This week, I hit new PR’s in my snatch and cleans. My old personal best in the snatch was 121 and I was able to make 130. For my cleans, my old best was 170 and yesterday, I got 176. However, I missed the jerk on all three attempts.
These are not big numbers to brag about. When compared to others my weight, I suck big time. I know a couple of girls at my weight who can lift more than I do. So I still have a lot of work to do.
The point I want to make here is that I refuse to quit. Making gains with my Olympic lifts and mental toughness go hand and hand. Although, I am making improvements, the gains are small. But, in terms of my mental growth, the achievements are huge.
One of the biggest reasons why I do Olympic lifting is because it forces me to find courage when I’m feeling fearful. I have a right to feel like a chicken too. When you’re attempting to put a heavy load over your head, a lot of things can possibly go wrong like dropping the weight on my head.
In the past when I was attempting new PR’s in my lifts, I felt my fear eating me up and tearing me apart with a rush of negativity. I heard the usual voices in my head that have always dominated me when facing a tough challenge like “You are not going to make the lift…..It’s going to fall on your head….there is no way you can lift this weight up.” Same bullshit, different time.
This negative recording would continue to play in head in my personal life as well. I just couldn’t control the avalanche of put-downs and doubt that I would tell myself when I am on a job interview, work meeting or when talking to new hot chick. Sometimes, I would survive and be successful with my tasks, but it was always a struggle. No question, my biggest enemy was myself.
This week’s training on hitting PR’s in my snatch and clean and even missing the PR’s in my jerk was very important to my mental toughness growth. I still heard the same negative messages as before, but I was better with my control in terms of drowning them out. I accept the fact that I will never shut my enemies up for good, but I am getting better at putting a lid in their fucken mouths and stomping on their throats.
I suggest you all can do the same.
Most people go to the gym and just focus on their body parts. Nothing wrong with that. Hey, we all want to look good. But, by ignoring the mental aspect when working out, you will remain mentally weak like the rest of the population.
Go the gym, track, or MMA ring with a bigger purpose. Instead of toning up your butt or working on the peak of your biceps, seek out the negativity that continues to control your life. In order to that, you must do an intimating CrossFit WOD or strength training with heavy loads that makes you somewhat nervous. The problem most of you are having is that there is no fear factor in your training. Without the threat of some mental pain and physical discomfort, you will continue to be your comfort zone and live a life of mediocrity. If you want to live your life being out of shape and a major pushover, that’s up to you. But, if you want to get mentally tougher, you got train in the fear zone.
You need a little trepidation order to grow, but more importantly, the fear will invite your demons to come back to taunt you. By summoning up the enemy is the only way you can slay them. If not, they will always creep up on you and stop you in your pursuit of happiness.
Let this training be your opportunity to win back your dignity from the people of your past that nearly ruined you with their hurtful comments. That’s right, the same assholes that you haven’t seen in decades still have a negative effect on you. The voices of doubt you hear in your head is still those bastards shaming you.
Make it your goal to finally face up to them and shut them up for good.
You may think you need a therapist to overcome the years of emotional abuse, but you don’t. All you need is some heavy weight or WODs at your local CrossFit box.
I’m saving you thousands of dollars and much wasted hours with your shrink that might even make you feel worse than better. Psychoanalysis suck; training doesn’t.
So find a workout that scares the living shit out of you. Attack it and expect to hear the voices of your past trying to tell you want you can’t do. And when you do, get ready to not only quiet them, but to confront them with the repressed strength that you been holding back all your life. By finding your hidden power, you will destroy your past critics.
You are way stronger than you believe you are.
Today, I want you to discover that for yourself.
Today’s WOD –
Turkish get-ups with a dumbbell – 5 reps each side
Push-ups – 15 reps
400 meter run
It’s been a while since I put Turkish get-ups in a WOD because I suck at them and I hate doing them. I’m sure many of you detest them as much as I do. Doing get-up by themselves is hard enough. So seeing them combined with push-ups and a 400 meter run will be very intimidating. For you brave souls out there, if you’re not intimidated by this WOD, you should be. It’s a rough one and has the potential to get you to quit on yourself.
If you Google Turkish get-ups with 400 meter runs, I doubt that you will find many WODs with this brutal combination. It just doesn’t make much sense to the masses to do this unforgiving combination, but in terms of mental toughness training, it makes more than sense. You need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and discover that limitations are in your head. For that matter, the intimidation that you feel is also in your head as well. When you get done with the first set, you probably don’t think you have in you to finish the WOD. That’s just fear getting to you and trying to control you. To get over you fear, you must confront it directly head-on with action. In other words, stop thinking that you can’t do anymore and show yourself how mentally strong you are by picking the weight and doing more get-ups.
The best opposition to intimidation is action. The more you do the behavior of the get-ups, push-ups and run is the best way to put your foot down on the fear that almost got ahold of you. I said almost because my getting through each set, you should pick up steam and confidence that not only will you finish the WOD, but complete it by being as explosive and aggressive as possible. By being forceful and decisive with your movements, you are destroying the fear and now becoming the intimidator. If you were doing this WOD at a CrossFit box or at your commercial gym or the park, those around you should be able to sense the confidence that you are projecting as you finish the WOD, more confident and assertive that when you first started off. This 180 degree turnaround is a testament to your refusal of letting the WOD intimidate you. The ramifications of this is that it should have a carry-over effect to your personal life the next time some asshole tries to bully you. By refusing to be intimated by the WOD, you won’t let anybody in the real world intimate you as well. This is the ultimate goal of your training – everything you do with the physical training must translate to how you live your life.
By standing up for yourself in this WOD and fighting back with relentless action, you will discover the intimidator in yourself. Feel the power and dominance. The next WOD you do or personal adversity that you face makes sure you tap into this same feeling.
When you do, run over the obstacle like how you did today.
Scale back version of this WOD –
1. Do only 3 Turkish get-ups per side.
2. Half Turkish get-ups are a great alternative. Here’s a tutorial on how to do them – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvcS5lrW8x8
3. Do only 4 sets total.
4. Omit the push-ups or the run. If you want, omit both and do only the Turkish get-ups.
5. Do only 8 push-ups.
Acceptable alternatives –
1 .You can use a kettlebell or dumbbell for the Turkish get-ups.
2. Run in place for a minute or do jumping jacks for one minute instead of the 400m run.
3. You can run on a treadmill or jump rope for a minute.