Mental Toughness Strategy #2 for the Workouts – “Making a Strong Connection with Your Will (Part 5)

images (21) (In part 4 on this series on engaging your will in the WODs, I discussed how having a will with an unusual level of high pain tolerance can lead to recklessness and an injury. This is how potent your will can be. You must always be cautious when you have a will that is this defiant. However, when you are faced with a brutal WOD that is close to defeating your spirit or up against a life threatening adversity, you must summon the power of your will. In times of trouble, nothing will help you more than a will that refuses to go down. With all the mental capacities that you have learned from this site, the most powerful and dangerous weapon against the enemy is always your will.)

For me when I am in a desperation moment in the WOD where I feel I am completely spent and need a sudden burst of energy, my will can drive me to a dark area of my soul when I seem possessed by a higher order of meanness. This does not mean I become a big time jerk or a bully. I leave others alone as long as they don’t interfere with my lone goal of tearing up the WOD with authority.

This is what typically happens whenever I’m at the most painful point of the workout and is about to quit, my will overtakes me with the highest level of rebellious defiance that absolutely refuses to give in. I know those around me while I am this state may wrongly interrupt my former look of despair to one who is infused with malice, but there is definitely a potent transformation that encompasses my mind and whole body.

A rush and charge of determination from my will takes over my soul completely. Instead of wanting to quit, my mind quickly swifts to one who would show no mercy for anyone that attempts to stop me from finishing. I literally want to crush all those who get in my way. Lucky for me, I have never laid my hands on anyone during a workout nor do I think I ever will either, but the attitude to use excess force of is always there. I have no doubt that those around me can read my militant body language. I begin to pick up the pace in the workout as if I have tattoo on my forehead that reads “If you try to stop me, I will punish you to no end.”

I can go from one extreme to another when I am most desperate.  From being at my lowest point to suddenly generating relentless action, makes me feel so damn unstoppable. You would think I would strive for the perfect workout where I can cruise through it without breaking a sweat or have any thoughts of failure or quitting. But, this training is all about creating the self-doubt in you. This program is designed to see how you will deal with yourself when you are at you are close to falling apart. If the workouts do not back you into the corner, they are worthless for the development of your will. The CrossFit, Litvinov, and complex workouts must test your psychological and physical limits by pushing you past your normal past threshold. Only through overcoming undesirable tasks many times over, are you able to train your will to be uncompromising. People, there is no other way to learn how to persevere.

My will has rewired my genetics to always have to ability to convincingly comeback stronger, faster and a lot meaner than ever when facing adversity from the WOD. For the last 7 years, my will has been this reliable and consistent. If you are an athlete, MMA fighter or CrossFitter and you want to compete at a higher level, you must bring some nastiness to your will. If you are not a competitor and just somebody that is trying to wipe out a past trauma, you got to have some fire in your will to if you want to overcome your former pain.

When you are mentally tough, you will have this fury in abundance. All the great athletes have this ability to switch on the ferociousness in their will to the point that they seem like a different person from how they regularly are. I have no doubt their opponents could see the filthiness in their eyes as well. In the mind of the enemy when they see some much mental force and desire building up inside their opposition, terror will strike them and weaken their heart. They will know that it is just a matter of time when damage will be done upon them. In war, nothing is more intimating than a will that refuses to die.

With a lot of hard work and practice from this program, you too can have this lethal connection with your will.

Today’s Litvinov WOD –

6 sets

Deadlift – 6 reps

Push-ups – 15 reps

Heavy dumbbell farmer’s walk (one minute)

Today’s Litvinov variation has heavy farmer’s walk which will be quite a challenge for all you. This combination of deadlifts, push-ups, and farmer’s walk will be a great session on how to teach your will to be on the offense. A good rule for the farmer’s walk is to pick two dumbbells that you would use for a moderately heavy dumbbell bench press. Also, to get the most out the walks, squeeze the handles as hard as you can while walking. The extra tension will stimulate your arms and lats to make the farmer’s walk a whole-body experience.

After the first two compound movements, your upper body should be close to being spent. The first couple of seconds of the walks will seem like nothing, but after the first 30 seconds, you will definitely feel the punishing effects from this WOD.  At this point, you’ll have to impose your will into the WOD because your grip will be close to be giving out. The stronger your will power, the less likely you won’t drop the dumbbells on somebody’s foot. If you can’t hold on, you might as well drop the weights on the meathead that’s doing concentration curls. Maybe the hard pounding might jar some sense into him.

The biggest challenge some of you will have with this WOD is the lack of space when you are doing the walks. If your gym is small or really crowded, you have to be really careful. You don’t want to bump into somebody that’s in your direction nor do you don’t to want to maneuver and zigzag around people either. This is really a pain in the ass especially when your hands are full of sweat and you are barely holding on to the dumbbells. What you want to do instead, is to make people want to get out of your way.

The only way to do this without yelling and screaming “Get out my way!”  like a crazy maniac is to make sure your mind is filled with aggressive thoughts of wanting to run people over if they get in your way of your training. Let me reiterate, I am not advocating physical confrontation or suggesting that you literally run into people. This WOD is only a drill for you to get in touch with the dark side of your will. I am only promoting aggressive thoughts and would never, ever suggest the use of a forceful altercation. That would be mentally stupid and has no place in mental toughness training. I hope I am clear on this point.

So having said this, If you have overly aggressive thoughts and plow straight ahead of your path with sheer determination – your thoughts, grunting and body language will come through.

It won’t take person with ESP to read your mind either. It should be clear to even the most naive person in the gym that you are on a mission and you will not be stopped for anything or anybody.  For me, whenever I do this WOD, I usually am thinking of only one thing –  “You better get the fuck out of my way or I will run your over.” 

