SPARTAN PERFORMANCE                                 CROSSFIT SUFFOLK



Seven rounds for time of:
35 pound Dumbbell hang squat clean, 18 reps
18 Pull-ups
135 pound Power clean, 10 reps
10 Handstand push-ups


WOD Demo with Rob Orlando – video [wmv] [mov  (Courtesy of CrossFit.com)





Modifying The Big Lifts    "There's a popular perception that every single human being (but especially you) should automatically be able to squat past parallel, deadlift from the floor, and press overhead. The underlying belief is that these movements are performed by the mightiest of humans and that if you want to work towards being the mightiest of humans, you should do them. This is largely correct. The key words here are work towards."Geoff Girvitz for TNation.com

A Little Deception Helps Push Athletes To The Limit   "But athletes themselves have long insisted that mental factors are paramount. Roger Bannister, the first runner to break the four-minute mile, once said: “It is the brain, not the heart or lungs that is the critical organ. It’s the brain.”"Gina Kolata, NY Times

The above Roger Bannister quote is critical to understand for improved human performance.  We are bombarded in the fitness community with information regarding methodology, techniques, systems and programming.  Most established trainers have something to offer, even if that means they arrive at their results by different methods or even if they completely disagree with one another.  The brain, or more specifically, the mind, receives attention from the fitness community, but not as much as it should. 

The above NY Times article points out something that all athletes should be aware of that we don't hear often.  In fact the only other source of this observation, that we know of, has been from the Naval Special Warfare community and that is this:  You are potentially far more capable of what you believe to be your personal physical limits.  One member of the SEAL community, I apologize for not remembering whom to credit, said, "when you think you have nothing left you're capable of ten times more".  A priceless concept to consider when you're sucking wind during a workout!

While the notion of using deception as a coaching tool is interesting, we find it far more useful to know that there is scientific proof that athletes can go beyond what they believe is their maximum performance output.  We observe this in the CrossFit community on a regular basis.  At Spartan Performance, and I imagine at most CF boxes, we see athletes execute movements they never thought possible.  We see some athletes push themselves harder when they are beyond the point of exhaustion.  We see athletes leaving the comfort of the "usual" or "old" pace.  On a greater scale, when watching the CrossFit Games for instance, we see performances that seem to defy logic.  We observe that the CrossFitters at the highest level of the sport are not only physically talented, but, and perhaps more impressive, they have the ability to push through discomfort, pain and muscle-seizing fatigue.  In other words they are not only physically impressive, they are strong in the mind as well.

The take away lesson is:

Pay attention to strengthening your mind.

When you think you're at your limit you actually have much more to give.

Eradicate negative self-talk at all times, but especially during a workout.

Stand and never yield!—George

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