Blog

0

The Mindset of Competing

I recently got a chance to sit down with Jimmy Kennedy of Inside Tracker and discuss the mindset of competing. We discussed a number of topics including:

  • Dealing with anxiety on the start line
  • How to have confidence in your own abilities
  • How to avoid comparing yourself to others
  • Dealing with the pressures to perform at all times, even in practice
  • Strategies for reducing the physiological effects of stress
  • And much more!

The entire video interview can be viewed HERE!

“Reflect on your own abilities, run your own race, focus on doing what you can do in that specific situation. Try not to get too wrapped up in what’s going on around you. You’ve done the homework, you’ve put in the time. Take a deep breath, be confident in your preparation, and do whatever you can do!”

0

Morph Your Mind Podcast: Injuries, Setbacks, and Roadblocks

In episode 25, co-hosts Justin Wright and Chrissy Barron discuss what to do when faced with a major setback, such as an injury, and how this can affect your personal psychology. Understand that setbacks happen, and the important thing is reframing goals and perspective to continue making forward progress.

Lean List Planner: Buy Now!

15% off at Nova 3 Labs: store.nova3labs.com
For daily mindset tips, follow my other podcast The Daily Morph HERE

0

Lifting Programs: Week of 2.18.19

Week of 2.18.19

POWERLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Back squat: 5×4 heavy across
B1. Stagger stance barbell RDL: 3×6-8 ea leg challenging
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 3×6 heavier than last week
C. Strict press: 5×3 heavy across
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Deficit push-up: 3x ME without failure (sub regular push-ups)

Day 2:
A. Deadlift: 5×4 heavy across
B1. Box squat (parallel): 3×5-7 @ 75-80% of Day 1 squat weight
B2. Weighted Arch hold (plate(s) in hands): 3x :25-:30
C. Bench press: 5×4 heavy across
D1. DB Floor wipers (left/middle/right = 1 rep): 3×8-10
D2. Medball hamstring curls @ 21×2 tempo: 3×8-12

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×5-7 heavier than last week
A2. DB pull-over: 4×10-12 moderately heavy
A3. Double DB bicep curl + double DB bent-over row, 8-10+ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×6-8 heavier than last week
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×5-6 slightly heavier than last week
D1. KB Plank Transfer: 4×20-22 (10-11 ea direction)
D2. Weighted Turkish sit-up (DB or KB extended in ea hand): 4×12-15

WEIGHTLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Snatch + OH squat, 2+2: 5 sets heavier than last week across
B1. Snatch balance with 2s pause in bottom: 4×2 building
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 4×6 heavier than last week
C. Back squat: 5×4 heavy across
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Deficit push-up: 3x ME without failure (sub regular push-ups)

Day 2:
A. Clean and jerk, 2+2: 5 sets at last week’s weight
B. Split jerk: 4×2 heavier than last week
C. Bench press: 5×4 heavy across
D. Front squat: 4×3 heavier than last week

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×5-7 heavier than last week
A2. DB pull-over: 4×10-12 moderately heavy
A3. Double DB bicep curl + double DB bent-over row, 8-10+ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×6-8 heavier than last week
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×5-6 slightly heavier than last week
D1. KB Plank Transfer: 4×20-22 (10-11 ea direction)
D2. Weighted Turkish sit-up (DB or KB extended in ea hand): 4×12-15

0

Morph Your Mind Podcast: Building Self-Confidence

In episode 24, co-hosts Justin Wright and Chrissy Barron discuss strategies for increasing self-confidence and self-esteem. Focusing on how to develop an identity and set goals around that identity, while also learning affirmations and power statements, can help with this process.

Lean List Planner: Buy Now!

15% off at Nova 3 Labs: store.nova3labs.com
For daily mindset tips, follow my other podcast The Daily Morph HERE

0

Win the Day

Each day of your life starts with a scale. No, not the scale in your bathroom. It has absolutely nothing to do with your bodyweight. This scale measures the positive and negative decisions, actions, thoughts, and ideas that you have each day. Every move you make and every thought you have adds just a little bit to either side of that scale.

