So besides making the 225 back squat for 8 reps, I did another significant thing that week to show how I have changed since dedicating my life to finding inner strength. It was two days later when I had to back squat again, but at a slightly lower weight but at a higher volume. The program called for me to do 5 sets of 5 reps at 220 pounds. The thought of doing 25 reps total at this weight was a bit overwhelming. I had no desires to do it and my knees were still sore from the last squatting session.
Luckily for me, I was able to train by myself as my coaches Brett and MJ trained earlier in the day. I had the perfect excuse to dumb down my WOD. After all, I was legitimately still in pain and didn’t want to over train. Two smart reasons on why I should cut back on today’s back squats to doing only three sets and perhaps maybe…even dropping my reps down to 3 or even two per set or even sets only one rep. Again, I was able to justified my reasoning due to how bad my 52 year old body was feeling that day and because my coaches weren’t there.
After I did the first set, I knew I was doing the right thing. The five reps made my knees crack as I barely was able to finish the first set. I had the perfect and most reasonable exit plan out of today’s training. As I sat there resting and trying to find more ways to puss out of the WOD, I began to watch the others in the gym workout. Just about all of them were doing the typical conventional stuff like benching, isolation work and curls. Stuff that I used to do in my weaker days. Nobody in the place was doing any heavy squatting.
Watching the others was a reminder of how I used to be and how I can be again if I continue to make lame excuses on backing down from challenges. My knees were in pain, but they weren’t that sore. The “pain” was all in my head as usual. I was being fickle and trying to convince myself that there was something physically wrong with me when there wasn’t.
As much as tried to lie to myself, I knew deep down inside that I was just trying to weasel myself out of a brutal training session. What’s worse, I was planning to chicken out of my workout because my coaches wasn’t there. Doing this would be clear a sign of having poor integrity and a weak character. Two horrible traits of the mentally feeble and the common man. Instead of getting tougher from this physical challenge, skipping out of it would be a huge digression for me in the wrong direction. It only takes a couple of passive moments like this for me and all my mental toughness training will go down the drain.
Screw that. There was no way, I was going back to mental-weakness-guy.
I pounded out the remaining three sets with the original goal of 5 reps.
After I finished the WOD, I felt a gigantic sense of accomplishment. The squat session was tough, but getting over all the fake excuses and temptations to be lazy was where the true victory was. However, as the days past and as I write this blog, my feelings of success has waned a bit.
I know realize what the true lesson was for that day.
It wasn’t the inner strength I found to do the 25 squats, but the reality of me still being very vulnerable to making weak choices. I was pretty damn close to walking away from this WOD.Really close. Its a harsh reality to face and admit, but I am no where being redeemed of my weak ways. Like an alcoholic who is an addict for the rest of his life, being mentally weak will be a disease that will be forever part of me. There is no quick fix remedy or a complete cut off from being a complete and useless coward. It is a life long chasing goal that I must never let up on.
I must be alert to my former bad habits and on the aggressive lookout for any signs of a mental regression. And I’m okay with this realization of labeling myself as a weak man because I know what I am now becoming and evolving into. By knowing that I am a still weak, I am stronger because of it. It gives me a sense of power on how I must live my life. With this never ending training, I feel like I have an edge over everybody else.
I am on a constant lookout and when I see signs of me returning to passive actions or an enemy that attempts to stop me from attaining my goals, I will crush the fuck out of them.
Just like how I did with those damn 25 squats.
This is how I have changed since doing this training.
And you will too, once you commit to strengthen up your mind.
Work on improving your back squat.
Here are is a great video on how to improve your squatting technique. Chad Smith is one of the best squatters in the world and I always listen to his advice. I’ve watch this video several times and I always gain great insight from him.
Once you work on improving your front squat and back squat, find you PR in both movements. Once you do, here is one of heavy squatting program that I started with. I have put dozens of clients on this method and they all have made great gains with their squats.
Remember if you want to get mentally tough, you got to be on progressive squatting program.
It is an absolute must.
Nothing will challenge you more mentally than a day of facing some daunting squats.
Now go hang out in the squat rack.