The dreaded car push.
If I had to pick one equipment that defies mental toughness training it’s the Prowler. However, I doubt that many of you have a Prowler sled at your crappy commercial gym so I would say car pushes are the next worst thing. In fact, I would say pushing cars are twice as bad than sled work. Both are equally terrible, but pushing a 4 ton automobile is more physically taxing on the body and mind.
When you push a car for distance, you can feel the extreme burning in your legs and pounding in your chest. Your lungs just feel like their going to explode. It’s pure agony, making it one of the ultimate WODs for mental toughness development.
If you have never done a car pushing workout before, get ready for an overall bad experience. The good news is that the WOD won’t take very long and the volume is rather low. A challenging mental toughness session requires about 5 pushes at approximately 50 yards. That’s it. The entire WOD should take less than 12 minutes. So there’s no excuse on chickening out on this challenge.
I know some of you girls don’t think you have the leg strength to push a car, but that’s not true. I have yet to see any of my female clients fail to successful move an automobile. If fact, I have this girl that weighs less than 115 pounds and she has the leg power to move a SUV. it just takes a lot of momentum and mental desire.
The key is to look forward, extend both arms, keep your abs tight and move your freaking legs. Again, move your freaking legs. This will be your mantra with every car push as you want your legs to be in continuous motion, driving as much force as possible. Remember this is not a slow trot, so you don’t want to walk with the car. Instead, move your legs like a sprint. If you are doing it with excessive force, the movement should resemble “mountain climbers” from a plank position.
Have clear ending point for each sprint. If not, you will give up when your legs are beyond pain and you are having a difficult time breathing. The test is to keep on pushing the car when you are feeling at your worst. Working when are at this extreme level of discomfort is the whole purpose of this mental toughness drill.
So give it try. Take as much time in between pushes to fully recover and getting your breathing back to normal. But, the more you wait between car pushes, the more agonizing it will be on you mentally. This is when the mental games begin to happens and the excuses to quit begin to dominate your thinking. When this happens, it when the WOD really begins. Get ready for the onslaught of negativity and logic to end the WOD early.
For me, I like to crank them out just get get them over with.
Either way, get ready to take your mental toughness training to the next level.
5 sets of car pushes (approximately 50 yards or less)
Scale back version of this WOD:
1. 8 Spiderman crawls about 80 yards or less.