Where is your scale tipping at the end of the day? For forward progress to occur, the positive side must outweigh the negative side. Most of you probably understand this in practice, or at least in theory. Where mistakes are made is understanding how much the scale needs to tip for a day to be successful.

A game of inches

To quote Al Pacino in his famous speech from Any Given Sunday, “life is just a game of inches.” When most people think about success or failure, they focus on large targets or big goals. Being forward-thinking and having an understanding of what these targets look like is important, but it can also be paralyzing to think on this scale. As we have discussed, when motivation is present it can be initially easy to work towards big goals that seem distant in the future. Once this motivation runs out, however, progress can be challenging. Some days it can even seem impossible.

The goal is not to have landslide victories each day. It is entirely plausible that some days will be fantastic and you will make tremendous amounts of forward progress. The reality is that most days will be boring, uneventful, and downright difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once momentum fades away and the daily grind begins, many individuals lose the drive to continue. Accomplishing goals is about baby steps and consistently checking the boxes, not about major leaps forward.

I want you to conceptualize your day as a standard balance sheet: one side is positive choices and the other side is negative ones. Every positive thing you do, good decision you choose, and forward step you take adds a plus to that column. Every poor choice, bad habit you succumb to, or negative thought you have adds a minus to that column. Just like your bank account or cash flow in a business, the goal is to have a positive balance. Your goal is to win the day, one point at a time, one day at a time.

As long as you maintain a positive balance, on average, then you will be guaranteed to make progress each week and each month. What do you think will happen at the end of a year if you are consistently tipping the scales in a positive direction day after day? The beauty is that this is all possible with very little effort. As long as you are working towards your goals and your habits every day, the daily effort required is insignificant. It is the compounding effect over time that drives major results.

Small wins become large ones

It is relatively easy to take advantage of this compounding effect and make substantial progress towards your goals over time. The key, as already mentioned, is to be consistent with your efforts. It doesn’t actually matter how much you do each day, as long as you are doing something each day.

Let’s look at two examples: Person A has a goal of writing a book and Person B has a goal of losing 40 pounds. Person A could focus on only writing when they are inspired and have time to sit down for an extended period, or they could instead focus on writing a little bit each day. If they have a particularly busy week, they may never be able to “find the time” to write a chapter, or even a page, during that week. What if they focus instead on writing just one sentence a day? By the end of the week, in turn, they will have written a good-sized paragraph; this action compounded weekly will ultimately lead to a finished product.

The same is true with Person B. Maybe they don’t have the ability to get to the gym every day, but they hold themselves accountable to making positive health decisions as often as possible. Even if all they do is choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator, that one change will add up over time. Eventually, these small changes will allow Person B to successfully lose the 40 pounds. It isn’t about sweeping gestures, quitting cold turkey, or drastically altering your life. Lasting change comes from the small decisions to make a better choice, the small sacrifices at every turn.

You likely put far too much pressure on yourself to do things perfectly, to be “on” all the time. How often do diets fail because we can’t hold ourselves to that standard? How often do we fall short of goals because the target seems so far away? How often do we lose momentum as soon as the road gets difficult? When those moments happen, focus on what’s right in front of you. To take it back to Any Given Sunday, focus on “the six inches in front of your face.” Pacino describes this concept passionately because, as he says, this is exactly how winning is done.

The inverse is also true

Just as small wins compound over time to become large successes, large failures are likewise the product of many minor errors. Every time you make a conscious decision to be lazy, to take the easy way out, or to avoid working towards your goals then you are adding to the negative side of the scale. If you have that same weight-loss goal as Person B above and continue taking the elevator, eating pizza every day for lunch, and rarely exercising, then you shouldn’t be surprised when you fast-forward to one month from now and haven’t lost any weight. Every decision you make matters, and all of these decisions add up to help define the person you will become in the future.

