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Old 11-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #1
Andrew Carnovale
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The Mental Game

Hey Everyone,

I just read the recent journal article on our inner voices and thought maybe the community could give me some extra help. I have always struggled believing in myself; particularly when it comes to feats of strength. I usually attribute it to the fact that I'm smaller than all of my friends at the gym (I'm 5'2" and 145lbs) and thus have a hard time matching them in weight. Therefore, I find I'm beating myself on WODs before I even start them. I have a lot of faith in my ability to do metcon workouts but when it comes to heavy sets I have a hard time keeping faith.

I was just wondering if any of you have some tips for me on things to tell myself before I take on these WODs or books I could read to improve my mental game?

Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: The Mental Game

Squats and milk, *****es.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
Oliver Gould
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Re: The Mental Game

This is going to sound dumb and new age, but - visualize yourself making the lift. Visualize the entire experience of a successful lift - what you will see, what you will feel etc. Helps me anyway.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:09 PM   #4
Ryan Hoegner
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Re: The Mental Game

Visualize a finish line with tape made of bacon.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:26 PM   #5
Jeremy Galo
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Re: The Mental Game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Hoegner View Post
Visualize a finish line with tape made of bacon.
I actually just LOL'ed at work

No but really at 5'2", 145 is NOT small (at least for your height anyway). I'm guessing if anything you have an advantage with all out strength compared to taller folks. Shorter arms... shorter legs... less distance the barbell has to travel. For deadlifts in particular, you'll probably be more upright than your friends, so that's a big advantage.

I know this seems kind of simple, but you just need to put in the work and actually make it happen. Screw size... I'm only 5'7" and 150lbs and I can still outlift a lot of my friends on most lifts. And the thing is... there are plenty of people on these boards I'm sure that are lighter than me who smoke me in every way on any feat of strength.

As sad as it is to say, you just gotta believe in yourself and you just have to ACTUALLY WANT IT! Convince yourself that you're no weaker than anybody else and just do it. Be a *little cocky to yourself about it and trust that it IS possible and that very many people out here are proof of that.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
Mike Kerce
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Re: The Mental Game

i have to tell you, i'm not even close to a firebreather but in my near six months my strength has skyrocketed, partly due to this approach, in my opinion: clearing my mind COMPLETELY, not even looking at the weight on the bar, taking a deep breath, stepping up and grabbing it like it's an old friend. form, form and more form. that's just my method. that said, i definitely struggle ALOT more mentally in-WOD during metcon or endurance.

Last edited by Mike Kerce : 11-11-2009 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:12 PM   #7
Jeremy Galo
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Re: The Mental Game

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Kerce View Post
i have to tell you, i'm not even close to a firebreather but in my near six months my strength has skyrocketed, partly due to this approach, in my opinion: clearing my mind COMPLETELY, not even looking at the weight on the bar, taking a deep breath, stepping up and grabbing it like it's an old friend. form, form and more form. that's just my method. that said, i definitely struggle ALOT more mentally in-WOD during metcon or endurance.
100% agree with this! On feats of strength, the concentration is focused on a shorter period of time. It's the metcons that mentally mind-f*** me! If you just stick with it man, the strength gains come quick if you're open to it and just give it all you got with no regards to how heavy that bar weighs. You can do it man!
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
Ben Sparks
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Re: The Mental Game

I'm a big guy and I always feel strong... until I remember to measure lifts as a % of bodyweight.

Your levers are probably super solid at your height & weight. Tell your friends that numbers don't mean ***** (and they don't) in the vacuum of just numbers. But when you're lifting 110% of your bodyweight and they're at only 80... that means something.

High speed, my friend. Kill it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
Ivan Wolfe
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Re: The Mental Game

I was doing a CFT today (set new records on everything!) - but I nearly psyched myself out on the deadlifts. So I sat down and imagined myself lifting that 425 lbs. over and over again.

It went up - it was tough, but it went up.

My father coaches high school wrestling (I'm helping him out this year - he's put me in charge of conditioning!). At the end of each practice, he spends five minutes instructing the team in mental practice. He has them imagine doing their moves perfectly and he has them imagine wearing a gold medal. And it seems to work very well.

Just imagine yourself doing whatever it is you want to do and you will increase the probability - not due to any sort of magic, but just because your brain will then convince your body you can do it after all.
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Old 11-13-2009, 12:02 PM   #10
Frank DiMeo
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Re: The Mental Game

Andrew--
The mental side of training is always important.
At 59 years old, I have to rely on mental toughness to get me through the WODs.
Yesterday, I decided to do "Murph" for Veterans Day, and I added a 22lb weight vest, to really challenge my self.
It did just that, about 1/2 way through my body wanted to quit, but I was determined to finish the workout regardless of the time or how I felt.
I did finish after a long time, but I refused to quit.
I really wanted to do the workout!
Some people see themselves as small others as weak or old; take your pick.
Mental toughness will help regardless.
The CF Journal article really clarified more aspects of the mental game.
I am having all our people read it this week.
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