Mental Toughness Strategy #3 for the Workouts – Optimizing Positive Self-Talk (Part 3)

images (42)(In part 2 of this series on using positive self-talk during your training, I talked about specific tips that you can use during the WOD to overcome negative thoughts. Changing negative verb patterns, adding a positive connotation at the end of a sentence, and understanding that sometimes there is magic in the misery are just some of the simple techniques that you can use to reform a negative mind-set during a WOD. The more positive your outlook, the more likely you will get through the punishment from the WODs.)

The positive mechanisms that I discussed in the part 2 can all be helpful as you try to drown out the complainer within yourself. However, I just want to be sure that nobody gets confused about my take on having a positive outlook. I don’t want to sound corny, spouting superficial positive affirmations with what I’m suggesting to you. I would be disgusted with myself if I sounded like a new age guru and said all you have to do to turn your life around is to think positively. This is as bad as wishful thinking. I actually read once that this so called positive thinking expert claims that the more you smile, the more positive you will be, leading to a stronger mind. Lame!

The problem with all this mumbo-jumbo about being positive is that I know a lot of people that practice the power of positive thinking, but with nothing to show for it. They continue to be miserable because they don’t do shit about changing their life except thinking happy thoughts. People, if you don’t work for it and bear your soul, you will never achieve toughness status or anything worthwhile in your life.

It still must come down to your actions, regardless to how positive you are. Being positive without positive results is useless. You are only faking positivity on the outside, but deep down inside you are just as insecure as ever. When faced with a great obstacle, you will be just as susceptible as ever to falling apart as you have no faith yourself.

Positivity is only worth a damn when your sense of belief within yourself is so strong that you can confidently follow your thoughts. This is the sort of positive mind-set that you are striving for with this training and not some new age feel good positivity that you see in most self-improvement books. In order to reach this level of genuinely positive faith in yourself, you must earn it. You cannot achieve it with wishful thinking and certainly not by smiling your whole day.

This positive faith in yourself happens slowly. It may be difficult at first, but little by little, after toppling each WOD, you will slowly start to believe in yourself. This sense of trust in your thoughts is based on consistent past accomplishments that this training will give you the opportunity to do. With this accumulation of achievements, you not only will become positive in the face of adversity, but even more importantly, you actually will believe in your ability.

The fallacy is that most people are not getting what they want in life because they are not being positive enough. What a bunch of horseshit. I would say most people have millions of positive thoughts going on with themselves throughout the day. The problem for the average person is that they don’t have the confidence to follow through on these positive thoughts. If you don’t strongly believe in what you can do with your thoughts, they are pretty worthless in evoking behavior out of you. If you can’t do what you wish to do, your positivity pretty much goes out the window.

It is not enough to be just positive; you must also believe beyond any doubt that you can achieve what you are thinking. When your sense of belief is this strong and unwavering to outside factors, you will feel unstoppable. You are dead set on doing what you are thinking and nothing will get in your fucken way.

This is the positive outlook that you are after. And not the pseudo positive thinking crap that most wannabe gurus advocate.

Genuine positivity is never given. My people are waiting for a handout that’s never going to happen. It must be earned and fought for. There is systematically no better way to attaining this undeniable mind-set than getting through the WODs day in and day out.

(To be continued)

Today’s Litvinov WOD –

6 sets

Deadlifts – 6 reps

24 inch box jumps – 8 reps

Spiderman crawls – 20 yards (approximately). Here a good demo of what a Spiderman crawl should look like –

After one round of doing this Litvinov WOD and your confidence level will be crushed. You may still be somewhat positive about finishing this WOD, but deep down inside you will have some major doubt of actually being able to complete it. The thought of 5 more rounds of this agony will cause you great mental anguish.

Spiderman crawls are tough by themselves. However, when combining them with deadlifts and box jumps will only intensify an already difficult anaerobic movement. After each Spiderman sprint, I usually lie on the ground unable to move while clutching my heart. This is no exaggeration. Spiderman crawls mixed with deadlifts and box jumps are just this punishing. Seriously, five more rounds of this pain? No, thanks.

After each round, your confidence will dwindled even more as your shortness of breath will reach a point that you will feel very uncomfortable as thoughts of needing medical assistance don’t seem like a bad idea. As terrible as you will feel, you should have no doubt that you will finish this WOD. True, the thoughts of quitting will be greater as you go on, but understand that these mind games are part of your daily test when it comes to this training. You need this rush of negativity in order for you to become mentally tougher. Without the usual mind fuck to give up is a sign that you aren’t working hard enough.

Look at the onslaught of negativity as measure that you are working your ass off. As bad as you are feeling, you are working too hard to give up at this moment. If you quit now, everything will be a waste.

So when you get to the pivotal point of the WOD where you are about to quit, remind yourself that you have the uncanny ability to always act on your thoughts. This is what separates you from those who don’t have this training. The average person have a difficult time achieving what they are thinking. This is why ordinary people fail so much in life.

You, on the other hand, can always translate your thoughts into action. When the suffering gets too great from this WOD, you must think aggressive thoughts to move you forward. When you do, don’t hold back your actions any more with this WOD. Finish this fucker in the most emphatic and explosive manner as possible.

When you are done with this WOD, it will do wonders not for your positive outlook, but for your sense of belief in yourself. Being positive in the face of adversity is crucial, but believing in what you can do with your thoughts is a thousand time more important.

Defeat this WOD and you will make huge strides in your mental toughness development.

Scaled back version for this Litvinov WOD –

1. Do only 3 sets.

2. Omit the box jumps or Spiderman crawls.

3. Use a shorter box for the box jumps.  A bench is good substitute.

4. You can do jumping jacks or run in place for 30 seconds instead of the crawls. Also, you can do jump rope or run on a treadmill if you don’t have room to do the crawls.

Acceptable alternatives –

1. You can do bodyweight jump squats instead of box jumps.


7 thoughts on “Mental Toughness Strategy #3 for the Workouts – Optimizing Positive Self-Talk (Part 3)”

  1. Lots have been written on negative self-talk, but your take is very unique. Enjoying this series very much and your site. However, like your other followers, I too hate burpees.

    No more burpees please. Just by saying that, I’m sure you will post more WODs with them.

    Me and my big mouth.

  2. Nothing gets on my nerves more than overly positive people. Thanks Jackson for shedding some insightful sight on how overrated a positive attitude can be.


  3. Did the wod last night. One of the roughest and sickest wod I”ve done ever. Didn’t have boxes at my gym, so just did the box jumps on the benches. By the time I had to do the crawls, I was already smoked. After the crawls, I thought I was near dead.

    Warning to you all. Beware!

    Good luck!

  4. this is my goal to get to point that I believe and have such strong conviction with everything I do. Working on that now.

    the good news is that I have seen my confidence grow exponentially since beginning this program. Have a long way to go, but I will myself getting there.

  5. I’m so tired of hearing how one has to be positive in life..positive with their workouts…blah blah blah. Whats so good about being positive if you don’t get anything done? I know so many people that claim to be positive people, but are big time losers.

    Thanks for exposing this positive myth.

  6. Working on my positive outlook is a struggle for me. However, I could sense myself changing since doing this program. It a gradual, step by step process, by I see myself opening up to solutions more than my usual doom and gloom outlook.

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