Take stock of your current habits, and focus in on the ones that are not serving your best interests. Awareness is the first step required for change; if you gain a better understanding of the actions that are holding you back, it becomes easier to dictate your own future. The biggest things to become aware of are the opportunities throughout your day when you are faced with a choice: the choice to add to your daily scale. If you consistently choose to focus on the positive, to make better decisions, then success is inevitable.

You only need to win by one point

Look at any sport that you have ever played or have ever watched. Games often come down to the final seconds, and there are countless times in the history of sports where the margin of victory is unbelievably small. That is the same margin of victory you are seeking in your daily life. You only need to win by one point to win the day. For every three bad decisions you make, you have the rest of your 24 hours to make four good ones. Some days you may win by many points, but understand that it is okay to have your fair share of buzzer-beaters. What matters most is the consistency of your efforts.

One concept that has stuck with me over the years is to “never make two bad decisions in a row.” We are all human, we all make mistakes. Mistakes on their own are not inherently bad, it is when we allow these mistakes to snowball into catastrophes that we are negatively affected. When you make a mistake, which you will, double down on your efforts to follow it with something positive. Did you eat that pizza for lunch? No worries, eat a healthy dinner. Did you miss your workout today? Cool, you better show up tomorrow.

Far too often we beat ourselves up for every bad decision we make. What we should be doing is giving ourselves credit for what we do right when given the choice to slip. Every time we evade a bad habit, or reinforce a good one, is a victory that should be praised. Understand that one percent better every day is more than good enough, because that one percent grows exponentially over time. Every day, your slate is clean, your scale is empty, and you are given a series of choices. The secret to success is surprisingly simple: tip the scales in your favor, one decision at a time, and focus on consistently adding points to your scoreboard.

0

Lifting Programs: Week of 2.11.19

Week of 2.11.19

POWERLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Back squat (no tempo): 5×3 at last week’s weight
B1. Stiff-legged deadlift: 3×6 heavier than last week
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 3×6-8 heavier than last week
C. Strict press (no tempo): 5×2 at last week’s weight
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Russian dip push-up (sub regular push-ups): 3x ME without failure

Day 2:
A. Deadlift (no tempo): 5×3 at last week’s weight
B1. Box squat (parallel): 3×6-8 @ 75-80% of Day 1 squat weight
B2. Weighted Arch hold (plate(s) in hands): 3x :25-:30
C. Bench press (no tempo): 5×3 at last week’s weight
D1. DB Floor wipers (left/middle/right = 1 rep): 3×8-10
D2. Good-morning with heavy band: 3×20-25

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×6-8 heavier than last week
A2. DB skull crusher + band press-down, 10 + ME: 4 sets
A3. DB reverse fly + band pull-apart, 10 + ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×8 heavier than last week
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×6-7 slightly heavier than last week
D1. KB Plank Transfer: 4×20-22 (10-11 ea direction)
D2. Weighted sit-up (weight held in extended arms): 4×12-15

WEIGHTLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Snatch: 5×2 @ 80-85% of last week’s heaviest
B1. Snatch balance: 4×2 building
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 4×6-8 heavier than last week
C. Back squat (no tempo): 5×3 at last week’s weight
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Russian dip push-up (sub regular push-ups): 3x ME without failure

Day 2:
A. Clean and jerk, 2+1: 5 sets @ 80-85% of last week’s weight
B. Push jerk + split jerk, 1+1: 4 sets heavier than last week
C. Bench press (no tempo): 5×3 at last week’s weight
D. Front squat: 4×3 at last week’s weight

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×6-8 heavier than last week
A2. DB skull crusher + band press-down, 10 + ME: 4 sets
A3. DB reverse fly + band pull-apart, 10 + ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×8 heavier than last week
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×6-7 slightly heavier than last week
D1. KB Plank Transfer: 4×20-22 (10-11 ea direction)
D2. Weighted sit-up (weight held in extended arms): 4×12-15

0

CrossFit Invictus: Language Matters

Originally posted on CrossFit Invictus HERE.

