fact, the toughest of tough SOBs, actually embrace the negativity and let it motivate them even more to overcome it.
(To be continued)
Today’s Litvinov WOD –
Deadlift – 6 reps
Push-ups – 15 reps
Heavy dumbbell farmer’s walk (one minute)
Today’s Litvinov variation has heavy farmer’s walk which will be quite a challenge for all you. This combination of deadlifts, push-ups, and farmer’s walk will be a great session on how to teach your will to be on the offense. A good rule for the farmer’s walk is to pick two dumbbells that you would use for a moderately heavy dumbbell bench press. Also, to get the most out the walks, squeeze the handles as hard as you can while walking. The extra tension will stimulate your arms and lats to make the farmer’s walk a whole-body experience.
After the first two compound movements, your upper body should be close to being spent. The first couple of seconds of the walks will seem like nothing, but after the first 30 seconds, you will definitely feel the punishing effects from this WOD. At this point, you’ll have to impose your will into the WOD because your grip will be close to be giving out. The stronger your will power, the less likely you won’t drop the dumbbells on somebody’s foot. If you can’t hold on, you might as well drop the weights on the meathead that’s doing concentration curls. Maybe the hard pounding might jar some sense into him.
The biggest challenge some of you will have with this WOD is the lack of space when you are doing the walks. If your gym is small or really crowded, you have to be really careful. You don’t want to bump into somebody that’s in your direction nor do you don’t to want to maneuver and zigzag around people either. This is really a pain in the ass especially when your hands are full of sweat and you are barely holding on to the dumbbells. What you want to do instead, is to make people want to get out of your way.
The only way to do this without yelling and screaming “Get out my way!” like a crazy maniac is to make sure your mind is filled with aggressive thoughts of wanting to run people over if they get in your way of your training. Let me reiterate, I am not advocating physical confrontation or suggesting that you literally run into people. This WOD is only a drill for you to get in touch with the dark side of your will. I am only promoting aggressive thoughts and would never, ever suggest the use of a forceful altercation. That would be mentally stupid and has no place in mental toughness training. I hope I am clear on this point.
So having said this, If you have overly aggressive thoughts and plow straight ahead of your path with sheer determination – your thoughts, grunting and body language will come through.
It won’t take person with ESP to read your mind either. It should be clear to even the most naive person in the gym that you are on a mission and you will not be stopped for anything or anybody. For me, whenever I do this WOD, I usually am thinking of only one thing – “You better get the fuck out of my way or I will run your over.”
You want those around you to not move away from you, but to go run and hide from your fury. This is the aggressive thought process that you must have if you want your will to be lethal and to be intimidating to your competitors.
When your will is driven by your mean streak, the energy will be translated throughout your personal as a force not to be reckon with
Those in the gym will take noticed. If they are smart, they will part the sea for you when you walk towards them. If they don’t, have pity for them as you bulldoze through them. Just be careful not to drop the weights on their head. That would not be a good thing at all.
This overly aggressive attitude is exactly what you need when you do this WOD. Those around you must know what a mistake it would be if they interfered with your training. When you can convey this message though with only your actions, you are on your way to having a will that’s more than powerful.
It’s even on the lethal side.
Scaled back version of this WOD –
1. Do only 4 sets.
2. Instead of 15 push-ups, do only 10 reps.
3. Walk with the dumbbells for 30 seconds.
4. Walk in place with the dumbbells for 30 seconds.
Acceptable alternatives –
1. If you have no room to do the walks, run on the treadmill or jump rope for a minute. Going for a 400m run is also acceptable.