(This is the fifth installment in this continuing investigation on how to use mantras in your training. I use mantras a lot because they are easy to implement, effective and extremely powerful. I have no doubt that once you start using mantras in your mental toughness training, you will take your training to all new level.)
So come up with different types of mantras that can provoke different types of feelings. I have about two dozen good ones myself. Write them in journal and pick a couple you will be using before you go into the WOD.Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many during your preparation stage. One or two will be fine. From my experience, the “right” mantra will suddenly pop up when you need it the most.
The underlying objective of mantras is to manically drive you to no end with an illogical determination. I say illogical because reasonable logic should suggest you to stop when you could barely breathe when you are experiencing extreme fatigue and your muscles are burning. If you are an athlete and your team is down by a huge score with only a few minutes to play, the realistic thing to do is to quit competing. If you are struggling for years to reach your dream, the plausible thing to do is to give up. This is how the masses justify their inability to go on when the challenge becomes too great for them. This conventional formula is called quitting.
However, when you are tough minded CrossFitter, your common-sense isn’t your strongest point. I know for me it isn’t. If so, I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I have done that people have told me I couldn’t do. Being mentally strong is about being disobedient to conventional wisdom and having the belief system that logical thinking can be a huge limitation in your life. So screw practicality. When it comes to accomplishing our goals, we must act as if we are temporarily insane to accomplish what most people can’t. We have the strong tendency to defy reason with guts in spades and a relentless yearning that does not see quitting as a rational option.
If you are an athlete, you must always battle and believe that you can come back, no matter what the score is. This is how the great ones compete and come back to win from behind. In life, you must have the courage to keep on striving and working toward your lifelong dream for you and your family, even when things look bleak and impossible. What you are feeling is no different for those who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to finally succeed. When you are near defeat, you must be irrational to your logical desires to surrender. Instead, you must proceed with both fists swinging. With great intent, you will eventually land a blow to your foe and bludgeon the adversity. The one mantra that you all must use is – I will never stop fighting. This is the character for those who have experienced great success have live by; it is the passion that you must have on a daily basis.
Remember your mantras are drawn from your personal experiences. You do not need to share them with anybody. Before I even got into teaching mental toughness training, I was already good at pushing people’s buttons. With all my years of studying psychology, I would naturally get into the head of my training partners and knew what mantras could fire them up. However, it backfired with this one partner who was training for a prestigious amateur bodybuilding contest. He was heavily favored to win, but lacked motivation during our workouts. I knew him and his insecurities very well, so I knew what to say to fuel his fire. Whenever I delved deep into his psyche with powerful mantras, he would work out like a maniac. However, one time before we worked out, he asked me not to use anymore of his personal life to induce him to work hard. He told me what I was saying “Hurt too much.” I respected his wishes and kept my big mouth shut. Unfortunately, his workouts suffered as he couldn’t repeat the insane intensity as before. He lost the bodybuilding contest. I’m not saying if I would have kept on pushing him he would have won the contest. The point is the intimate mantras that I was screaming at him in the gym exposed him and made him feel vulnerable to everybody around him. Your mantras should be personal and private. I have some mantras that I would never share with anybody. That’s how sacred they should be. Protect and safeguard your mantras. A powerful mantra will help you battle, no matter exhausted or broken down you are.
When you need them, mantras can lead you to do extraordinary things.
Today’s CrossFit WOD –
AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 20 minutes of:
Push press – 10 reps
Kettlebell swings – 10 reps
200 meter run (approximately)
Today’s test is to show you how mantras will teach to be illogical, yet powerful when being down and out. When doing repeated rounds of this heart jacking WOD, you will at some point want to dump out your guts. When this nauseating feeling begins to overtake you, the logical thing for you do is stop the WOD. It is just common sense for you to withdrawal from the training once your legs are so wobbly and burning that you can barely stand up straight. All this makes sense to those who are mentally weak and have low expectations for themselves. But, for us tough minded CrossFitting souls, we know what we must do when at our worse – we must continue to fight on. We our body is hurting and our lungs feel like they are going to explode, the logical thing for us to do is to go on.
This sort of rational may not make sense to the masses and is the reason why most people are overweight, passive and live a life full of excuses and way short of reaching their life long dreams. They don’t understand us insane CrossFitters because they haven’t experience for themselves the powers of what one can do once they defy logic and practicality. This is the beauty of mental toughness training. With each WOD, you learn how much logic has been holding you back. To the weak minded, it all makes perfect sense to stop when you are tired; to throw in the towel when things aren’t going your way; to take a knee when you can’t win; But, logic can hinder you when you are attempting to overcome adversity. Relying on common sense can definitely slow you down and make you vulnerable to an early surrender. At many points of this WOD, the suffering will be unbearable. When you don’t think that you can go on, you must shift your attention from the physical agony to your mental reserves. By focusing and repeating a life energy mantra, you can learn to move forward no matter how illogical or crazy it may seem. If the mantra is powerful, it will deliver level of hidden strength to not only help you get through the WOD, but to freight train through it.
In order to get to this level of invincibility, you must by into and live the mental toughness creed – when it hurts, the only logical thing to do is to go on.
Crush logic. Fuck reason. Rely on your mantras.
Always choose determination over common sense. This will take you to the next level and above and beyond your expectations of yourself. When you do this often, your expectation will begin to rise the point of you doing things that you never imagine that you could.
This will be the new norm for you.
Let it begin today.
Now go train.
Scale back version of this WOD:
1. Cut the AMRAP to only ten minutes.
2. Omit the swings.
1. You can use dumbbells or a barbell for the push presses. Also, if you don’t have a kettlebell, you can use a dumbbell for the swings.
2. Run in place, knee ups, and jumping jacks for 30 seconds can be used instead of the 200m run. Also, you can use do 12 burpees as a sub for the runs.