Language Matters
Written by Justin Wright

How do you address those you interact with in class at the gym? Furthermore, how do you describe those people, describe yourself, or describe the workout? What type of vernacular are you using on a regular basis when you show up to train? For most of us, this behavior probably falls under the category of autopilot. Although we don’t give it much conscious thought, I am here to tell you that we should.

Subconscious vs Conscious Thought

There are two types of thought patterns that are constantly working together in our brains to help determine our responses to the world around us. Our conscious mind consists of active thoughts, and ultimately leads to decisions that we have weighed and measured to some degree. Our subconscious mind, on the other hand, is a background player; these thoughts occur passively or reflexively based on our environment. Our subconscious is always working whether we are aware of it or not, and these thoughts can have a dramatic effect on the way we perceive the world around us. To use an example, being hungry is a subconscious feeling, whereas deciding to go the fridge and get food is a conscious decision.

Our mind has a limited bandwidth for how much information we can process at any given time (there are numerous studies which now show that multitasking is actually incredibly ineffective for long-term productivity). In an effort to preserve this bandwidth, our brain will often shift habitual or routine tasks from the realm of conscious thought into the subconscious. This is helpful when it comes to things like drinking water when we are thirsty, brushing our teeth before bed, or writing out a to-do list in the morning. When our subconscious is reinforcing bad habits, however, this can be problematic.

The Effect of Habits

Habits form due to consistent actions taken on a regular basis. As I just mentioned, brushing your teeth before you go to bed is probably a habit that almost all of you share. This action has become routine over time and is something that you likely do now without actively thinking about it. Showing up to the gym on a consistent schedule is likely one of your positive habits as well; as you settle into a fitness routine, you show up to class at the same times each week and likely see many of the same faces.

What about smoking a cigarette at times of stress? What about going to the bar after a long day at work? What about yelling at your spouse on days where your boss treats you poorly at the office? These are likely also habits that you have experienced in life. Whether they are your own or you know people who share these, the fact is that habitual action can ingrain negative habits just as easily as positive ones. Likewise, our habits inside the gym can be positive or negative.

The Power of Positivity vs Negativity

How many of you immediately comment on how hard the workout looks as soon as you read the board? How many times have you uttered the phrase, “I hate burpees!”? Oftentimes we reflect on workouts in a negative fashion, and focus more on the movements that are difficult for us than we do on our strengths. This may seem like a small, insignificant detail, but it can have a ripple effect on the subconscious thoughts of those around you.

Every time we have a thought, an electrical bridge is created between synapses in our brains. Synapses which most commonly fire in sequence grow closer together in an effort to conserve energy in these exchanges. The thoughts we most commonly have actually rewire our brain, and alter our subconscious, to make it easier to have those thoughts. If your default thought is negative, what do you think happens to your brain?

Furthermore, the subconscious mind picks up on the thought patterns that are occurring around us. If everyone in your class is complaining about a workout, chances are you will reflect negatively on that workout as well. Even if you are an otherwise positive person, that aura of negativity will pervade your own subconscious mind and cause you to have negative thoughts. If you are consistently attending the same classes with the same people, then your brain will rewire itself to be more in line with their thought patterns.

The Slippery Slope

As you can probably see, the thoughts you have, and thus the language you use, has a substantial effect on those around you. It can very quickly become a slippery slope of negativity if each person in class is feeding into, and reinforcing, the negative thoughts of everyone else. While this is likely happening to some degree in your classes now, the good news is that you can do something about it.

Just as negative thought patterns reinforce negativity, interjecting positive thought patterns has the opposite effect. The next time you become aware of a negative comment you have made, try and follow it up with something positive. If you say, “I hate burpees!” you can follow it up by saying, “But I am much better at them than I was before, so this workout should go well.” These subtle cues can start to slowly and noticeably change the thoughts, speech, and actions of those around you. If you start injecting more positivity into those conversations, it is likely that others will begin to follow suit.

