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.

I don’t meant to knock your loved ones, but they probably aren’t the best role models for toughness and fitness training. The average poser pretends to be tough, while you on the other hand, are evolving into the psychological profile of one that should not be messed with. Once again, learn to distance yourself from the mediocrity of the mainstream.

Besides an aesthetics goal, I’m also a huge advocate of pursing your life long dream goal at the same time. To optimize your potential for overall success, write down your personal and career goals, too. Grouping different goals can actually help improve your chances of succeeding in not just one, but in multiple areas. This is especially true if your goals are interrelated and require the same trait that is needed in order achieve the other objectives. For example, self-discipline is a huge factor in obtaining your mental toughness growth and more likely an important quality with your other goals. When you develop a strong sense of willpower in the physical training, this ability should transfer in your pursuit of your other goals as well. The logic is if you show great self-control while obtaining a better body composition, this same discipline should bleed over to your hunt with your other ambitions.

Your pursuit of mental hardness and other goals needs to be proactive. Back up your talk with actions. Write down your physical and life goals down. Seeing them on paper will hold you accountable for your actions. I write and rewrite my goals often. This is part of my morning ritual. Even though the majority of time, the goals remain the same, rewriting my objecives forces me to think about what I have to do in the day to get things done and make my goals a reality. Also, by constantly reviewing my goals, I’m activating my subconscious. This is essential because your subconsicous moves you towards what you want in life, but more importanlty makes your actions more automatic. Nothing is worse than the agony of getting yourself to go to work when all you want to do is procrastinate. By constantly going over your goals and the actions needed to be taken, your subconsicious will lead you to what you desire without relying on your willpower or nudging yourself with food bribes like the rest of the deadbeats in this world.

Some people advocate writing their goals and posting them on social media so the whole world can view your aim. If these idea works for you, go for it. I don’t have “Face Book” so I don’t feel the need to share my personal life with others. I don’t need others to hold myself accoutable. I can do that by myself. Whatever method you choose, just make sure you see your goals often and daily.

Olympic wrestling gold medalist and my favorite tough guy Dan Gable used to write his goals on index cards and carried them with him so he can review them throughout the day. Mixed martial art champion George St. Pierre writes down his goals and looked at it the first thing when he gets up. Before his fight with Josh Koscheck, his goal was – I will destroy Kosecheck. By the way, he pummeled and stomped on Kosecheck’s face, I would say he accomplished his goal and then some.

When you start to repeat some of the workouts in this program, you can create new goals to improve your past workout times and use heavier loads. Beating your past scores is the huge attraction and the heart of why CrossFit is so popular. CrossFit is all about competing. Learning to compete with yourself and doing your damnest to with your CrossFit family memers. Nothing will help you reach your dreams and physical goals faster than with a spirit that loves to compete. The ability to compete is one of the central themes in this program. Therefore, I highly urge all of you to make becoming a competitor one of your life goals.

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.

(To be continued)

Today’s WOD

Complex movement workout

6 sets

Do 5 reps for each movement and try your best not to rest between movements:


Good mornings

Behind the neck military press

Bent over rows


One minute jump rope

Get ready for the onslaught of negativity with this challenging WOD with two separate sets of thrusters. One set of thrusters in the beginning of the complex movement and another set of thrusters to end the set. Today’s WOD is a huge test on how you will handle the inevitable negativity that will occur in a physical challenge.

The best way to fight the negativity is to prepare for it during your preparation work. So as you get ready to do the WOD come up with an offensive strategy to overtake the inevitable negative self-talk that will happen once the WOD begins to punish your body.

So think about some these harsh judgmental critics in your life during your mental warm-up. Who are these people? How have they negatively affected you? What have you lost in life because you let these negative people control your actions and ruin your confidence?

Let the memories come up. However, don’t let the emotional over take you. Pull back till you feel you are in control. When you are ready, step into the ring and begin the fight.

As soon as the negativity begins, aggressively strike back with positive self-coaching. Tell yourself that you are stronger now and tired are letting the negative voices manipulate your life. Work in unison with the positive affirmation about yourself and the action from the complex movement or jump roping. Let your positive self statements guide you into being an aggressive fighting machine as you refuse to slow down during the WOD. The double- thrusters are going to hurt, but you will do them unbroken with a mind-set that refuses to listen to past doubters and a body that will eliminate weakness by being forceful with your movements.

When you are done with each set, be on the lookout for more negative remarks from the enemies of your past. They will not die an easy death. They will begin to tell you again and again, what you can’t do so you must be ready to slay them. This is why you must connect with the killer instinct inside of you. You must not have any sympathy for your past tormentors. They have hurt you in the past and will continue to try to ruin your life if you let them.

Refuse to let them harm you any more by delving hard into your psyche for some relentlessness power to run them over for good. Whenever they begin to lecture you on how incompetent you are, counter back with a positive self-affirmation of how you have change since you have been doing this training while becoming more aggressive with your actions in the WOD. Prove to your doubters that you no longer weak by becoming stronger in the WOD. Be the opposite of what they use to say about you. By refusing to quit and continuing to attack the WOD is how you shut up your past haters. This is why you must go all out in your pursuit of killing the negativity of you past. If you go easy on them, they will continue to haunt you and hold you back.Screw that. Go for the jugular today with an all out assault on the people who have unfairly judged you. End their control of you today.

The ultimate sign of aggressive action with this WOD is to try to be as forceful as possible with your last movement of thrusters. If your last thrusters are done with more force and speed than your first ones, consider yourself ending the WOD in an overly aggressive manner and relying on your killer instinct.

When you are done with this WOD, you have finished more than just a workout.

You have killed off a part of your past that has held you back for years.

Once you do, you will feel unbelievable joy and relief.

Discovery who you are suppose to be with mental toughness training.

Acceptable alternatives:

  1. You can use a barbell or dumbbell for the WOD.
  2. A one minute run on the treadmill is okay if you don’t have a jump rope.