Breaking The Mental Barrier

Image courtesy of LAX CrossFit

Original article re-posted from CrossFit Firepower

I thought this was a good time to post this, in encouragement of those competing in the CrossFit Open!  This is a great little article on mental toughness written by the 2nd place finisher of the 2011 crossFit games.

Breaking the Mental Barrier
Written by Josh Bridges 

The mind is a powerful thing, it can help you get through tough times, or it can cause you to crumble like Greg Norman in the ‘96 Masters. The strong learn how to handle and control their mind when it starts to rant, rave and tell them to stop what they’re doing. The weak let it take over and OWN them. 

Is it possible to develop strategies to break your mental barrier?  Absolutely. I prevent this little boss in my head from taking over in a couple of ways. 

One more rep.
When that voice inside your head is screaming at you to “put down the barbell” or “get off the bar,” you fight back with one more rep. Completing just one more rep when everything inside of you is telling you to stop is a sure way to grow your mental muscles, and the next time you might do two more reps. Over time, this builds and you begin to control that voice. 

Small Goals.
When I am in the middle of a workout, I always have small goals in my head. Small goals add up to big goals. For example, if my workout calls for 30 heavy thrusters, my first goal might just be to get to 5 thrusters.  When I get to 5 and still feel good, I start thinking, “good, I’ll do 5 more without rest,” and when I get to 10 and start to feel fatigued I might just talk myself into “two more.” But at 12, I might use the “one more rep,” and then do it again.  After a few “one more rep” goals, I am at 16 or 20 . . . and all of a sudden I might be close enough to 30 to either take a quick break and knock out the rest in one set, or even finish it off by chipping away one more rep at a time. 

Break through that wall.
My old wrestling coach used to yell at us when he saw us start to break mentally, “Break through that wall, it’s the only way to get strong.” He would say it over and over again. We would barely be able to stand up on the mat, but we never wanted to lose the mental battle, so we would fight and fight until we physically could not stand any longer. That became so deeply ingrained that now when things get rough I can still hear his voice yelling “Break through that wall.”
Your body can handle more than your mind thinks it can. Don’t let that little boss in your head beat you; go out there and show it that you are the boss!

Don’t forget to register in the office for the Mental Training seminar with Christie on Tuesday, April 17th, starting at 7:45 p.m.!

Today’s Workout

Buy In – Make sure to be warm BEFORE class begins!  Coaches, if the class is not warm, give them a quick dynamic warmup after the instruction for the workout

WOD – “Team Trevor”
In teams of four, only two team members are allowed to work at a time in order to complete:

  • 300 Pull-ups then,
  • 400 Push-ups then,
  • 500 Sit-ups then,
  • 600 Squats

Zone 2 – scale to assisted pullups and pushups
Zone 1 – scale reps to 150, 200, 250, 300

Cash Out – Group Stretch


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