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Mental game


Mental game

Mental game:

Its halfway through a workout and you start looking around wondering why everyone is going faster than you. Then you think to yourself… “Man I just don’t have it today.” Well, that could be a clean version of what you actually tell yourself and if you have not said it to yourself just wait.

When we all started this CrossFit thing we were happy to have found something that took fitness out of the normal daily gym routine and made it fun. It challenged us in ways that we were not used to.  At first we were just concerned on finishing the workout and not dying, let alone what everyone else was doing. But we all forged on embracing the suck and kept getting our butts handed to us day after day. One day it started to click, maybe it was a pull-up, or maybe it was your first pair of CrossFit shoes, or maybe it was the ability to get in your car and immediately drive home. Whatever it was it finally felt good!


With this newfound feeling of inner accomplishment you made some new goals and started going a little heavier. Then in a blink of an eye you began to notice the surrounding people. Almost like they never existed before but in reality they were there the whole time. Perhaps you never “seen” them because you were too concerned about moving correctly or  maybe you were just trying not to die. Whatever it was, it’s gone and everyone is now in full focus and you think “game on”.


It is when we start to compare our workout with our neighbors that the feeling of fun often gets replaced with a feeling of competition. While I am all for the spirit of competitiveness and in most cases it can be healthy, it is also a double edged sword. When we obsess over being the best we allow our ego to take over and lose sight of why we started.


Nobody is immune to this, but there is a solution and I’ll help you unpack them so that you can get back to enjoying fitness again… with minimal soul crushing resentment toward your fellow CrossFitter.


  1. Work harder on yourself than anyone else
    1. This is kinda a cliche but it does hold some weight here. When I say work harder, it doesn’t just mean physically in the gym. You have to also work on your mental game
      1. Books
      2. Meditation
      3. Videos
      4. Podcasts
  2. Stay in your own lane
    1. You’ll never know what the person beside you is doing 24/7 so why are you trying to figure that out while knee deep in a torturous workout… so stop it. Focus on you and not why they are going faster than you.
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice
    1. We didn’t come out of the womb walking and talking. (Just now, you all thought about what that would look like… terrifying right?). So why do we think we are just going to jump up on a pull-up bar and get a pull-up or a Muscle up? Practicing something as simple as doing 3-5 reps of a particular movement every time you’re in the gym will help more than just trying to practice 5 min before a workout.
    2. Chances are that friend that is beating you is putting in the extra work… you just didn’t see that part.
  4. Just breathe
    1. In the beginning we have nothing to compare to, no level, no judgment, no idea what’s good bad or indifferent. So we just do the movements or workout  to the best of our ability without an ounce of attention to what anyone else is doing. Sometimes you just have to breathe, and remember why you are doing this.
  5. Get help
    1. Coaches are there to help you succeed, but if they don’t know what you’re struggling with they cannot help you.
      1. (One piece of advice) Set up a time outside of class to speak with them and figure out your options (ie progressions, personal training sessions, etc.). Odds are there is a lot more going on (with your movements) that they cannot be adequately addressed while trying to get set up for a workout.  


I am sure most of this is stuff you’ve heard before. It’s only when we make the decision to consistently apply these things over a long period that we start to see change. The plan to getting what you want is simple, it’s the execution of that plan that makes it hard.


-Coach J