Workout of the Day:
Seven rounds for time of:
155/105 lb. Power Cleans x 3
24″ Box Jumps x 6
Pull-Ups x 9
Formula for Mental Toughness
Written by Michele Vieux
In my opinion, CrossFit requires strength, speed, stamina, and a great deal of mental toughness. What good is being as strong as an ox or as fast as Flo Jo if you can’t push through tough and challenging workouts and maintain a steady or increased pace? I argue that mental toughness can get you a lot farther in CrossFit than brute strength or lightning fast speed.
But what is mental toughness? CrossFit Invictus member, Courtland, put it perfectly in a recent blog post.
“[Mental toughness is] getting past difficult points by experience and realizing how much of what one thought was too hard, impossible, etc. has now been felt and lived through, nearly always for great benefit.”
In CrossFit, mental toughness is maybe even more important than your physical ability or God-given athletic talent. CrossFit requires mental toughness to be able to perform at YOUR peak level. As your performances improve, so too does your mental toughness—both in your workouts AND your everyday life!
Some say mental toughness is inherent and some say it is learned. I say it is probably a little of both which means you can still improve yours no matter what level you already possess.
Here are some tips to help you get beyond those difficult points so that you may experience what you never thought possible and increase your mental toughness:
- Psyche yourself up, not out. Think about what you need to do to complete the task at hand and NOT how hard or heavy it is going to be. Don’t let fear hinder or block your performance.
- Don’t hang onto prior mistakes or failed attempts—use them as learning devices and stepping stones to success for your next try.
- Set a goal like a pace time per round, completion of the WOD in under a certain amount of time, getting in a set number of reps completed before resting, giving yourself the best prep for your upcoming race, or even keeping a fellow Invictus member within your sights. Remind yourself of this when you want to stop.
- Start next round or exercise BEFORE assessing if you need a rest. Getting in at least a couple of reps of the next task not only gives your mind a confidence boost but also gives your body a chance to assess if you still need the break. Sometimes moving in a different way can relieve some of the stress on your tired body parts.
- The countdown—stick to it! If you do need to rest, no problem, but give yourself “the countdown” of a preset time limit in which you solemnly swear to restart your WOD.
When you realize that what you once thought was impossible is actually not, you will begin to see improved overall performance in your CrossFit workouts. And since mental toughness is a virtue that crosses many mediums, you should easily be able to relate your CrossFit experiences to your daily routine and enjoy improved performance in your quality of life with your newly acquired confidence and toughness.