Another tough guy group that I am fascinated with is the navy SEALs. What impresses me the most is how the SEAL candidates can get through what many in the arm forces considers the most physical brutal and ruthless psychological training mankind has ever seen. I am became obsessed with their training as I found myself spending hours in the section of “Barnes and Noble” that I never ventured to before – the military section and cut down my hours on ESPN as I suddenly found interest in the Military Channel. I was more than fascinated as I wanted to know how I can apply their highest level of pain tolerance and fatigue control to myself. I read and study as much as I could their mental toughness abilities, especially when it came to the infamous hell week where the candidates are put through imaginable suffering. Some of the most demanding drills is binding your hands and feet and dropping you into freezing water and a 72 hour sleep deprivation test. It’s the closest thing to legalize torture.
Candidates for navy SEALs come in all shapes and sizes, but a majority of them are above average with their strength and physical skills to get through the intensive screening process. However, an average of 75 percent quit during the first week of their training. It wasn’t that they weren’t strong enough or that they lacked physical skills, they dropped out because they weren’t mentally tough enough to tolerate the never-ending punishment from their drill sergeants whose main job is to induce pain to break their spirits. The candidates that survive the intensive training did so because of one monumental reason. They all had an iron will. They wanted it more than anything else and refused to give in to a mental breakdown. One of the biggest misconceptions of the SEAL is that they are just a bunch of bicep bulging warriors. They are that, but being a SEAL is more about mental strength than muscles. The United States Naval Academy can assess a candidate’s weight, height, amount of physical work that can do, but can’t measure the biggest intangible factor that will determine if one can get through the backbreaking training – one’s will. The months of hazing is just process is to find those rare men who have the inner capability to endure the highest levels of pain and pressure and still go kick some ass. This mindset of never quitting is what the navy academy is looking for with their warriors and only becomes obvious at the end of hell week to those candidates that are still hanging around asking for more punishment. If there was a faster and easier way to screen out candidates for their mental toughness I’m sure the naval academy would buy into it. But, for now, this system of inflicting shit loads of suffering is the surest way to weed out those who can’t hack it and those that have the grit to persevere under the worse conditions known to man.
This is the mental toughness mindset of the SEAL soldier that I found so admirable. Unfortunately, the average person in this society does not possess these admirable character traits. Most people are the opposite – they have weak wills and give up way too easily.
Now whenever I train clients or coach an athlete, I tell them my first priority is to get them mentally stronger. I have train clients to get through law enforcement boot camps and military physical fitness test using the same mental toughness techniques that will be featured in this site. If you aspire to become a SEAL, pre-mental toughness training will give you an advantage and will help improve your chances of making through the upcoming hazing that is systematically design to break you down physically and then psychologically. You got to have the mindset of knowing you have the ability to handle the unimaginable loads of stress that will be thrown at you or you will be another SEAL candidate drop out.
However, I doubt that many of you are getting ready for combat or planning to qualify for BUD/S training. Most of you are probably just tired of feeling humiliated from living a life of being weak and looking for a solution. That’s who I was and I”m sure a lot of you are in the same sorry state that I used to be in. Nor do I now claim to be on the same toughness level as these hard to kill SEAL bastards. I need my beauty rest and I’m a shitty swimmer, so being submerged in freezing water after being sleep deprived isn’t something that I can excel in.
I”m just your average Joe who was able to find the courage to not only severe my past, but everyday pound away at my former weak self. Noticed I highlighted everyday because it long and never ending path to toughness. If you think this site is about easy solutions, I have indirectly misinformed you. Toughness development is all about hard work and dedication. I was able to transfer my feeble mind because I understood the one main concept behind SEAL toughness development and was able to apply it to my CrossFit training. With this singular knowledge, I was able to make huge gains with my defiance to ever given up myself during the WODs, career choices, health, and life long dreams.
Once you understand this one powerful principal, you can do the same too.
(End of Part 1)