Today’s WOD was a kettlebell ladder…a steep, upward ladder.
Rounds 1-10 kb snatch (24/16)
Rounds 11-20 kb swings
Rounds 21….and up kb cleans
On minute one do one snatch. Minute 2, do two and so on. When you finish doing 10 KB Snatches in the 10th minute, you go on to do 11 KB Swings, then 12 in the 12th minute til you complete 20 in the 20th minute and then move on to 21 KB Cleans in the 21st minute and continue though until minute 30 with 30 KB Cleans.
When u can’t do the required work per minute your workout is done!!! No one made it to the 30 Cleans in 30 Minutes mark, but every single athlete made a valliant effort to do so! I was so impressed. Especially when I attempted it myself at 5:30!!!
It was challenging and so was Thursday’s workout, which brings me to the subject of today’s blog. Clearly, it takes physical strength and prowess to get through the most challenging of Crossfit workouts , but what about the mental strength? We all have a quitting point, a place where we just give up, stop trying, decide we need water, stop pushing, tell ourselves that we can’t, stop to lean against the wall and catch our breath… you know what your individual exit strategy is… So what does it take to push past that point? It takes mental strength and an aptitude to speak kindly to yourself!!! It’s crazy how effective that can be… so let’s talk about it.Greg Amundson is one of the original fire breathers in Crossfit. He has a whole series on the mental aspect of Crossfit and I intend to impart some of his well researched and articulated wisdom on you guys in an effort to help you raise your game!
The following excerpts are from his article, Coaching the mental side of Crossfit, in The Crossfit Journal, July 2010.
“Several years ago, CrossFit founder Coach Greg Glassman pulled me aside at a Level 1 Certification and said, “Greg, the greatest adaptation to CrossFit takes place between the ears.”
Through observation, practice and research, I discovered something remarkable: the world’s best CrossFit athletes had learned to control and optimize their self-talk. This potent mental skill resulted in their ability to formulate and achieve their goals—both inside the gym and out—with consistency and grace. The natural extensions of their positive self-talk were an optimistic energy, a mental toughness and an indomitable spirit evident in their physical accomplishments in the CrossFit workouts. I concluded that Coach Glassman was indeed correct: the mental adaptation to CrossFit was of critical importance to CrossFit athletes and coaches hoping to forge elite fitness. Now, nearly four years after the seed was first planted, I hope to share the key lessons learned as a result of the spark Coach Glassman set inside me….
…Teaching the significance of positive self-talk and realistic goal setting is just as important as instilling a sense of virtuosity in the foundational movements of CrossFit. Although taught, practiced and learned inside the gym, these lessons have the potential to move outside the affiliate walls and continue doing what CrossFit does best: improving the quality of an athlete’s life….
All successful Crossfitters share a strong sense of optimism…The difficulty of the CrossFit workout naturally instills not only physical fitness but also mental fitness. Regardless of the time to completion or the amount of weight used, simply facing the daunting workout of the day (WOD) puts the other obstacles of life into proper perspective: they are all a lot easier. CrossFit coaches and athletes who understand that optimism and a positive mental attitude can yield tremendous results in the gym have one thing in common: success. The athletes are performing at the top of their game, and the coaches are surrounded by thriving clients…
An indomitable spirit will be forged by both the coach and athlete as they realize what the mind can believe the body can achieve.”
He goes on to talk about how the slightest change in how we or our coaches speak to us can make the difference in whether or not we believe that we can accomplish something. It can be as simple as a turn of phrase. A glass half empty versus a glass half full. The difference between saying to ourselves something like “Oh my gosh, I’m only half way done” and “Oh my goodness, I only have half the WOD left to do” can make or break us. I am a fan of being half way done because at that point I know that I can do the rest of the workout as all I have to do is repeat what I just did. It is a little trick I use to get me through and it works. I often find that at that point, I get into my groove, get my second wind and fly through the second half. I have proven that I could do one half the work and all I have to do is do that again. Something in knowing what is expected of me, knowing what it feels like and knowing that it is finite allows me to access my true strength, power and speed.
How do you talk to yourself before, during and after a Crossfit workout? Is it kind? Could it be kinder? Is it positive and optimistic or is it self defeating? Think about it and share…