Categorized as: MOTIVATION

Take the Father’s Day Challenge

By Kirk K.

Happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers!
Father’s Day is the day when daddies are spoiled with their favorite things. Some dads go out on the boat, some will drink their favorite beer all day, and some will just do whatever they want to do all weekend long. 
There’s nothing wrong with receiving praise and getting some relaxation time – but is that what being a father is all about? 
I’m challenging all fathers this weekend to be the best father you can be. Give the greatest gift you can give your children and spouse: quality time.
Spend your weekend with your children, do things that THEY like to do. Treat your wife or partner with the utmost love and reverence. Father’s Day shouldn’t be just what your family can do for you, but more importantly, what can you do for your family.  

If you’re not a father, make sure to tell your dad how much he means to you. If that’s not possible, reach out to a close friend or family member and wish them a happy Father’s Day. 
What does this have to do with your physical health? EVERYTHING….
We wouldn’t be here without fathers (mothers too of course). We wouldn’t have life without them, whether they were a good dad or not, you owe them at least the gratitude for the breath of life. 
I hope I was able to connect with everyone this weekend: whether you’re a dad or not, whether your dad was there for you or not, or whatever your relationship is to your dad. 
Happy Father’s Day weekend and fathers, don’t forget your responsibilities. 


Strategies for Fighting Self-Doubt in Weightlifting

When you’re training towards a big number you want to hit, there’s a road you have to travel. That road is supposed to be smooth, but sometimes it gets a little bumpy.
For example, let’s say you’re a weightlifter who has a personal record snatch of 95 kg. You’ve snatched this weight more than once, and it’s getting pretty easy. Obviously, you’re going to set your sights on 100 kg.
So you find a competition to lift in. Let’s say there’s a meet three months away, and that’s where you want to hit 100. Ideally, you’d like to snatch it in training before the meet.
The road you have to travel towards snatching 100 is a three-month training cycle where you start out with lower percentage weights and then gradually build up towards the big day. Maybe the initial weeks of the cycle are going to have you snatching around 80ish% for reps (around 75-80 kg) to sharpen your technique, build consistency, and establish a good base.
As the weeks roll forward, you’re going to continue to increase the weights you snatch in training. 85…88…91…93…etc. This is your road to 100. However, this is also where the conversation gets juicy. Read More…

What does Mental Toughness have to do with Endurance Training?

Written By Coach Kirk

Mental toughness is “having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to: generally, cope better than your opponents with the many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that sport places on a performer; specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure.” (Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2002, p. 209) 

Mental toughness is the key reason why some succeed and others don’t given the same situation.

Mental toughness is inseparable from physical toughness.  Our brain receives all it’s information from the body, our senses. If we perceive difficult physical stress, it’s not up to our mental toughness to decide what we do with that stress. Do you give up or not show up during a running day? Or do accept that is the way it is and you’ll do your best to overcome that stress/workout. 
Just like physical toughness, mental toughness can be improved and acquired through training and being exposed to continually changing stresses. If all you do is run 1 mile at a time, you won’t build up the mental or physical capacity to run longer distances. Mental toughness also spills over from one area to the next. If you excel at endurance swimming, there’s a good chance you’ll excel at endurance biking with a small amount of training. 
A big part of mental toughness is directly linked to endurance. I believe it’s because of the prolonged stress that keeps telling you to “stop, quit, what you’re doing, take the easy way”. And that repeats itself over the duration of the stressful experience (30min amrap for example). Mental toughness is also important with short duration efforts with extremely high intensity. There are times where you have to go all-out and being able to sustain that effort takes immense amounts of mental toughness. 
Once a week, for the past 3 weeks we have included longer workouts around 30 minutes into our training. We saw a great need to build the physical and mental toughness in this longer domain of work.

The tougher we can be at all durations of workouts, the better off we’ll be for the real world.

Most of our real-world stress comes in the form of family, work, and financial stresses. Luckily these stresses aren’t constant all the time, but when they do arise, we should be prepared by all the stress training we do at CrossFit. Remember, it’s highly unlikely that spending time with the in-laws requires more mental toughness than a 30 min AMRAP of burpees, running, and wallballs. Reflect on your training and your acquired toughness and your daily stresses will seem insignificant. 
Lastly, you should have something that motivates you in your darkest, toughest times. Focus on a loved one, or your goal of losing 40lbs, something positive. We call this your WHY. Typically inwards focused motivation isn’t the most enduring and can actually turn on you. For example, saying to yourself “I should be first place because I work harder than that person,” can turn negative quickly.  
Don’t let selfish thoughts be your downfall when it comes to mental toughness, instead focus on more positive and uplifting methods of motivation (family, health, self-confidence).
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