My Mental Toughness Thought Process (Part 2)

images 28This is part 2 of my actual thoughts during a WOD. From the emails I got all week, it seems that you all are getting something out of this blog-experiment. If that’s the case, I’ll document more of my thought patterns in upcoming WODs. 

The outdoor WOD at the track:

5 sets

One minute of jump rope

50-yard sprint (approximately)

After finishing the first set, I wanted to quit. All I did was bitch and complain to myself about how rough the first set was. In other words, I was acting like a crybaby. Once I caught myself getting in this negative frame of mind, I know from past experiences that I must counter attack immediately. If not, the negative self-talk will over take me and I’ll lose my intensity or worse yet, quit the WOD.

One technique that I like to use a lot is to add a positive twist to the end of the negative statements. This is very easy procedure to do and you all can apply it to your negative patterns as well. So instead of letting the whinnying get the best of me, I implemented this technique during my rest of the WOD after the first set.

My thoughts: This sucks, but I know I will gain mental toughness from this WOD. I hate how I am feeling right now, but once I get through the next set, I know will become stronger because of it….this WOD is awful, but there is magic in the misery….I need the WOD to be this bad so I can grow from it….

As you can see, I manipulated the negative statements into positive ones simply by changing the ends of my sentences. I use this method all time – in my workouts and in life.

When I began the second set, my legs felt so heavy from just a few seconds of jumping rope. I just wanted to quit and go home and have a beer. Seriously, the heat was getting to me and I had no shade to cool down during the rest period. However, instead of giving in to the suffering, I knew I had convinced myself over and over that the uneasiness was a good thing. Again, I had to eliminate all the negative self-talk and replace it with positive cues. If I don’t give myself some hope, I’ll lose the high intensity and urgency of the WOD.

My thoughts: Suffering right now is exactly where I need to be. This is how I will get in incredible shape and mentally tough…just hang on….I just got to hang on for 30 seconds…30 seconds more and it will be all worth it…just hang on….it will all be worth it…most people can’t take this punishment…that’s why I’m the only training my ass of in the heat…just hang on…

After I finished this set, I begin to feel rejuvenated. I could visualize myself finishing the WOD and this motivated me not just to keep on going, but to bring even more intensity to the session. Instead of resting for one minute, I picked up the jump rope with 10 seconds left on my rest period. Shaving off ten seconds off my rest may not seem like a lot, but when your breath is shallow and your body isn’t full recovered, it’s a huge difference. But, I was really pumped up and somewhat pissed off. I couldn’t wait any longer as I began the next set without the full rest that I allocated myself.

During some WODS, I get really anger at myself for almost quitting a WOD. The truth of the matter is that I didn’t even come close to waving the white flat, but I like training with a pissed off attitude. It gives me more strength and energy.

I knew going into the third set was going to be horrible, but my frame of mind was more positive. I only had two more sets to go and I could clearly see myself finishing the WOD, but more importantly, I was starting to feel a surge of power. There is always this turning point whenever I am struggling with a WOD. You will have this “reversal” in attitude in your WODs as well. Look for them. They are very pivotal to your training as they show how you can get over the negative mindset that almost defeated you.

My thoughts: I can get through this….I know I can…I’m going to plow through the last two sets….I’m tired, but I’m a tough mother fucker that can handle anything….this is who I am…I’m a tough mother fucker that can handle anything….this WOD ain’t shit for somebody like me….

 “I’m a tough mother fucker that can handle anything” became my sole mantra the rest of the WOD. Usually, I come up with a couple of mantras that I will use before I begin a WOD. However, there are times where I create a strong mantra during a training session. This was one of them. Just repeating this mantra during the last two sets gave me a reserve of power that countered the extreme fatigue I was feeling. That’s how powerful mantras are – they can help you overcome and reverse any physical tiredness to unstoppable fuel when you need it the most. My legs were quivering, but the mantra was replaying over and over my head that I couldn’t focus on anything else. The words of “I’m a tough mother fucker that can handle anything” was blasting so loud in my mind it made me insensitive to the suffering my body was feeling at the time.

When I was done, I was elated that this brutal WOD was over.

My thoughts as I was lying on the track, staring at the sky: Damn, did that suck! But, I’m so glad I did it. Today was another success of my journey towards mental toughness. What a fucken accomplishment today.

 The next day when I went on my morning walk with my dog, I reflected on yesterday’s WOD. This is my morning routine that I do everyday. After that, I replay what worked and what I need to improve on in my mind, I go home and write down my thoughts in my journal. The mental replay and solidification of me writing my accomplishment is a strong double-reflection technique. It just puts me in good mood, but more importantly sets up my mind-set for the rest of the day. I am now ready to deal with the obstacles and reprehensible assholes that I must face in the real world.

Remember the whole point of this training is not to get you a lower body composition or to be a bass ass only in the gym. It’s to make you feel relentless and a ball of fire wherever you are. I always use the positive momentum I get from defeating a WOD the previous day and transferring this invincible attitude to the next day. In time and practice, you will achieve this skill too.

So there you have it. As you can see, my approach towards a workout isn’t just me going in the gym mindlessness and forgetting about it afterwards. I put a lot of thought in it before the training, during it and after it.

Mental toughness training is extremely cerebral. It is all about engaging your mind 100% into the task at hand. By doing so and letting your mind lead you to overcome almost-unbearable physical challenges, you’ll discover how powerful your thought patterns can be.

Today’s WOD:

5 sets

One minute of jump rope

50-yard sprint (approximately)

Yep, you all are going to repeat and experience the same dreadful WOD for yourself. If you are not efficient with jumping rope, do 25 burpees instead. So, I hope you all have a jump rope because doing 25 burpees is much worse.

Before going into the WOD come prepared with a couple of strong and motivating mantras that you use. Pull them out when you need them the most. If your mind creates a mantra on the spot like how I did with this WOD, go for it. The most important thing is that manta must infuse some immediate adrenaline into you. If doesn’t discard it.

Just be prepared for this WOD. It looks simple, but it is really deadly. The good news is that it is very quick one and shouldn’t take your more than 20 minutes to finished the WOD, so don’t hold back. Go all out at every set.

Now go train your ass of.