The Best Movement for Mental Toughness Training (Part 3)

image 1I got a flood of emails from readers who are veteran car and Prowler pushers. So repeating five sets of shoves wasn’t mentally and physically challenging enough to them. My apologies and I’m sorry I underestimated you readers. I was actually planning to up the ante on the automobile WODs down the road, so why wait. If some of you want a more difficult opponent, I’m more than happy to obliged and add to your welcoming suffering.

Nothing pleases a mental toughness drill sergeant more than a bunch of fatigued soldiers feeling like they are about to collapse, but still have the fortitude say, “Thanks you, sir. Can I have another?”

My kind of people. I’m glad to lead you all to the mental toughness promised land.

However, what I won’t do is to give you more work just for the sake of making the WOD tougher. If you can do 6 sets, doubling it to 10 sets or 15 sets doesn’t make the worker better or smarter. Increasing the duration just prolongs the misery, but you lose a huge aspect of a smart, yet formidable WOD – the intensity.

High intensity is the centerpiece of mental toughness training. Most people train long, but without much intensity. Endurance is a great athletic quality to have, but the problem with endurance training is that most people just go through the motions while shutting off their mind.

The whole purpose of this grueling work is for you to keep the mind alive and alert. Sure every once awhile, I’ll throw in a longer cardio-WOD just to keep you all honest, but the main training sessions will be highly uncomfortable, but for a relative short period. This way, you’ll keep your mind engaged while reaping the physical benefits of metabolic conditioning training.

So more sled or car pushes may not be the next step, but cranking up the intensity can elevate the mental anguish a bit higher which is always a good thing when you want to teach your mind to triumph over any adversity.

One of the best ways to do this it to combine a full-body, explosive movement or a bodyweight exercise to the car or sled pushes. Since this WOD requires you to be out doors, you can’t do a heavy compound movement like a deadlift and then push a car for 50 yards. My dream WOD that I haven’t done yet. I salivate whenever I think about doing it and one day, I’ll have to try at one of my friends’ home gyms.

In the meantime, there are plenty of other deadly supersetting  combinations you can choose from. This is why I recommend all of you to have a kettlebell in the trunk of your car. You can do heavy swings, snatches or presses and then rush over and shove your car around. If you don’t have a kettlebell, a pair of dumbbells or a single one will do the trick.

Other versatile tools that you all should have are medicine balls or tires. If you are broke, tires are great because you can pick them up for free at any tire store or on the side of the road. Doing explosive slams and underhand throws are great movements that involved hip extension and raises your heart rate. Doing 12 reps of throws follow by car pushes is an excellent choice of raising the level of intensity to this WOD. I have no doubt you’ll be flat on your back after each set. If you have a set of battling ropes, you can throw them in the mix too.

The third choice you can do is add a bodyweight movement before the car pushes. Pushups, pull-ups or even squats are all excellent choices to do if you want an extra challenge to this workout. My only suggestion is do them as fast and explosive as possible. You want your heart-rate to be jacked before you take on the heavy battle with the car shoving.

Whatever movement you pick, just remember the main drill of this lesson is the war that is going on in your head before do the WOD. The car pushing WODs are brutal, not only because they will make your legs wobbly like Jell-O, but because of the mind games that comes with this type of workout. In other words, your minds will begin to play tricks with you.

As soon as you commit to doing this WOD, your mind is immediately injected with doubt. The insecurity of failing and the upcoming question of “Do I really want to do this shit?” When you try to fight back with some positive statements, but when rush of the negativity keeps over ruling it, is when the read fight begins.

Welcome it as the mental toughness training has begun. The hours, minutes before you workout will be an up and down, teeter tooter between the questions of “should I do this or should I not?” This is when the mind will try to fool you to taking the easy way out and come up with logic reasons on why you should ditch this WOD. Don’t fall for it. You must be alert and counter back with as much of your determination as possible. If you let the negativity leverage you, it will win and you will pussy yourself out of the WOD. However, if you are aggressive with the positive comebacks, you can always defeat your most formidable foe – your weak self.

This is the challenge. This WOD is not about you vs. an 8 ton car, but you vs. yourself.

Mental anguish is many times worse than physical pain.

And this WOD will prove this statement.

However, when you can shut up your self-doubt with positive declarations followed by the actions of doing and finishing the WOD, you will make strong headways in your mental toughness growth.

Looking forward to hearing your success stories.

Todays’ WOD

6 sets

Do either one of the following and then push a car for about 50 yards.

a)    15 kettlebell swings

b)   8 medicine ball slams and 8 medicine underhand throws

c)    20 fast bodyweight squats

d)   30 seconds of battling rope

Scale back version of this WOD:
1. 8 Spiderman crawls about 80 yards or less.