If you keep this up long enough, you can shift the collective psyche of the group to trend positive. People will start to remark on the aspects of the workout they are excited for instead of the movements they dread. They will start to take pride in their strengths, instead of constantly focusing on their weaknesses. As the collective energy of your classes becomes more positive, you will likely enjoy these classes more and may even experience a better physiological effect from those workouts.

Take Control of Your Thoughts and Your Words

All of these changes start with you. They start by becoming aware of the negative language you may be currently using. Once you have gained this awareness, use your conscious mind to control your subconscious thought. Build up those around you, and focus on getting people in class excited for the workout instead of dreading it. Whether you are a new member, veteran member, or coach, understand that your thoughts and words do have an effect on others. Remember that health and wellness goes far beyond the purely physical. Mental health is just as important, if not more so, than the physical actions you take in the gym. Just remember that it all starts with your thoughts, and ultimately the language you choose to use in class!

0

Lifting Programs: Week of 2.4.19

Week of 2.4.19

POWERLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Back squat @ 40×1: 5×4 heavier than last week across
B1. Stiff-legged deadlift: 3×8 heavier than last week
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 3×8 heavy
C. Strict press @ 31×1 tempo: 5×3 heavier than last week across
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Russian dip push-up (sub regular push-ups): 3x ME without failure

Day 2:
A. Deadlift @ 40×1 tempo: 5×4 heavier than last week across
B1. Box squat (parallel): 3×6-8 @ 70-75% of Day 1 squat weight
B2. Weighted Arch hold (plate(s) in hands): 3x :25-:30
C. Bench press @ 31×1 tempo: 5×4 heavier than last week across
D1. DB/KB death march: 3×16 steps (8 ea leg) heavy
D2. Good-morning with heavy band: 3×20-25

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×8 heavier than last week
A2. DB skull crusher + band press-down, 10 + ME: 4 sets
A3. DB reverse fly + band pull-apart, 10 + ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×8-10 heavy
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×8 slightly heavier than last week
D1. Band/cable row from side plank (facing beam): 4×10-12 ea side with pause
D2. Weighted sit-up (weight held in extended arms): 4×12-15

WEIGHTLIFTING
Day 1:
A. Snatch pull + low hang snatch, 1+1: 5 sets building
B1. Snatch balance: 4×2 building
B2. Corkscrew bent-over DB row: 4×8 heavy
C. Back squat @ 40×1: 5×4 heavier than last week across
D1. Single leg GHD hip extension: 3×10-12 (weighted if possible)
D2. Russian dip push-up (sub regular push-ups): 3x ME without failure

Day 2:
A. Clean and jerk: 5×2 building weight
B. Push jerk + split jerk, 2+1: 4 sets heavier than last week
C. Bench press @ 31×1 tempo: 5×4 heavier than last week across
D. Front squat: 4×4 heavier than last week

Day 3:
A1. Corkscrew DB bench press: 4×8 heavier than last week
A2. DB skull crusher + band press-down, 10 + ME: 4 sets
A3. DB reverse fly + band pull-apart, 10 + ME: 4 sets
B1. Barbell Pendlay row: 4×8-10 heavy
B2. Chin-up: 4x ME without failure (accumulate 8-10; sub scaled pull-ups with feet on bench behind you)
C. Narrow stance squat (elevate heels on small plates): 3×8 slightly heavier than last week
D1. Band/cable row from side plank (facing beam): 4×10-12 ea side with pause
D2. Weighted sit-up (weight held in extended arms): 4×12-15

0

Morph Your Mind Podcast: Reducing Anxiety

In episode 22, co-hosts Justin Wright and Chrissy Barron discuss anxiety as well as strategies for reducing anxiety in your life. Justin tackles this subject from a logistical, habit-forming perspective. Chrissy takes the viewpoint of better handling anxiety in the moment and also being more aware of the various events that trigger your anxiety.

15% off at Nova 3 Labs: store.nova3labs.com
For daily mindset tips, follow my other podcast The Daily Morph HERE

0

Start typing and press Enter to search