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.
When you are on the verge of exhaustion, it is overcoming the mental barriers in CrossFit, that separates you from the rest. 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.
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 on 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 couldn’t 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!