Nucleus Training Blog #001 – 1/30/2019
Change the voice inside your head.
I recently read two great books “The Invictus Mindset”and “Chasing Excellence”that got me really thinking and wanting to share what I absorbed. This isn’t quite a review of the books but instead my take on how self-talk impacts us in our daily tasks as well as our 60 minutes a day at the gym.
Most things we do are going to either be pleasant or unpleasant and that choice is made before the task ever begins. I’ve been a victim just as much as the next person of thinking: “Ugh I have to give my daughter a bath”“When will this laundry every quit”“My body is sore this workout is going to be bad”“I’m not good at front squats this is going to suck”“I Hate Burpees!!”If you notice in all of those examples I have already decided those experiences/tasks will be unpleasant and not as enjoyable as they should or could be. One of the things I’ve learned from Ben Bergeron (one of many) is to change the word from “have”into “get.”We GET to do all of those tasks we do not HAVE to. This sounds funny and isn’t always easy to wrap my head around. BUT I force myself to repeat it a few times in situations where negativity starts to creep in and it helps change my negative self-talk into positive self-talk. In most cases then not it really helps deliver a better more pleasant experience no matter the task. Change the voice inside your head.
“I get to write a blog to share what I’ve learned about positive/negative self-talk and how I interpreted some material I got to read”This is my first blog post and it wasn’t easy to bring myself to start typing but I used that sentence in my head a few times to just get started. Yes, I was scared of it not making sense, worried people would think it was useless information, or even thought to myself no one will even read it so don’t waste your time Mike. However, I repeated the above sentence and it made me think that maybe if I share what I learned just maybe one person can benefit from it, and if even one person can benefit then it will be worth it. Negative self-talk can sabotage a chance to make a difference in everything you do. Maybe that bath you gave your kid is filled with laughter and creates a memory you’ll have forever, maybe you will get a personal best with how many unbroken Front Squats you do in a workout, or maybe you’ll miss the chance at a promotion at work, or maybe nothing will happen. But if you create a positive internal conversation you will no doubt have a better chance at experiencing or doing something wonderful. Change the voice inside your head.
Lets shift gears and focus on the ability to get through highly physical demanding tasks/workouts. In training it is important to practice the above tactics of creating a positive conversation before you even start the workout. “Front squats, awesome I get to work on those today.”Even when we successfully changed the “pre-game”voice to something positive that 5thround is still going to show up and all of the sudden the voice takes a turn for the worse. All of the sudden the bar feels heavy, your out of breath, form feels like its breaking down and next thing you know you are reminding yourself of all the bad things happening instead of remembering that you were happy for the chance to work on your front squats. In the Invictus Mindset book they talk about two strategies to overcome the mid-workout internal sabotage we frequently throw upon ourselves. First, is by hitting the mute button and the 2ndis by changing the voice inside your head. As soon as you recognize the negative self-talk creep in it is important to but a stop to it as soon as possible, turn the volume down and combat it with a different voice. You can have a mantra in your head before the workout even starts (be prepared for the negative talk to start because lets face it these workouts are hard as hell sometimes and we remember that mid 3rdset of 20 Thursters in a 20 minute grinder). That mantra you have planned can be cognitive “keep your elbows up”“Stomach tight”“Use your Hips.”All of these little technique reminders will make you focus on moving better and more efficient instead of thinking about how bad you hate thrusters/Burpees. Not only will it get your self-talk away from being negative it will help keep you safe, move more efficient (less work), and keep you focused on the task at hand which is the ONE rep you are doing RIGHT NOW because that is all you can do right now, only that ONE rep so focus on it and be present. Another can be a motivating mantra, which for myself is what I like to use during distance running or any running in that matter. “One more step”“Just Breathe”“Light weight”“You got this”“One more rep”“This is SPARTA”are all little groups of words you can focus on to stay motivated and not allow yourself to think about how hard the workout is. I personally focus on technique mantras more in my training but try both and see what works best for you. Change the voice inside your head.
There are an infinite number of ways to “win”a workout, but there is truly only ONE way to lose, and that is the negative self-talk inside your head. Create your game plan of what will your mantra be today, what are the technique points you will focus on when the going gets tough, and what motivation line will I tell myself so I can dig a little deeper instead of focusing on the hurt and fatigue. Before you ever start your workout set yourself 5-6 small goals and you’ll be successful in some of them and THAT is what you should focus on after the workout is over. Get rid of the; should of, could of, would of conversations and remember the small victories you had each round or each movement. Every day we train to get a little better and the more you can switch your self-talk from negative to positive the better your daily 60 minutes of fitness will treat you. Change the voice inside your head.
– Mike Whetstone/CF Nucleus