Sub-goals and Improved Mental Toughness

You’ve heard me say this time and time again, right before a WOD. “set goals for yourselves..get your 5, get your 10, maybe get those 20 reps done before you put that bar down”. During a WOD, it is the mind that will ultimately determine ones ability to hit those markers.

Your brain will always tell you, “oh hey body, yahhhh, if you could just stop lifting that barbell over your head, yeah, yeah, that’d be greaaaaat…..thanks Peter.”

You always have one more rep in you. (we’re not talking about 1RM stuff). When it’s time to redline and you have 10 more reps left, you don’t put the bar down at 8. Hell, you don’t put the bar down at 5. (the half way mark sucks anyway because it simply means you need to complete the exact same number of reps all over again and that doesn’t appease the mind or give you hope that you’re almost done. Always push to complete 60, if not 70 percent of the reps. Mentally it is much more manageable, especially when you’re in the home stretch.

WODs require mental toughness. Period. It is the time variable that will challenge your psyche. If you had half an hour to complete Fran, it would be a joke. You wouldn’t get that “pre-fran" I wanna barf feeling. The goal is to work as fast and as hard as possible until you get it done. It is not a “slow and steady” approach. Of course some WODs require pace. Actually, all of them do. It is the degree of the pace that changes. In Fran, that pace is fucking guns out blazing. In Cindy, it's a pace that will allow you to sustain the movements throughout your splits and ultimately for the entire 20 minutes. But both workouts require “sub-goals”. Unbroken thrusters maybe, or 5-10-15 per minute for 20 minutes. 

You will usually see margins of improvement when you give yourself a sub goal. If not in the WOD itself, you will walk away from that workout knowing you made some form of improvement; performing more unbroken reps than the previous attempt or completing more in a shorter period of time.This will carry over into following workouts. It will give you an extra edge the next time you approach a WOD. More mental toughness translates into the ability to withstand more pain.  It is this pain we tell the mind to dispose of, so that we are able to tackle whatever WOD is prescribed that day. 

Set sub-goals for yourself and you’ll start to notice improvements not only in the physical aspects of your training, but the psychological side as wel