Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 2)

download (26)(In part 1 in this series, I talked about how you must apply the same preparation to attack in your training and to your life. You must start off every day ready to battle the adversities that you have been fighting and be prepared to face new challenges. This is life and not just a CrossFit gym workout. You don’t have breaks or rest periods against the obstacles that life will throw at you. Every day, you must gear yourself up to have the warrior mindset to defend your livelihood and to beat the tar of any stumbling block that attempts to jeopardize your life. When the threat is on, you must make the first move and make a huge dent in the enemies’ armor. You always want to make a mental statement to yourself that you will not be fucked with.

This is the aggressive attitude that must have to defeat your former weak self and those situations that attempt to make your life miserable.)

The WODs in this mental toughness-CrossFit program are purposely designed to intimidate you. For many of you, when you first see the brutal workout of the day, you will decide if you can handle the pressure and stress from it before the workout begins. This decision process is instantaneous. Within seconds, you will have made up your mind if you will finish it or bail out. The results of how you will finish the WOD will be pre-determined. This same though process applies to how you deal with your personal problems at home too. When you see a daunting adversity that you suddenly have to face in your personal life, in a matter of seconds you will unconsciously decide if you will put up a fight or hide your face in the sand.  It’s all about how your respond and react to the challenge before you begin to overcome it.

Ultimately, you want to have the confidence to truly believe in yourself that you will eventually triumph over the obstacle. This is the goal of this mental toughness program. But, for now many of you don’t have the belief in yourself to fight and defeat an imposing situation. This is where the physical training comes in. You are being war tested with the WODs. By constantly getting through each WOD, you are slowly developing your mental toughness to get over any challenge. In time, you will see the connection with how you aggressively kick ass in the WODs and how you must be just as relentless when you hunt down your personal problems. Once you begin to see this new level of strength overlapping in a real life crisis, only then will truly understand how CrossFit training in the gym complements training in your life.

When this happens, you’ll even put more faith in the workouts and begin tolerate higher levels of discomfort in the workouts and bullshit in life because you are beginning to see the benefits from the training. Getting this taste of how one complements the other is when the empowerment begins. It will be reassuring to yourself to know that the mental toughness program is working for you and that you are not suffering for the sake of suffering. When this light bulb begins to turn on, those who want to cross you, better watch the fuck out. By repressing your inner strength for all these years, it is ready to explode on some upcoming poor bastard that attempts to do you wrong. I pity this fool when the time comes.

The emotional high that you will feel when you discover this inner strength will make you feel near invincible. However, as admirable as feeling invincible is, being invincible isn’t the goal of being mentally tough. It’s quite the opposite. It’s about knowing that the fight is going to hurt and not being afraid of the hurt anymore. It’s about accepting that pain and frustration is inevitable during your journey.  I wouldn’t say some agony is needed, but some high degree of misery will always be there. So now, instead of backing away from the challenge because of the upcoming discomfort, you welcome and embrace the suffering. The emotional headache is all a sign pointing to you that you are in the right direction of overcoming your personal hardship.

So the quintessential sign of you are becoming tougher is how differently you will perceive new adversities when first confronted with them. Instead of seeing new obstacles as something you can’t defeat and should run away from, you slowly begin to view setbacks and disappointments as minor inconveniences that you have no doubt that you will get through them. Even with those unbeatable obstacles that you don’t have a chance to prevail, you still feel that as long as you try and give out the effort, you are never out of it. So, when life sucker punches in the stomach, you automatically without any hesitation strike back and pull out your bag of tricks as well. Your aggressive reactions are a physical sign that you are finally learning how to fight back. This is a huge step in the right direction. You may not win round one, but you know you have the will and stamina to last the entire battle.

Remember the results of the fight are always pre-determined and happens in a matter of seconds. This training is about teaching you to be absolutely certain about yourself no matter how grave the situation is. When you have no doubt in your mental capabilities is how you control the future for yourself. Now instead of losing, you can truly believe that you will be the last person standing with your arms in the air, victoriously jumping up and down while taunting your defeated Goliath.

It is this ignorance of defeat that emblems those who have a mental relentless. Sometimes, it is a virtue not to be so smart and realize that what you are doing is near impossible until you get it done. As you progress with your mental toughness development, you will stop viewing your adversities as something that can’t get through, but view them as what do I have to do in order for me to overcome this challenge. So your new mental toughness outlook is not about what you can’t do, but now about how long it will take for you to get it done.

(To be continued)

Today’s classic CrossFit WOD –

5 rounds


100 pull-ups
100 push-ups
100 sit-ups
100 squats

Rest exactly 3 minutes after each total round

I purposely picked “Angie” for this WOD because it makes even the experienced CrossFitter quiver at the thought of having to do 100 pull-ups in a session. That’s a lot of pull-ups to do and you just know your body’s going to be sore as hell the next day. Unless you are bodyweight workout expert, this WOD should arise a “I don’t think I can do this”reaction out of you.

When facing a challenge that creates much doubt in your ability, you have to make sure you remain as positive as possible. For this WOD, hone in on your positive outlook skills by staying in the moment and avoid thinking too far ahead. In order to finish “Angie,” you have to do 400 reps. That’s a whole lot of reps. If you get hung up on all the work that you must do, it will start to wear on you mentally. When that happens, doubts and excuses will start to encompass your thinking patterns. Dealing with the anxiety that you might get from a high rep WOD like “Angie” is your test today.

One of the best way to stay positive is make the WOD attainable with short term goals. Instead of seeing 100 pull-ups, change your perception to something you can achieve like “I have to do 10 sets of 10 pull-ups” or “Instead of doing 100 squats in a row, I can easily do 5 sets of 20.” Mental toughness is all about how you process information. By breaking down a challenging goal to easier subsets, you ease your mind, stay calm while you aggressively attack your attainable goals.

The key to dealing with any intimidating  WOD, is to stay in the moment and have a concrete strategy. You have a workable plan that will help prevent you from being overwhelmed.

Now go implement it and show yourself how you can overcome any menacing adversity.

Scaled down version of this WOD –

1. Alternative rep schemes – do 50 reps for each movement.

2. Do only 3 sets each

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

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

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

6. Do the push-ups from your knees

5. Omit the squats