You want those around you to not move away from you, but to go run and hide from your fury. This is the aggressive thought process that you must have if you want your will to be lethal and to be intimidating to your competitors.

When your will is driven by your mean streak, the energy will be translated throughout your personal as a force not to be reckon with

Those in the gym will take noticed. If they are smart, they will part the sea for you when you walk towards them. If they don’t, have pity for them as you bulldoze through them. Just be careful not to drop the weights on their head. That would not be a good thing at all.

This overly aggressive attitude is exactly what you need when you do this WOD. Those around you must know what a mistake it would be if they interfered with your training. When you can convey this message though with only your actions, you are on your way to having a will that’s more than powerful.

It’s even on the lethal side.

Scaled back version of this WOD –

1. Do only 4 sets.

2. Instead of 15 push-ups, do only 10 reps.

3. Walk with the dumbbells for 30 seconds.

4. Walk in place with the dumbbells for 30 seconds.

Acceptable alternatives –

1. If you have no room to do the walks, run on the treadmill or jump rope for a minute. Going for a 400m run is also acceptable.


17 thoughts on “Mental Toughness Strategy #2 for the Workouts – “Making a Strong Connection with Your Will (Part 5)”

  1. This blog really kicks ass. I am so pumped up to do this WOD. People watch out for today, or I will run your asses over! Never done farmer’s walk before, I’m looking forward to it.


  2. Looking forward to try the WOD. I need to work on my will as I know I quit way too easily. Don’t have dumbbells, but will do the farmer’s walk with a gig or sandbag.

  3. Okay, this series on getting a stronger relationship with your will just convinced me that I need mental toughness in my life. Shit, I’m tired on not getting what I want, but what I deserve! I know i’m lack a powerful will, so today I’m going to begin. Leaving for the gym now. Not sure about how to dead lift, but I’m going to replace them with one legged deadlifts instead. Hope that’s okay!


  4. Just did the WOD. I’m just so happy I didn’t drop the weight! Man, was it freakin hard!

    Able to plow through it my will that basicly said FUCK YOU ALL AND GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!

    Didn’t say it, but I’m sure everybody could see it in my body language

    Mental toughness rule. Wish I would have discovered this training years ago.

  5. Training while I”m mad has always produce some of my best workouts. even when I’m playing basketball or some other sport, playing with a little of meaness has always given me my game. we live in such fuckn PC world that looks down at this, but if you have the competitive spirit, you need to have fire in you if not your opponent will eat you up alive.

    Jackson, high props to you for writing about this topic.

  6. Although, I appreciate what Jackson is saying about having a powerful will and I think there is a need to be defiant, I wonder if working out in this frame of mind can be unhealthy. It seems that lifting weights or playing a sport with this much anger can be quite stressful and toxic to the mind.

    I understand that in some incidences, this may be useful, but overall I think it can be overly negative and encourage hatred towards others. At what price to we pay for not listening to our bodies when we should stop???

    Just my thoughts….

  7. If any of you don’t get the need for a will this dark and wicked, you don’t have to do CrossFit. CrossFit and for that matter this training, is not for faint of heart. Nor is it suppose to be nice. Having a mean streak while competing is not only encourage but is a must. If not, you will always lose.

    This is a mental toughness site and not some hippie free love protest. Enough with the PC shit. Sick of it.

  8. I’m into MMA fighting. If you don’t bring some meanness and anger to the fight, you will get you ass knocked out. this stuff isn’t for everybody, but I understand it. The stuff that i’m been learning from this site is helping me with mental edge.

    been looking for it and I found it with this site.


  9. It’s definitely a balance. I also fight so I totally get it. You want to be mean and self assured but you don’t want out of control anger or cockiness. When I reach a point either lifting or fighting where I feel “ugh I should just stop here” I try to think about all the people who might say “yeah, I knew you didn’t have it in you” and that stokes the fire. Go get ’em!

  10. I been CFitting for about 2 years now and I have to agree with this piece. In order to withstand the pain, you got to train with some degree of anger. If not, I don’t see how you can get through the WODs. The key is to make sure you leave it all in the gym when you are done. You never want to leave the WOD feeling so pumped up that you are looking for a fight. I know I had my will this pumped up and I had to calm myself down.


  11. Want to know why I love this site? Because of this – “You better get the fuck out of my way or I will run your over.”

    This is what I’m talking about and strive to do with CrossFit training.

    Thank, Jack!

  12. I found this post, very funny and entertaining.

    I like the extreme of a bad ass will described in it. My goal is take my will to this level too.

    Great job with these insights on mental toughness!

    Now off to do the WOD. Looking forward to anybody getting in my way today. If they do, they will feel my will, that’s for sure!

  13. Very inspiring piece of writing. When I do CrossFit WODs, I sometimes, ease up on myself before the WOD is far from over. I guess this is a sign that I still have a soft WOD. This is very similar when I used to pitch for my softball team. Sometimes, when my team has a big lead, I let up and feel sorry for the opposing team. I won’t throw as hard or would try a pitch so the batter could hit it.

    Luckily for me, this never bite me back, but I know I need to work on harden up my will.

    Really enjoying this thread and site.


  14. Having a lethal will is a must if you do any sort of contact sport or high intensity training. If you don’t have a will that is unforgiving, your opponent will knock you silly.

    For me, I always had the skills with my fighting, but what was missing was my will to finish my opponent off. I had to learn the hard way by getting my ass kicked that if I don’t finish off my opponent, I will be the one that’s on the ground.

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