I want to thank you all for the wonderful support and emails I have been getting from you all. Writing this blog has brought me great in joy in knowing that I can help many of you overcome your personal obstacles while getting you in the best physical shape ever. Keep up the hard work and please don’t hesitant with the questions! Helping you all brings purpose and meaning to my life.
It seems that all of you get the basic principle of how to achieve mental toughness. You put yourself through some gnarly physical training and become mentally stronger because of it. That’s pretty much it. What seems to be confusing with most of you is how this training is going to get you a more beautiful body. After all, most of the WODs are less than 20 minutes compared to the traditional workouts that have you in the gym for at least an hour.
This lack of clarity is my fault and I take full responsibility for it. Even with the clients that I work directly with, there is a misconception of many of them that think mental toughness training ignores the aesthetics of improving your physique. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Having a great body is a great importance for me and is always a top goal with my clients. However, to get a better body composition, I had to learn to take a a different approach to building muscles and getting lean as the mainstream protocol became less effective the older me and my clients got.
For twenty years, my main goal in life was to put on as much muscle as possible. My insecurity and poor self-perception of myself pushed me to work out on a consistent level for two decades in my pursuit of being big and ripped. Even with all the hard work I put in, I still had a very flabby body. Frustrated and by accident, I began to shift my approach to focusing on the mind over everything else. When I started to make a connection with mind, I also discovered how badly I have been suppressing the full capacity of my body as well. When I strengthen the mind, I also was freeing the body. For years, I have been bottling up tons of strength within me that was just waiting to be used. When I finally allowed my body to express itself, I was doing physical feats that I never thought I could do before. When I got into my mid 40’s, I was lifting heavier weights and running faster than I ever did compared to when I was in my 20’s. By the time I was approaching 50, I was constantly learning new and complex skills that the average 50 year old shouldn’t be doing like muscle-ups, climbing rope, and Olympic lifting. As a result of my new-founded athletic performances, I started looking better than ever. It so ironic, but by not focusing on the body, I finally got the physique that I have been trying years to attain. It just took nearly 25 years of massive frustration and disappointment to finally figure out how to do it.
For many of us, improving our body is a daily adversity that most of us face every day. Attaining a desirable body has been a lifelong challenge for me and I know it is for many of you. So getting a better body is huge part of mental toughness training. When you finally get the body that you are proud of, you most likely had to overcome some major obstacles like eating disorders, depression, obesity, fad diets and the biggest adversity of them all – self-hatred.
Mental toughness is about stopping the pain in your life. It’s just so pleasurable when you know you are getting stronger and have the body to back it up while the fuckers in your life are stuck doing same old shit in their lousy commercial gym while making zero progress. It just feel that good when you are done doing a brutal CrossFit, Litvinov or barbell complex workout and know that those who have hurt you in the past, if they even attempted to the same WOD, they would probably end up on a life support machine. One of the most rewarding parts of the mental toughness brashness is knowing that you just accomplished something really challenging that average people wish you could do.
But, in order to look unbelievable naked and to have the confidence to take on any physical challenge, you must constantly and I mean, constantly remind yourself this simple notion: strengthen the mind and a rock hard body will follow.
Even now, I say this often to myself when I start the training, in the middle of the training and right before I finish the WOD. I kid you not. Even after 7 years of putting myself through this agony, I have to remind myself this statement all the time. It not that I forget about it. It just that sometimes, I fall back on my old bodybuilding habits where I neglect the mind and focus on the specific muscles. When this happens, I know I cut myself short and my tolerance is much, much lower. Instead of going on during a set, I stop way earlier than if I would have focused on my mental thoughts. For example, awhile back I was doing a WOD that required 100 push-ups. I was shirtless and at the beach as my conceitedness got the best of me while I was doing the push-ups. Instead of doing 20 unbroken reps like how I regularly do, I ended up doing sets of 10. The reasons for this low amount of reps is that I was going for “the pump” in my chest so my pecs would be appear large as I was trying to impress some chicks that were nearby. I was putting all my attention on feeling my chest muscles instead of having aggressive thoughts while doing the push-ups like “Don’t stop until you hit 20 reps” or “I refuse to stop this set until I get my 20 push-ups.”
My thought process was empty of aggressive thoughts like these ones and as a result, the WOD lacked intensity and took more time to finish it than it should have. Remember the core definition of intensity in this mental toughness program is doing as much work in the shortest amount of time.
So my thought process with the push-ups should have been more relentless mixed in with the reminder of “Strengthen the mind and a rock hard body will follow.”
So reminding yourself of this mantra over and over today will be your challenge in the following WOD:
8 medicine ball slams
400 meter run (approximately)
Go into the WOD with your needs and purpose to become mentally strong brewing in your head. Refer to them often during the workout. Also, redirect your purpose and needs to how finishing the WOD will get you your goal of having personal strengthen in your life. For example, I have a reader that told me her need to become mentally tougher is so “that she would stop hating herself.” When she does this WOD, she would have to redirect her purpose statements with thoughts like “When I get finish this WOD I will learn to stop hating myself”…”Finishing this WOD and I will destroy my self-hatred.”
Mix in your redirected purpose statements, aggressive thoughts, positive self-talk today with the mantra of “Strengthen the mind and a rock hard body will follow” throughout the WOD today. In fact, I want you repeat it to yourself to the point that you think you are over doing it. You are trying to set a mental foundation and cement one of the main mental toughness principals in your head. If this statement doesn’t strike a chord with you, come up something more personal like By toughing up the mind, I will finally get to wear those skinny jeans….By getting mental tougher, I will finally get a six-pack….Strengthen my mind and I will look great, etc. The point is to make this statement as personal as possible. The more you can connect with some statement of how a strong mind will lead to better aesthetics, the more likely you will succeed in getting that impressive built.
I will go into the power of mantras more in further posts, but let a statement like ‘Strengthen the mind and a rock hard body will follow” motivate you especially when your legs are close to being done in the 400m run. Mantras like this one are very effective and can have a hypnotic effect on you and lead you to aggressive action when you repeat them often.
So get ready to train and know that a better body is coming.
In fact, getting lean and muscular is the easy part of this mental toughness training.
Now go kill it.
Scaled back version of the WOD:
1. Omit the run or walk the 400m run.
2. Use a Woody band and do assisted pull-ups.
3. Do 4 reps of pull-ups and ball slams.
1. Go to mechanic or tire store and get a used tire. Tires are a great alternative for medicine ball and they are free.
2. Run on the treadmill or jump rope for a minute if you can’t do the run.
3. If you can do the ball or tire slams, do 10 kettlebell swings instead.