Concentration and Mental Toughness are the Margins of Victory
– Bill Russell
I thought I’d start with a bit of self-congratulation. It’s important to recognise one’s achievements, especially when they indicate ongoing success towards a larger goal. So, yesterday, at CF Watford, Overhead Squats came up for the Strength portion and “The Chief” was the MetCon. To summarise, cut to the chase, and not bore you (too much), I set new personal records in both.
On 10 Jun this year, I accomplished 3 x 5 Overhead Squats at 60 / 65 / 70kg. Last night, this was a strong jump with 60 / 70 / 75kg. The strength came not from the upper body, where I’ve always had an edge, but in the squatting – this is a direct result of the Squat Programme I am following and is a marker that I am improving accordingly. Superb!
In Jan this year, I achieved “The Chief” (details below) with a shade over 20 rounds. In August, this was raised to 21.9 rounds. Last night, I smashed 23 rounds! This achievement, I must attribute to Charlie and her insane obsession with “The Engine” in her programming. Thanks mate.
But back on to today and it began with the early morning Squat programme (because it works!)
- 6 x 2 Front Squats @ 95kg
- 6 x 3 Back Squats @ 105kg
- 6 x 2 Front Squats @ 95kg
I’ve kept to the same weight as I finished the last cycle as I didn’t get all the lifts in that I had wanted during 2 of the weeks and because I really did struggle towards the end. Call this a ‘consolidation’ phase; I’ll review it at the end of this 3 week half-cycle and consider going up by 2.5kg.
4 x 12 Bulgarian Split Squats (per leg)
32 / 24 / 24 / 24kg
Higher volume than previous attempts; I get this relatively light after this morning’s squats. Could stop cramp setting in my left foot throughout!
- 800m Run
- 30 x Toes To Bar – 1 x Rope Climb, every break.
- 30 x Thrusters @ 35kg – 3 x Burpee Over Bar, every break.
- 30 x Kettlebell Swings @ 24kg – 5 x Goblet Squats, every break.
- 30 x Wall Balls @ 9kg – 5 x WB Sit Ups, every break.
- 200m Pinch Grip Carry @ 10kg (per hand) – 10 x Plate GTOH, every break.
Entirely as a test of mental toughness, and I failed.
Each movement should be done approached as an unbroken attempt; however, I knew from the outset that as there were just two of us in the WOD, I would pace this and I watched myself break every movement once, apart from the final one where my grip went and I broke twice. Indeed, my grip was the key let down in all of this, most especially the Thrusters, of all things. It wasn’t that though. I just didn’t push myself hard enough at all and left feeling a little embarrassed at my effort. My part of the military prides itself on mental toughness and once again it came back to let me down – I have got to be able to push myself when it counts and not only do it when there are many others around to work with. We saw huge gains in “The Chief” yesterday when surrounded by others but a less impressive performance when lounging in the echo chamber of my own head today.
- Pre-Squats: Banana
- Post-WOD: 25g Whey Protein + 200ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
- Breakfast: 2 x Scrambled Eggs on plate of Spinach and Watercress
- Lunch: Omelette with Leaves + packet noodles
- Snack: 10g mixed Nuts
- Dinner: Homemade Circassian Chicken & Rice
- Post-WOD: 25g Whey Protein
Max rounds in 3 minutes of:
- 3 Power cleans @ 60kg
- 6 Push-ups
- 9 Squats
Rest 1 minute. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles.