21 Sept 2015 – You've got the Gunz, but what about the Gumption??

Every one knows that when you get to top level athletics, the difference between winning and losing is a matter of only fractions of a second, one single rep, .5 more kilos lifted. Would you like to know what the top athletes are doing to gain that extra kilo, that additional rep, and that fraction of a second? It's not the reps they're putting in at the gym. It's the work that's going on between their ears.

The difference between winning and losing is often decided by an athlete’s mental strength. This is not just their ability to push themselves harder on competition day, but also, how they learn from bad training days instead of letting them ruin the rest of their week, the way they take constructive criticism and feedback on board, and their ability to mentally and emotionally bounce back from failure. 

Think the importance of mental strength is limited to the top athletes? Think again! This is just as true for elite CrossFit Games Athletes as it is for you and me. However, our mental strength might not be evidenced in beating our opponent by a fraction of a second, but in the way we keep trying when the barbell defeats us at first; when we keep laughing even though we're getting frustrated by a progression, or when we drag our asses to the gym when work gets stressful or when our friends are at the pub.

Even better, developing our mental strength is useful outside of the box as well! Think about it... Your ability to take constructive criticism on your lift might just improve the way you react to constructive criticism at work. Adjusting to a rough training day might just transfer over to how well you adjust to a bad day at the office. Mentally tackling a brutal WOD might just help you cope with a tough situation in your personal life.  

I have recently listened to this great podcast on Barbell Shrugged about mental strength and things you can do to improve yours. Yes it’s long, but I highly recommend you give it a listen.

Want more info on mental strength?

Check out these books, articles and websites….

BroSesh Sunday's It's All In Your Head

Mentality WOD

Anything with thoughts from John Wooden


Weightlifting Development

A) Overhead squat complex

B) Snatch Warm-Up, empty barbell

C) Hang snatch & Full snatch

C1) In 12 minutes establish a 2RM Hang snatch for the day
C2) EMOM x 5 : 1 hang snatch, at above 2RM weight
C2) EMOM x 5 : 1 snatch, at above 2RM weight