I like CrossFit for many reasons, one of the foremost among them being the carryover it has to my everyday life. The physical advantages of being a CrossFitter are obvious, but the mental advantages should not be overlooked! One of the most important skills I have learned during my time CrossFitting is how to stay relatively calm under pressure. In the case of CrossFit, pressure tends to manifest itself as a ticking clock, burning lungs, and a skyrocketing heart rate. The athlete who can manage to stay composed and as relaxed as possible through that pressure tends to do the best in the long run. When confronted by pressure situations in life, I like to think of my most difficult workouts. If I am able to stay calm and get the job done during the last leg of 2,000 meter row, despite the lactic acid in my legs, my burning lungs, and the edges of my vision going black, then working under a deadline behind a desk doesn't seem like such a hard thing anymore.
CrossFit workouts have also taught me to split up daunting tasks into smaller, more manageable parts, and to take pleasure from completing each of those portions as I work to the larger goal of finishing the workout.
How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life? Sound off in the comments!
3 rounds for time:
50 Box Jumps (24/20)
21 Deadlifts (185/125)
Posted by Zareh.
What are YOUR thoughts during a WoD (Workout of the Day)?…How do you talk to in your head to get you through the WoD?
Armen, Z and I were doing our baseline for our Jackie Challenge yesterday at lunch. Armen and I went in the 1st heat. Z and an out-of-town CrossFitter (and serviceman!), Mike, were in the 2nd heat. I noticed how each of us performed in the WoD...the way each of us performed the 1000m row, the way the reps were broken up on the thrusters and how the workout was finished with the pull-ups.
I personally started out the workout with no plan. And for me, being a planner, that was not wise. Because of my lack of clarity prior to the workout my score suffered. My goat with the Jackie is the Thrusters. Its not heavy, its just a MENTAL goat. Looking back if I had a number goal of multiple sets to hit the 50 reps my time would have improved. and then 30 pullups on top of that after is also possible but hasn't happen. With my thrusters I had no plan... So I let myself off the hook.
After the WoD, I was talking with Z and his goal was to be consistent and go unbroken. He was clear with his approach. His 'WoD talk' was counting down. Every time he starts his set, he mentally breaks the reps down into multiple smaller set, and counts those reps down in his head. He did a four minute 1000m row, then 41 of 50 Thrusters unbroken, and all 30 pullups unbroken. Because he was clear with his approach in advance, he executed his plan and PR'd BIG TIME!
So much of YOUR success in the workouts is not what's going on physically, but more so what is going on mentally inside your head. I like to remind people (during the WoD) make your brain move your body. You need to set yourself up for success before the workout. What do you need to do before the WoD begins that will...
...make you continue to move? Continue to push? Continue to excel?
What goes on in your head the moment right before the music goes up, the clock starts ticking?
Do you YELL at yourself? Encourage yourself?
Do you look at the whiteboard to see where others have finished to set your goal?
Do you worry about being First vs. Last?
What are YOUR thoughts that fill YOUR head before a WoD?
Sound off in the comments.
Three of the best female CrossFitters in the world discuss their different mental approaches to the same WoD.
2 rounds for completion
Max Squats in 2 minutes
Max Push-ups in 2 minutes
500m row for time
rest 2 minutes between each movement
rest 4 minutes after the first row
Posted by Chris
CrossFit is hard. Seriously, I don't know if you've noticed that, so I'll tell you again: CrossFit is hard. Like…really hard. Physically, mentally, emotionally, CrossFit is tough. Part of your growth as a CrossFitter is learning how to get more and more comfortable with the discomfort of training as a CrossFitter. So how do we develop that comfort?
Well, the simplest way is to just keep CrossFitting. The more time you spend doing this, the more your body gets used to it. But what else can you do? Try my favorite tactic: smile and laugh during workouts. When you get to that really uncomfortable, borderline painful place, crack a smile. When things are getting tough, turn to the person next to you and say something funny. You'll both laugh, you'll each put a smile on your faces and you'll each feel a little more comfortable.
There's a concept in psychology called "cognitive dissonance" that explains why this works, but blah blah blah who cares about the details (seriously though, if you care about the details I'll be more than happy to explain it). The point is have fun with CrossFit. It's tough, it hurts, and sometimes it's pretty friggin' hilarious. Take advantage of the vulnerability of your mid-workout brain (and those of the people around you) and toss around a few jokes. You'll get some laughs, you'll loosen up a little, and you'll enjoy the workout more!
Complete for time:
Posted by Armen.
We've discussed the 10 components of fitness a couple of times, but one of the most important things CrossFit helps develop is mental toughness. We all have that little voice in our head that tells us we can't do it any more, or that we should stop, or that this hurts too much to go on. CrossFit helps develop the mental toughness to work despite that voice, to tell it to shut the hell up, to eventually become comfortable being uncomfortable. The person who can master that ability will be able to achieve not only elite fitness, but success in many other areas of his or her life.
I have heard from many CrossFitters that the most surprising and unexpected aspect of their training is their ability to get through their daily non-physical trials and tribulations more easily... I'm not surprised by that at all! CrossFit isn't easy. It is intense. If you can push yourself to the brink for 20 minutes during a CrossFit workout while ignoring that little voice along the way, then sitting at a desk for eight hours, or meeting a deadline, or completing almost any other job becomes significantly easier! And for those whose jobs are just as hard in their own special way as a CrossFit workout, then the WoD becomes almost cathartic in nature, a release for all that pent up stress. Ultimately, the mental strength and emotional benefits realized as a result of CrossFit are just as powerful as the improvements we make to our health and fitness!
Jason Khalipa, 2008 CrossFit Games Champion, shows his mental toughness during the 1st Open WoD.
7 rounds for time:
10 Kettlebell Swings (24kg/16kg)
15 Box Jumps (24"/20")
10 Supine Ring Pulls
Posted by Zareh.