Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 10)

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(In this continuing series on how to get you in the mind-set to aggressively dealing with life’s road bumps, I talked last time about how to avoid a mental regression. I see this all the time in my practice – a client works extremely hard in the first couple of months and makes noticeable gains with his body composition and self-confidence. He feels so good about himself that he foolish thinks the training is over as his motivation starts to wade. The client begins to get lackadaisical with his training and all his gains begin to skid backwards. To avoid any form of regression, you must be on the constantly lookout for any signs of lack of motivation. If you are not inspired to train, I’ll prove you some instant reality to get you to train hard.  The hard truth is that as fast as it took for you to make all your gains, you can lose everything just as quickly. It only takes a handful of bad meals and missed workouts for your waistline to bulge and your mental strength to go down the drain.

One of the best ways to avoid physical and psychological regression is to confront yourself with self questions with negative connotations. These types of reflection questions will make you feel uncomfortable, but they may the best medicine you need when you are prematurely over celebrating your success or feeling like a being a couch potato.)

I don’t like to use fear arousal techniques to inspire myself as they can lead to negative self talk and criticism. But, when given the choice of having your mental strength continuing to grow or relapse to back to state of weakness, the choice becomes crystal clear. Sometimes, we just have to scare the shit out of ourselves to get our butts in gear. For me, these types of negative outcome questions always motivated me to no end. Once again, only you know what buttons to push. But, more importantly, you know how honest your response are or if you are just trying to fool yourself to get out of the challenge.

So when asking yourself these negative consequence types of questions, really compare and contrast yourself from where you are today to where you where in your life before you started this mental toughness program. Really see how much growth you have made in all areas in your life. Relive and enjoy your past accomplishments of having a slimmer waist line and a tougher mind-set. You deserved it.

Now in direct contrast, go back in time when you couldn’t look at yourself in the mirror for being a coward or wasn’t proud of your body. Take an honest look at how you used to be. This means go back to the points in your life when you used to run away from problems, didn’t have the courage to stand up for yourself or refused to take off your shirt at the beach because of the layers of fat that you were hiding.

Really visualize yourself in specific times of your life where you are not proud of how you reacted in the face of an adverse situation. How does that make you feel when you have to relive these pathetic parts of your life again? Not good I hope. Well, the realty is, you are much closer to returning back to this weak lifestyle than you are to achieving the new goals that you have made with this mental toughness program. In other words, just because you made some tiny gains here and there, does not mean you are out of the woods yet. If you think you have gotten rid of your weak behavior, you better think again. You are not even close to burying your past self. Being weak is still who you are. Getting truly mentally tough is still a long ways off for you. You are no where close to the final product.

Even for somebody like me who has dedicated over ten years of my life in pursuit of being mentally tougher, I still feel like I’m in the beginning stages. This is not a bad thing because it keeps me hungry and on the edge. One of the biggest reasons why I am to sustain this drive to become tougher and endure all this physical suffering is because I will never forget how weak I used to be.

And never shall you.

(To be continued)

Today’s CrossFit WOD –

Modified version of “Jason”

(The original WOD uses muscle-ups while I replaced them with pull-ups)

For time:

100 squats

5 pull-ups

75 squats

10 pull-ups

50 squats

15 pull-ups

25 squats

20 pull-ups

Nothing will cause more grief and negativity in one’s mind than seeing a WOD with a shit load of air squats and pull-ups. When you first take a look at “Jason” and your initial reaction is “Fuck this,” I have succeeded with my plan in putting you in very defeatist mood. I wanted to evoke such as sense of gloom in you that you literally expect to fail when it comes to tackling this WOD.

No worries. This is just your bad habit of perceiving things in a negative way. That’s all about to change once you learn how to implement positive self-coaching to yourself. It will take some time to do a complete mental makeover, but today’s WOD will be a huge step in the right direction. The goal for today is to not to shut down your mean negative comments to yourself, but to use the negativity to motivate you to work harder and with more intensity than ever.

At first glance at “Jason,” many of you will be inundated with the harsh negative statements that has haunted forever. Examples of these mean streak statements can be “You can’t do this! You will fail at at this like how you fail at everything else in life”…”What are you thinking about? Losers can’t do CrossFit”…”Today’s WOD will be another example of what a failure I am.” 

What you must do during your preparation process is to remind yourself that all these negativity that has been infesting your mind, isn’t yourself talking. They are the voices from your past from your childhood, teenage years to your adulthood. Their nasty comments are not factual, but opinions designed to hurt you.  This voice that you hear is an accumulation and built up of all those who have told you repeatedly what you can’t do. This negative voice has now molded into one beast; a composite of all your tormentors put together as one dominate voice that you still fear and let control your life.

Today is the day that you finally break free of the stranglehold that these bastards have had on your life. When you hear their negative voices start to assault you, you must not suppress the enemy, but learn to use it to your advantage. Instead of trying to quiet down their negative put downs to you, listen for specific people from your past that have said this shit to you. See in your mind’s eye the person right in front you. Now, instead of giving in to them, fight back. Fight the fuck back.

The more you hear their voice and see their fucken faces, the harder you must push yourself during the WOD. The nastier their insults, the more energy you will have when doing all those squats. The more the voices try to hurt you, the more fuel you will have to finishing your set of pull-ups.

The whole point of this WOD is to teach you that your positive actions is the best way to make those in your past shut the fuck up. This won’t happen overnight, but with practice you will hear less and less from those bastards and more from another voice that is encouraging and positive despite whatever bad circumstance you are currently in. That voice is from you. It is your true self. It is who you are supposed to be before those in your past unsuccessfully tried to take away your soul.

With this training, you can finally not only let go of the scumbags in your life, but take a fucken sword and whack them into tiny pieces. Reclaim yourself and discover your true essences and what you are supposed to be.

Being who you are and listening to your instinct is the strength you have been trying to achieve all your life, but haven’t completely gotten it. With this mental toughness training, you are ever so close to finding it.

Scaled back version of this WOD –

1. Use the alternate rep scheme –

50 squats

5 pull-ups

25 squats

10 pull-ups

10 squats

15 pull-ups

2.  Use a Woody band for the assisted pull-ups

3. Horizontal body rows can done be instead of the pull-ups. They look like this – images (18)

4. Jumping pull-ups are good too. Here’s what they look like – download (2)