Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 3)

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(This is part 3 in this series on how to get aggressive and attack your personal adversities.The goal is for you to be relentless in the gym and after you leave the physical training. The flaw with the fitness world is that they train athletes and the common person to be animals in the gym, but once they enter the real word, they return to their passive and weak self. We believe at, it is not enough to be strong just at the gym; you must be powerful in all areas in your life like at your work, in your relationships, love ones and how you pursue your life long dreams. In order to have to do this, you must have an aggressive mindset.)

The main problem I use to have when confronted with a threatening problem is that I would give in way too easily. If I would make any attempt of getting out of the situation and failed immediately, my spirit would be so crushed that I wouldn’t try again. My will was so frail back then. Many times I wanted to fight back, but I was so afraid that my actions would be swatted and rejected by my adversaries. I would just freeze up and curl up in my private corner rationalizing that there was nothing I could have done to save me from the problem.

In my protective space, I would spend days and weeks fantasizing about me coming ahead of the situation by fighting back and destroying my adversity. My two action plans back then was the Walter Mitty method of wishing that things would go my way and praying that somebody would come save me. I had one foot in my grave and the other foot on a banana peel as both methods obvious didn’t work. I spent many years of my life with my head down staring at the ground and not getting the things that I should have gotten if only I would made the effort to do so. Looking back at so many of these missed opportunities in my past, there could have been a millions things I could have done, but I did very little only to justify my decision and prove to myself that not fighting back was the right choice to make. By staying in our fearful zone is how many of us validate and inadvertently reward our submissive behavior. If you catch yourself constantly overcoming adversity only in your imagination instead of taking action to improve your real life, you better wake up. Got to get busy living aggressively instead of being busy dying passively. This sort of inactive lifestyle where life passes you up must end now. I don’t know what was worse – me daydreaming that I was the big man on campus or expecting somebody to come fix my problems for me. Both are equally pathetic during my chronicle of failures.

In the face of any adversity, your thought process can never be in a dream-mode or passive state, but filled with aggressive thoughts that provoke real behaviors.  Waiting for something to go your way is not the answer, especially when a calamity is close to suffocating you. Instead of wasting time in your fantasy world where you live a larger than life ass kicker, you should be aggressively planning for war. You must make the first move and learn to force things to go your way. You don’t need permission or confirmation from others. This is the reason why we remain passive – we all want some sort of validation from others before we react.  Fuck that. Start listening to yourself. The one absolute in life is that people and friends will always in some way disappoint you. The only person that you can always depend on is yourself. To some of you, my belief that you can’t trust your friends to come though for you is the ultimate pessimistic view of life. Although, at first it may sound overly cynical, I suggest you take another look at what I’m suggesting.To rely on yourself and knowing that only you can solve your problems, is the freedom you need to empower yourself. In my opinion, believing in your ability and not depended on others, is the ultimate sign of an optimistic person.

Intuitively, when trouble arises our human spirit wants to stand up for itself. This is the natural aggressiveness inside of you that you have shut down. A huge part of this training is for you to get back in touch with your primitiveness. It is still inside of you and just waiting to bust out. Your instinct knows when bullshit is ahead of you so quit censoring it. When the potential for tragedy is there, your mind must have an automatic knee jerk reaction and alert you to be on the offense and attack. It doesn’t matter if you have don’t have the immediate answers either. You got to do some research, confront somebody, make a list of mini-goals, just do something. Action is correlated with success. Anything is better than standing there lost in a reverie wishing you woke up with super human powers or going to win tonight’s Power ball lottery. Neither is going to happen so snap out it, get to work and get used to doing some hard work. When others snicker at you, the most shameful thing you can do is do nothing. You must invest the time and make full effort to overthrow the problem before the worse become the worst. The first thing you must do is to try, no matter how grim the situation is. This is all predicated on frame of mind that is filled with aggressive thought pattern that is seeking solutions though actions and not relying on luck, guardian angels or wishful thinking.

(To be continued)

Today’s strength day WOD –

Work on establishing a two rep max for the following compound movements –


Dumbbell or barbell bench press

Front squat

Strict military press

When we spend years of doing single body part training with light weights or cables, we tend to forget the number rule for building a more muscular body. The concept of improving strength will lead to building of muscles seem to be forgotten in today’s high tech world of commercial gyms. Before the 1970’s, the focus on strength gains using full-body protocols was how the majority of athletes and bodybuilders trained. Back then I would say people were a lot of tougher than they are now. From my observation as an educator with the primary grades, we are raising the future generations to becoming a bunch soft wussies. I hate to tell you, but most of you probably fall in this group as well.

So let’s old school with this strength WOD. Let’s go back in time when things were much harder to do in the gym because you only had a barbell and not a bunch of fancy machines which your grandmother could figure out how to do.

Many of my readers ask me if you use the same mental strategies for the strength WODs as for the metabolic ones. Yes, you do. In the met-con WODs, it is easy to see how you may need an extra push to finish them, especially when you are having a difficult time breathing. With the strength WOD,  you need that extra push as well, particularly when you are working with heavier weights that push you out of your comfort level. If you don’t feel like you need that extra motivation, it probably means you are not going heavy enough. If you are approaching your last set of deadlifting and you don’t feel a need to be aggressive or have to refer back to your needs and purpose, that’s a sign that you are not challenging yourself. If you are about to do your last heavy front squat and there isn’t a rush of negativity infesting your mind, that probably means you using too light of weights.

So just like how you push yourself past the red line with the conditioning WODs, really force yourself to use more resistance on these strength training days. It doesn’t mean you have to pack on hundreds of pounds on every set. An extra five more pounds is sufficient. You may not be able to do it all the time, but aim to do it today while establishing what your 2 reps max today. In the upcoming weeks, you will go for new PR’s with the same compound movements.

When you use the same mental strategies as you do in the conditioning WODs, you will surprise yourself with how much strength you have been hiding inside of you.

Now go get uncomfortable and lift some serious weights.